Back Cove 34 Running

Andy Adams

There seems to be more and more talk these days about the “bucket list” and amongst people who are keen on boating, making that cruise to the Caribbean is a big one.

It's a long run, but your skill and knowledge is perhaps just as important as your boat, assuming that has the accommodations and reliability to make such a journey. But, it wouldn't be a dream if you didn't dream about doing it in style and comfort would it?

It's our opinion that the Back Cove 34 is ideally suited to delivering on the dream of cruising to the Caribbean while also offering the accommodations and features that you'd enjoy every weekend here in Canada.

Back Cove 34 HelmThey say that the Back Cove story began in 2003 when Back Cove Yachts and the design team from sister company, Sabre Yachts, collaborated to create this simple but elegant powerboat range. The styling was to be reminiscent of the Maine lobster boat. A single diesel engine and standard bow thruster were chosen for efficiency and maneuverability in tight spaces and the handsome traditional styling would include an elegant cherry wood trimmed interior.

The Back Cove line includes 5 models; the Back Cove 30, 34, 37 and 41 and the Downeast 37. While each model has its strengths, we think that the Back Cove 34 strikes a particular balance between being spacious and comfortable while remaining economical and easy to handle. It could be the ideal yacht to make the journey from the Great Lakes down to the Caribbean. That trip will include covering fairly long distances in slow speed rivers and canals, going through locks and needing to find overnight mooring where you might not have planned to.

Back Cove 34 Salon looking forwardIt's a lot easier to find a slip for a 34 than it is for a 54! The dream usually involves travelling as a couple and the layout of this boat delivers very comfortable accommodations and amenities for two. It can sleep up to 5 people with 6’6” berths, but it's an ideal couple's boat for sure.

The designers have chosen to put the emphasis on cabin spaces that are open, airy and well proportioned. The 6'5" interior height will be appreciated and the island berth in the bow includes a large cedar lined hanging locker to starboard, more storage on the port side, four drawers under the bed and places for smaller items on the side shelves. The cabin can be curtained off if privacy is desired or left open for maximum air circulation and there are several opening hatches and portholes to let those beautiful breezes blow through.

On the port side is an L-shaped settee that converts into a sleeper while opposite on the starboard side is the head compartment. That includes a separate shower stall solid surface countertops, attractive fixtures and an opening porthole for ventilation.

Back Cove 34 Salon looking aftThroughout the interior the Back Cove 34 features cabinetry that is worthy of the name furniture; beautifully finished and with such quality details as dovetailed drawers and solid wood framing in the doors. Its finish is warm and inviting but also light colored to keep things bright and airy.

The helm deck, or main cabin on the Back Cove 34 includes two opening roof hatches, sliding side glass and an opening windshield section as well, so the breezes could really flow through when you want that. This is your primary living area with a port side dinette that seats four and features an elegant inlaid table for dining.

This can be converted into another double berth and it's raised a few inches for a great view. 

The galley is opposite on the starboard side and again features solid surface countertops, a large stainless steel sink, nice fixtures and a 2 burner cooktop. A microwave is standard and two refrigerator / freezer units have been conveniently located below the helm and companion seats.

Back Cove 34 GalleyAt night, most people will enclose the cabin with the stern curtain but for cruising during the day, it's wonderful to have the space open right through to the cockpit. There is seating for five, generous storage under the floor and you can’t help but notice the substantial deck hardware. The Back Cove 34 is first class.

The Back Cove 34 is equipped with single diesel engine and our test boat had a Cummins Q SB 6.7 six-cylinder diesel producing 480 hp. It's all about efficiency and at 6 knot canal speeds this 34 footer can do close to 6 miles per gallon; tremendous fuel efficiency for yacht of this size. Then, wide-open the boat hits 29.8 kn or 34.3 miles per hour. Our experience with this hull is that enjoys a wide range of effective cruising speeds allowing you to adjust the boat to be the most comfortable for the sea conditions.

The Back Cove 34 delivers a comfortable ride with sure handling and the thruster makes docking simple.  The Sea Star hydraulic steering is light and accurate. A full day at the helm will be comfortable, especially thanks to the Stidd helm seat that provides a wide range of adjustment. Our test boat had been equipped with Raymarine Hybrid Touch multifunction display and a repeater plus VHF radio, GPS and the Cummins Vessel View digital engine instruments. 

This is a yacht that can really make that dream cruise a reality while still being a pleasure for day or weekend use with family and friends aboard, and that handsome down east design is timeless. We want to thank Helen and Don Coates for kindly sharing their new Back Cove 34 with us for the afternoon in Georgian Bay…bet they’re down south by now!

Read more in CY Boat Reviews from Back Cove:  Back Cove 29 power review here

Specifications: Cummins QSB 6.7, 480 hp, in-line 6 cylinder, 4-stroke diesel, 6.7 liter, turbocharged/aftercooled with Bosch High-Pressure Common-Rail Fuel injection. 

RPM  Speed Knots  MPH

600 4.2  4.8

1,000 6.2  7.1

1,600 8.9  10.3 

2,000 12.0  13.8

2600 19.5  22.4

3,000 24.8  28.5

3,200 26.8  30.5

3,450 29.8  34.3

Length Overall (not including swim platform) 34’4” / 10.46 m

Beam 12’ / 3.66 m

Weight 14,000 lbs / 6,350 kg

Fuel Capacity 185 US gal / 694 L

Water Capacity 80 US gal / 300 L

Waste Capacity 40 US gal / 150 L

Price as tested: US $375,000.00 with gen set, helm deck and below deck AC

Test boat supplied by and price quoted by: Jack Pady Marine Inc.,
Read more in CY Boat Reviews from Back Cove:  Back Cove 29 power review here

Photo Captions:

Photo 1 - Back Cove 34 running - A down east dream

Photo 2 - Bright and open cabin spaces make living on board a pleasure on the Back Cove 34.

Photo 3 & 4 - The forward berth is very spacious and open for a boat of this size.

Photo 5 - It's much more enjoyable to use the galley when it's up in the light and convenient to the cockpit.