Soundings - - Classics - back­cov­ey­ —M.S.

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.

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