Meet the Back Cove 34O

Set to splash in Au­gust, the Back Cove 340 com­bines an out­board-op­ti­mized hull de­sign with Down East style.

Power & Motor Yacht - - DRAWING BOARD - back­cov­ey­achts.com/34o —Daniel Hard­ing Jr.

Back Cove has an­nounced it will en­ter the out­board mar­ket with a new 34O (that’s “O” for out­board), which is set to splash this sum­mer and pre­miere on the boat show cir­cuit this fall.

The Maine-based man­u­fac­turer that’s best known for boats with tra­di­tional straight-shaft propul­sion says now is the right time to make the tran­si­tion to out­board power. “We think there’s a mar­ket for cruiseable, mid­size out­board boats. Thanks to re­port­ing on the growth of the out­board mar­ket, peo­ple started to come by the stand [at boat shows] and ask us when we were go­ing to make the shift to that type of power,” says Bent­ley Collins of Back Cove.

The de­ci­sion was not made lightly; the com­pany care­fully mon­i­tored in­dus­try trends and took a good deal of cus­tomer feed­back into ac­count. The builder then de­cided to work from the deck and ac­com­mo­da­tions of its proven and pop­u­lar 32 that’s pow­ered by an in­board. In-house de­signer Kevin Burns created an en­tirely new hull to match the new out­board power. Stan­dard power will be 300-horse­power Ya­hamas; 350-horse­power Ya­hama or Suzuki motors will be of­fered as op­tions.

De­sired cruise speed for the new 34O is 30 to 35 knots, with 40 knots for a top speed. To make that hap­pen, says Collins, Back Cove had to “put the boat on a diet.” The 34O will be 10 per­cent lighter than the 32 it’s based on, with a dis­place­ment of around 17,000 pounds. To re­duce weight, the builder swapped solid fiber­glass top­sides for cored ver­sions, among other things.

There are sev­eral ar­gu­ments to be made for the switch to out­board power, says Collins, al­though the ben­e­fit that will res­onate most with Back Cove buy­ers is per­for­mance. “The fastest Back Cove cur­rently goes 28 knots,” he says. “Peo­ple have such a de­sire for speed to­day. [A higher top end] should at­tract a younger clien­tele who like our styling but want more per­for­mance.” An­other ben­e­fit of out­board propul­sion is more stowage; on the 340, it’s avail­able where the diesel en­gine is on the 32. “[The ac­cess hatch is] still on a hinge, so you now have room for bikes, stand-up pad­dle­boards and all sorts of other wa­ter toys,” says Collins.

De­pend­ing on the suc­cess of the 34O, the builder says we can likely ex­pect to see more out­board-pow­ered Back Coves in the fu­ture. There are no plans, at least on the hori­zon, to bring out­board power to Back Cove’s sis­ter com­pany Sabre Yachts.

LOA: 38'11" Beam: 11'10" Displ.: 17,000 lb. Fuel: 250 gal. Wa­ter: 60 gal.

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