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Back Cove 30 (2015-)

1 x 370-hp Yanmar 8LV-370

Brief Summary

If one enjoys inviting lots of friends aboard to share some boating fun, the Back Cove 30 could be for them: There's plenty of built-in seating in both the deckhouse and cockpit – no need to perch on the gunwales or carry folding deck chairs. Below, they'll find a comfortable U-shaped lounge that converts to a berth for overnighting. A single diesel makes the Back Cove 30 economical; lightweight construction makes her fast.

Key Features

  • Port and starboard molded steps leading to side and fore deck
  • Molded quarter seating in cockpit with port/starboard storage
  • Swim platform with SS under-mount swim ladder
  • XM friendly stereo system with CD, MP3 jack and wired helm
  • Arrigoni helm seat with choice of white or tan vinyl
  • Raised L-settee seating aft of helmsman
  • Mates bench seat to port, removes to face aft
  • Galley Alcohol/110V single-burner stove with cover
  • Custom hi-lo table with Birdseye Maple inlay
  • V-berth with filler and cushion, converts to dinette

Test Results

550 4.3 3.7 0.2 21.25 18.48 3137 2727 64
800 5.4 4.7 0.4 13.38 11.63 1974 1717 64
1000 6.7 5.8 0.55 12.09 10.51 1785 1552 65
1300 7.8 6.7 1.25 6.2 5.39 915 796 71
1500 8.8 7.7 1.9 4.63 4.03 684 594 72
1800 9.9 8.6 3.3 2.98 2.6 441 383 74
2000 10.7 9.3 4.35 2.46 2.14 363 316 75
2300 13.7 11.9 6.3 2.17 1.88 320 278 76
2500 16.4 14.2 7.35 2.22 1.93 328 286 89
2800 20.5 17.8 9.3 2.2 1.92 325 283 82
3000 23.3 20.2 10.5 2.21 1.93 327 284 83
3300 27 23.4 13.2 2.04 1.78 301 262 83
3500 29.3 25.5 15.5 1.89 1.64 279 242 84
3700 31.5 27.4 17.4 1.81 1.57 267 232 85
3800 32.6 28.3 18.7 1.74 1.52 257 224 86


Length Overall 34’ 2'' / 10.41 m
Beam 11' 2''
3.4 m
Dry Weight 12,000 lbs.
5.45 tonnes
Draft 2.6'
0.76 m
Deadrise/Transom N/A
Max Headroom N/A
Bridge Clearance N/A
Fuel Capacity 160 gal.
600 L
Water Capacity 60 gal.
225 L

Acceleration Times & Conditions

Time to Plane 7.4 sec.
0 to 30 10.6 sec (0 - 20)
Ratio 2.13 : 1
Props ZF 20 X 24
Load persons, 3/4 fuel, 3/4 water, 40 lbs. of gear
Climate 58 deg.; 91% humidity; wind: 0 mph; seas: calm

Engine Options

Tested Engine 1 x 370-hp Yanmar 8LV-370
Std. Power 1 x 320-hp Yanmar 8LV electric common rail diesel
Opt. Power 1 x 370-hp Yanmar 8LV
1 x 370-hp Volvo Penta D6

Captain's Report

Contents of Report

Back Cove 30

Her graceful sheerline and slightly reversed transom with just a hint of tumblehome gives the Back Cove 30 a classic Downeast look. Her designer did a nice job of softening the angles of her deckhouse, to avoid the boxy look that often plagues boats of this type.

An Ideal Dayboat

Some people call boats like the Back Cove 30 “lobster yachts”, we guess in an effort to identify with the simple, rugged working craft used to harvest everybody’s favorite crustacean. But the only lobster you’ll find aboard the Back Cove 30 will be swimming in melted butter, so maybe “Downeast express” is a more accurate moniker.

Back Cove 30

The focal point of life onboard the Back Cove 30 is her deckhouse, a combination helm, dinette and general-purpose lounge area. Note there's seating everywhere, but we wonder if the cockpit seats leave too little room for other activities.

Whatever you call her, the Back Cove 30 is set up to be an ideal dayboat, with lots of comfortable, built-in seating in the deckhouse, cockpit and cabin. One can leave the folding deck chairs on the dock. The tradeoff is limited cruising accommodations.

Back Cove 30

The forward panel of each side window slides back to open, and the center panel of the windshield opens as well. The L-settee serves as seating for the dinette, and faces a straight bench opposite. To enclose the deckhouse, an aft curtain is a dealer installed option with a hard enclosure option also available from the factory. We like the openness the soft enclosure provides.

The Cockpit is for Sitting

Typical of this style yacht, the Back Cove’s cockpit is comfortable but not overly spacious, with corner lounges on both sides of the transom door occupying a good deal of space. It's a fine layout for socializing, but not for the fisherman. (Don’t even think of piling lobster pots here!) A swim platform, with a hot and cold shower, is standard facilitating watersports not involving a hook.

Back Cove 30

Corner lounges port and starboard, built on molded bases, flank a centerline transom door. They take up a lot of cockpit space but are way more secure and comfortable than a folding chair, or perching on the gunwales. And there's stowage underneath.

Back Cove 30

Back Cove has correctly placed its shorepower plugs inside the cockpit, and note they have made a clever provision in the transom door for the power cords to exit, yet still keep the door latched. The door opens out and is secured by a stainless latch.

Here at we're of differing opinions as to how a transom door should be hinged: Should it open in or out? We can argue either way. The folks at Back Cove Yachts designed the transom door on the Back Cove 30 to open out, so it doesn't intrude into the cockpit. That sounds fine to about half of us at BoatTEST.

Back Cove 30

Two non-skid-surfaced molded steps port and starboard with grab rails above, make stepping onto the sidedecks easy and safe. Be careful not to trip on the stainless steel drink holder, though.

Below Decks

In the cabin, the Back Cove 30 has basic but adequate accommodations, typical for a 30' (9.14 m) boat. On the other hand, in the forward section of the cabin where most builders waste space on seldom-used V-berths, Back Cove created a comfortable seating area with a small table for drinks or a continental breakfast. It will convert to V-berths with filler when necessary. And there is a well-appointed head.

Back Cove 30

In the cabin, the Back Cove 30 has basic but adequate accommodations for overnighting, about what one would expect on a 30' (9.14 m) boat, but finished and appointed better than most. The joinery and ceilings are varnished cherry and the sole is teak-and-holly. Headroom is 76" (1.93 m).

Back Cove 30

The galley counter is 5' long, 21.5" deep. Note that both the sink and single-burner cooktop have drop-in covers to add working space.

The galley has a dual-voltage refrigerator/freezer, a single-burner alcohol/electric cooktop and a microwave oven. Cooking on an alcohol burner is torture, so if you want hot food underway, we suggest they spring for the 4 kW genset or the 1800-watt inverter. We'd choose the inverter, to keep the mechanicals simple, add no excess weight and to save some money on the purchase price, too.

Back Cove 30

The head carries a freshwater MSD: Fresh water introduces less algae and bacteria into the holding tank. Each Back Cove 30 comes with a macerator and overboard discharge for areas where that's permitted. Headroom here is 72.5" (1.84 m).

Back Cove 30

A dinette/lounge with a small table is forward. When converted, this space creates two V-berths measuring 76" long x 25" wide, or a double that's 79" long x 86" wide.

There's stowage under almost every flat surface, and a half-height cedar-lined hanging locker. There’s both overhead lighting and reading lights for each side of the berth, and an XM radio-ready, remote-controlled sound system with CD player and MP3 jack. Back Cove offers a selection of color schemes and fabrics; air conditioning is also optional.

Technical Aspects

Efficiency was an important goal of the Back Cove design team and that means building as light and slippery a boat as possible, consistent with strength. The Back Cove 30 rides on a deep-V hull (16 degrees deadrise aft) powered by a single diesel, in this case spinning a prop tucked-up in a pocket to minimize draft and reduce shaft angle.

Back Cove 30

On the instrument console there is room for two nav screens. We'd like to see this surface lowered and canted forward to improve visibility. Navigation screens at a 30 to 45-degree angle can usually be seen with the captain standing or sitting.

Lightweight also demands less power, so a single diesel is plenty strong and economical, both to buy and to operate. To that end, the builder employs first-rate construction techniques: A resin-infused fiberglass laminate for maximum strength at minimum weight, with PVC foam coring in the hull, and end-grain balsa in the decks.

Back Cove 30

The single helm seat (Arrigoni standard, Stidd optional) works well on a boat this size, where a double seat will be too cramped. It's adjustable fore and aft, and the flip-up armrest makes entry and egress easy.

Base power, a 320-hp Yanmar 8LV electronic common rail diesel, produces 26.7 knots max, 20 knots cruise, according to the builder, but the boater can go faster: Power options up to 370 horses are available: A Yanmar 370-hp 8LV or a Volvo Penta D6 370-hp. Our test boat was powered with the 370-hp Yanmar 8LV which pushed the boat to 28.3 knots WOT, cruise at 23.4 knots.

Back Cove 30

The companion bench seat will fit two people. We like the flat surface on the dash, good for laying out a chartbook. The grab handle will keep it in place.

Back Cove 30

We like the port and starboard pop-up cleats, the grab handle for the swim ladder which is under the swim platform and the stainless steel "vents" to help drain water off the platform.

A bow thruster is standard, a stern thruster optional. One doesn't need pod drives to maneuver a boat in tight places; spend an afternoon practicing and they'll do fine squeezing the Back Cove 30 into tight spaces, especially if they add the stern thruster.

Back Cove 30

The optional radar mast adds just the right finishing touch to the Back Cove 30, and provides a base for GPS and VHF antennas along with the scanner. We like the sturdy 1 1/4" stainless bow rail, but would prefer an intermediate rail, too, even if only a stainless cable. An anchor roller is standard, windlass optional.


If someone is into serious long-term cruising, fishing or active watersports, we don't think the Back Cove 30 is for them. On the other hand, if one enjoys inviting friends along for day trips, or just want plenty of room to spread out when boating with their significant other, the 30 could be just what the doctor ordered. She has good performance at reasonable fuel burn; lots of comfortable seating, both sheltered and in the cockpit; compact but adequate accommodations for occasional overnights; a seaworthy hull if the weather turns sour and a secure deck house to keep the captain happy even in the rain. What's not to like?

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