Back Cove Goes Outboard with its 34O

Back Cove is bucking tradition with an outboard powered Down Easter, but the payoff is worth it.

Back Cove Yachts 34O
The Back Cove 34O (O for outboard) is slated to debut at the Newport International Boat Show in September.Back Cove Yachts

The Back Cove 34O is a hybrid, of sorts. Its builder, in Rockland, Maine, started with the deck mold and interior layout from its single-diesel 32-footer. Back Cove then penned a new hull form to work with outboard power: twin 300 or 350 hp four-stroke motors from Yamaha or 350s from ­Suzuki, to be precise.

With the twin 350s, the builder says the 17,000-pound 34O should make about 37 knots on the pins, compared to 27.4 knots at wide-open throttle for the original 32 with a 435 hp Volvo Penta D6 diesel. Additionally, the 34O will carry 250 gallons of fuel, versus the 185 gallons found on the 32.

While the differences are notable, several similarities should appeal to Back Cove fans looking for outboard power. Like the 32, the 34O has ­cockpit seating in the after corners to port and starboard. A one-level deck and opening curtain mean guests in the salon can mingle with friends in the cockpit. The salon’s U-shaped seating to port creates a dining space that converts to a berth for overnights with the ­family. A galley with a two-burner cooktop is across and suitable for fixing small meals. As a pocket cruiser for couples, the 34O has a forepeak island berth for weekend jaunts or longer summer voyages.

The 34O sports Back Cove’s classic Downeast lines, with a slightly proud bow, graceful sheer line and gently raked superstructure.

Notable standard equipment includes a 5 kW generator, air conditioning belowdecks and twin 300 hp Yamahas.

Back Cove Yachts plans to launch Hull No. 1 of the 34O later this summer and has additional plans to ramp up production in September, after the model debuts at the Newport International Boat Show.

Global Citizen: Back Cove Yachts opened in 2003. Since then, the builder has produced 750 vessels from 30 to 41 feet in length. They ply waters from New York to New Zealand.