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Dispatches April 2010


This hull mold is for the newest member of the Viking Yachts fleet, the 70 Convertible. Construction of the four-stateroom yacht was to begin in February, and the New Gretna, N.J.-based builder expects to launch it this summer.

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Albemarle puts IPS on its 360 Express

Albemarle, the North Carolina builder known for its rugged fishing boats, has equipped its first boat - the 360 Express Fisherman - with Volvo Penta's Inboard Performance System.

"The early speed and fuel burn numbers we're seeing are amazing, and I think this adds another dimension to a model that has been extremely popular," says vice president and general manager Burch Perry.

With its twin 435-hp IPS600s, the boat burns about 27 gph at 26 knots, which equates to around 1 nautical mile per gallon and a range of 451 nautical miles. She tops out at 34.5 knots. With Caterpillar C9 inboards (575 hp), the boat gets 0.675 nmpg at a cruising speed of 27 knots for a range of 343 nautical miles.

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The 360 Express Fisherman has a large cockpit and high gunwales, providing anglers with a spacious and safe fishing platform. Albemarle embedded an aluminum plate in the cockpit sole for a fighting chair. The helmsman has excellent visibility from the centerline helm station, according to the company.

Below, a queen-size berth and single bunk comprise the sleeping accommodations. Standard equipment includes an enclosed head with separate shower stall and a galley with electric cooktop, microwave oven and refrigerator/freezer.

The 360 rides a modified-vee hull with 16 degrees of deadrise at the transom and 23 degrees amidships. The 36-footer has a beam of 14 feet, 5 inches.

Base price with the IPS600s is $499,995, and a fully loaded IPS600-powered 360 Express Fisherman with tuna tower carries a $615,000 price tag.

Founded in 1978, Albemarle builds fishing boats from 24 to 41 feet in center console, express and convertible configurations. Contact Albemarle Sportfishing Boats, Edenton, N.C. Phone: (252) 482-7600.

-    Chris Landry

Well-chilled - Shackleton's whisky on ice for a century

Five crates of whisky and brandy belonging to Antarctic explorer Ernest Shackleton have been recovered after more than 100 years frozen in Antarctic ice. Researchers from the New Zealand Antarctic Heritage Trust discovered the crates - three whisky and two brandy - beneath Shackleton's only Antarctic hut, built in 1908.

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Richard Paterson, master blender of Whyte and Mackay - the company that supplied the Mackinlay's whisky for Shackleton and his crew - described the find as a "gift from the heavens for whisky lovers," adding that after analysis, the original blend may be replicated.

In 1915, Shackleton's 144-foot barkentine, Endurance, was frozen in the Weddell Sea ice pack and crushed in what was his most notable Antarctic expedition. After enduring 170 days drifting on the ice, the 28 men survived seven days on the South Atlantic aboard three of the ship's lifeboats, finally landing on Elephant Island. From there, Shackleton and five others set off for South Georgia island, where they eventually found help.

Twenty-two men lived for 4-1/2 months under two overturned boats on Elephant Island before being rescued. In an amazing feat of seamanship and survival, none of the 28 men were lost.

In Our Wake

German U-boats sank some 2,779 Allied ships during World War II, the last of which was the SS Black Point. On May 4, 1945, just days before Germany's unconditional surrender, German officials ordered the halt of U-boat attacks on Allied shipping effective

8 a.m. May 5. It is unknown if the captain of U-853 ever received that order, but at approximately 5:40 p.m. that day, the Black Point - a 396-foot steel collier - was carrying coal to Boston when she was torpedoed off Point Judith, R.I. Twelve men went down with the ship, and 34 were saved by a nearby freighter. U-853 was tracked down and sunk off Block Island, R.I.

This article originally appeared in the Arpil 2010 issue.