Back Cove was founded in 2003 when a group of Sabre dealers requested a smaller Down East boat with an efficient single engine. Today, Sabre’s highly successful sister company offers cruisers that range from 30 feet and 320-hp to 41 feet and 600-hp, with base prices from $280,000 to $610,000.
Back Coves are built in Rockland, in a 300,000-square-foot facility. (The Sabre 66 Dirigo is also built here. FRP parts for the Sabre 48 are manufactured at the Rockland location, too.)
“With Back Cove,” Collins says, “we know we need to keep in a size range that’s smaller than Sabre.” The single engine drive has limited Back Cove to 41 feet: “We know we can’t go much bigger and keep these within our original design parameters.”
Awarded Best New Powerboat Under 35 Feet in the 2016 New For Newport competition, the Back Cove 32 is the company’s most recent build. A single-level deck from the transom to the companionway opens the cockpit to the interior and galley, creating one seamless level that’s ideal for entertaining. Excellent sightlines also make the saloon level bright and keep skippers in touch with their surroundings. A settee is here for rainy afternoons with a good book. Down below, there’s an island berth with split head and shower compartments.
The beauty of the 32 is that it’s a low maintenance boat that gets the fuel economy of a trawler but is fast enough for weekend exploring in other ports. As with all Back Coves, there’s a minimum amount of teak. Take the boat out using the bow thrusters, go fast or slow as the schedule allows, bring it in and hose it off until next time. And it is easy on the eyes, with all the traditional beauty of a Down East design. More than 800 have been launched, and demand shows no sign of slowing.
Never content to rest on its laurels, Back Cove recently announced its first outboard-powered design, the 34O (that’s O as in outboard). It’s been a long road to the 34O. The company has been talking about launching an outboard product for 4-6 years and has drawn and scrapped several concept boats along the way.
“Outboards allow for some dynamic cruising opportunities you don’t get with single engines,” Burns says. “You can beach on a sandbar, or go stern-to a beach. There’s an opportunity to expand cruising capabilities by capitalizing on outboard speed, availability of engine parts and ease of maintenance.” With the twin outboards up, its draft is 2 feet. The 34O has stowage where the diesel engines lived on the 32. There’s room for bikes, stand-up paddleboards and other water toys, a design element that should appeal to younger boaters. Back Cove sees the outboard model as the beginning of an expansion in what the yard offers, not a replacement.
Burns drew a new hull for the 34O — one that’s 10 percent lighter than the 32’s, with a displacement of around 17,000 pounds. Standard power is 300-hp Yahamas; 350-hp Yahama or Suzuki motors are options. The 34O should cruise at 30 to 35 knots, with a top speed of 40 knots. Hull No. 1 is scheduled to launch in August.
A workman at Back Cove’s Rockland facility polishes the deck for the very first Back Cove 34O.
More than 800 Back Coves have been built and demand for the recent Back Cove 32 continues to be strong.
The Back Cove’s 34O will be the company’s first outboard design.