Back Cove 29

Andy Adams

Don't let the traditional lines fool you into thinking that the Back Cove 29 is a lobster boat. It may have some of the styling cues and traditional design elements but, that's where the similarity ends.

The Back Cove 29 is a thoroughly modern expression of those famous East coast designs and these days, we have the benefit of the light weight, high revving Yanmar diesel engine that spins up to over 3,800 rpm and produces 260 hp. Nestled in under the center line of the Back Cove 29, the Yanmar pushes this deep vee hull to a very contemporary 28 mph on our GPS.

It is that turn of speed that makes the Back Cove 29 so satisfying to drive. The hull has a 16° deadrise at the transom and the propeller runs in a pocket. Swinging a 20" x 19.25" Michigan four blade prop, the draft is a mere 27 inches. With care, you can bring this boat right into the shallows to anchor for the day, for fishing or for picnicking.

The six-cylinder Yanmar was delightful to drive and the standard equipment SidePower bow thruster makes manoeuvering in tight quarters a simple matter. Just push the joystick whichever direction you want the bow to swing. With practice, you can walk the boat sideways right into the dock, pivot in place or reverse into your slip with great accuracy.

Back Cove 29 - over the bowHeading out on the water, the boat was making 4.6 mph at a thousand rpm and by kicking it up just a touch to 1,250, the speed rose to almost 7 mph – a delightful rate if you're just spending the day on the water watching the scenery go by. The Back Cove 29 planed off without trim tab at 2,800 rpm traveling just under 17 mph. We recorded a comfortable sound reading at 83 dB at the helm. This would be our favourite cruising speed and the factory's numbers suggest it is only burning 6 gallons per hour. On the other hand, the factory's recommended fast cruising speed is 3,600 rpm which would be over 25 mph-nearly full speed but the hull is working well at that speed with a smooth dry ride.

Our test boat was the pilot house model. We found the lines attractive and functional as well. The three-section windshield has a few inches of overhang for sun and rain protection. Sliding side glass, an opening center section in the windshield and two opening roof hatches, ensure generous air movement on hot days. In rain or off-season, the Back Cove 29 will be dry and cozy.

Back Cove 29 - HelmWe feel this boat has a high livability factor. The side decks were 12 inches wide and finished in an excellent diamond pattern non-slip surface. Large diameter, polished stainless steel, welded rails extend from the cab forward and around the bow pulpit. Additional handholds on the cabin roof make it easy to get around this boat safely. Our test boat was equipped with a Quick windlass and had a cavernous anchor locker in the serious looking plow anchor. The entire deck felt solid underfoot with no apparent creaking are flexing under our 200 pound weight. The cabin roof is the same; very solid and with plenty of space to mount your aerials and electronics.

We especially liked the cockpit with molded in side steps port and starboard. The Back Cove 29 has inboard mounted aft cleats with deck hawes, a handsome fitting for the stern flagpole, padded inwales for fishing or to serve as backrests when the removable aft jump seats are in place.

In the cockpit, there is a large underfloor locker with access to the rudder, fuel tanks and other systems. The cockpit is self draining and it's one step up to the bridge deck under the pilot house roof. Here, the seats were upholstered in a handsome navy blue Sunbrella and had storage lockers in the bases. A large removable cooler fits under the side seat and ahead of that, under the companion seat base are two storage drawers.

Back Cove 29 - CabinThe Back Cove has excellent engine access. A large section of floor swings up to almost fully reveal the engine and related systems for inspection or service. It's worth mentioning that the helm binnacle also can be swung completely open, making it simple to service your electronics. The helm and companion seeds on our test boat were pedestal mounted and adjustable with armrests for added comfort. Either side accommodates standing or sitting and we were delighted to see the vast expanse of dashboard top where you can still roll out a good old-fashioned paper chart.

The cabin is handsomely appointed with a cherry wood galley that includes an alcohol/electric single burner stove, refrigerator with freezer compartment, a small single galley sink, solid surface countertop and a microwave. The galley is perfectly adequate for a cruising couple and if you combined it with an aftermarket barbecue, would be comfortable even on an extended trip. The forward vee berth has storage underneath and a removable dining table.

Back Cove 29 - engine accessThe Back Cove also features a fully enclosed head with a built-in vanity, electric toilet with holding tank and a handheld shower. We feel these features will make for a great day boat but a couple could also have a lot of fun on a trip through the Trent Severn system in economical comfort, with a respectable turn of speed and with the shallow draft to go exploring those little islands and bays that are off the beaten path.

Overall, The Back Cove 29 is a thoroughly modern rendition of a boat whose traditional virtues are well-established and appreciated. Considering the use that many people put their boats to, the Back Cove 29 could be a companion for life–the boat that meets all of your needs, season after season. 

 

Originally published in Canadian Yachting’s November 2005 issue.

 

Specifications

Boat Make and Model: Back Cove 29 Hard Top

Engine: Yanmar 6LP, 260 hp turbo diesel with ZF 63A marine gear

Propeller: 20" x 19.25" Michigan 4-blade nibral

RPM GPS speed

IDLE 4.2 mph

1000 4.6

1250 6.9

1500 7.9

1750 8.9

2000 10

2250 11

2500 13.5

2750 16

3000 18.7

3250 22

3500 24.9

3850 28 MAX

Length 29’6" 9m

Beam 10’5" 3.2m

Weight 10,000 lbs 4,535kg

Deadrise degrees at transom 16 degrees

Fuel 150 US gal 563L

Water 30 US gal 113L

Holding tank 30 US gal 113L

 

Back Cove 29 - a companion for lifeBase Price (2005): $175,850 US plus shipping and options

Test boat provided by and price quoted by:

RCR Yachts, 

70 Pattonwood Drive, 

Rochester, NY. 

585-339-9730

Speeds measured by: Garmin GPS

 

Photo Captions

Photo 1 – A Companion for Life – The Back Cove 29

Photo 2 - Looking out over the bow, the very wide side decks and large areas of non-skid decking are obvious. The exterior spaces are comfortably usable.

Photo 3 – The cabin interior is bright and well equipped with a foot rest at the helm, tilt steering and conveniently mounted controls. We would prefer the instruments were angled up for a better view when seated though

Photo 4 – The cabin is handsomely done with a cherry wood finish.

Photo 5 – Engine access is excellent – a whole section of floor lifts on gas struts and has a dome light as well. 

Photo 6 - the Back Cove 29 could be a companion for life–the boat that meets all of your needs, season after season.

More in CY Boat Reviews from Back Cove:  Read the Back Cove 34 review.

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