Access More Boat Tests

Captain's reports and/or test numbers for this model are archived.

To Get full access to this content, please:

login   or   Register

Brief Summary

Back Cove Yachts has a heritage that bends through several channels. First, their designs were inspired by the classic Maine lobster boat. Were they not so pretty and precious, you could almost imagine them with a load of pots stacked in the aft cockpit ready to drop in a trawl along some foggy, rocky shoreline. Second, they are built by North End Composites, a Maine company that since, 1975, has been a producer of high-quality tooling and laminates. And third: North End is owned by Sabre Yachts, a long-time builder of quality semi-custom sailboats and motoryachts.

Key Features

  • Back Cove white iso-npg gelcoat with graystone anti-skid on walking surfaces
  • Swim platform and swim ladder
  • Hot and cold cockpit shower
  • Self bailing cockpit
  • Transom door
  • Seats in cockpit P&S with storage below
  • Vacuum infused FRP construction
  • Advanced prop pocket hull design
  • Back Cove white iso-npg gelcoat
  • Vinylester backup resin
  • Multiaxial E glass reinforcement
  • Cherry interior
  • Half down galley
  • L-Settee with Hi/Low table – converts to double berth


Length Overall 38' 0'' / 11.59 m
Beam 13' 0''
3.96 m
Dry Weight 22,000 lbs.
9.97 t
Draft 3' 3''
1.0 m
Deadrise/Transom N/A
Max Headroom 6' 5''
1.96 m
Bridge Clearance N/A
Fuel Capacity 300 gal.
1136 L
Water Capacity 120 gal.
450 L


See the price by becoming
a BoatTEST member.

Engine Options

Tested Engine Currently no test numbers
Std. Power 1 x 480-hp Cummins QSB 5.9
Opt. Power 1 x 530-hp Yanmar 6CX
1 x 600-hp Cummins QSC 8.3

Captain's Report

Contents of Report

Back Cove 37 2009

The Back Cove 37 is a relatively new boat that builds on the popularity of the smaller boats in the line. The boats are built in Maine and take their inspiration from Lobster workboats.

Back Cove 37 2009

The Back Cove 37 is an ideal gunkholer or entertainment platform for a couple.

Back Cove Yachts are single-diesel, low-maintenance, economical motor yachts styled in the Downeast tradition and built by a company that knows how to do it. The Back Cove 37, new for 2009, is the brand’s largest model and carries on the pedigree that has put more than 300 of its smaller siblings on the water.
At 37 feet, most might be thinking twin engines would be the order of the day. Back Cove, however, carries on its longstanding tradition of powering its boats with single diesels and bow thrusters—a package that generates less upfront cost and less operating expense versus twin-engine-powered boats of similar size.

Mechanical Info...

The standard power package is a 480-hp Cummins QSB, which produces a top speed of 24.8 knots, according to the builder. At 2400 room, she makes 14.5 knots and drinks 9.5 gph, says Back Cove. You can have more iron, but if you’re in that much of a hurry, maybe you should consider a different style of boat.
Anyone can eventually master docking a single, but man; that bow thruster would come in handy on a breezy day or if you’ve got some current running under the dock.
North End makes the hull with contemporary vacuum-infused FRP construction, cored in places where that makes sense to strengthen without adding weight. Her hull has downward-angled chines forward and secondary spray rails throw water down and away to keep the deck and cockpit dry.

Back Cove 37 2009

The house encloses the bridge, the salon and the galley. The blue light is good to help night vision but you can see a reflection of the back of the white instrument panel in the windshield. Back Cove would do well to paint the dash black or a dark color to minimize reflection in the windshield both night and day.

Her shapes are sweet without being saccharine. The Back Cove 37 has the slightest tumblehome in her topsides aft and a reverse transom with a door. She meets the waves with a traditional-looking spoon bow.


The Back Cove 37 will accommodate five in two staterooms and one settee. The master is forward with an island berth and private access to the head. The guest cabin, set up with a double, is on the same level and shares the head. Remember this boat is only 13’ wide at its greatest beam, so the starboard stateroom is going to be tight. Be sure your largest friends who you plan on taking on a cruise will fit.
The fifth berth is the settee. These aren’t much used any more for that purpose, but they are still a great place to bed down kids for the night.

The Bridge Deck and Salon...

The galley occupies a mid deck that brings the chef into full conversational contact with the helmsman and guests in the salon. You might ask how could it be otherwise on a 37’ boat? The answer is that the galley could be down in place of the guest stateroom and the cook would be out of the action (and maybe getting mal de mer).

Back Cove 37 2009

The galley-up location of the galley keeps the chef in full conversational contact with the helmsman and guests in the salon. Refer and freezer are in drawers.

The twin Stidd helm seats are really kind of cool. Partners can share the same level of personal ergonomic pleasure and carry on comfortable conversations without yelling across the boat. Many boats this size only have one seat at the helm and we feel that is a big mistake for a lot of reasons. First, there should always be two sets of eyes involved with piloting and navigation. Second, keeping your mate involved with the action, keeps your mate involved with the boat.
Five or six people can comfortable sit in the cabin and four will fit at the settee. Twin doors open onto the aft cockpit creating an extended social space in good weather.

Back Cove 37 2009

These deluxe side-by-side Stidd helm seats offer two people comfort, security and conviviality.

This boat is set up for a couple who occasionally cruises with friends. Without bunks or a second head, long weekends with kids might be a stretch. For the couple or foursome, however, this is a fine configuration for running across the sound for the day or gunkholing through the islands.
This boat seems to pull somewhat from the spirit of the Sabre brand, which is natural since they are both owned and managed by the same people. We like what the company is doing with these two brands, making Sabre a high price-point boat (but not as expensive as Eastbay), and Back Cove a far lower cost boat to buy, that is also less costly to operate and maintain. Base price on the Back Cove 37 is about $442,000.

Back Cove 37 2009

A clever option is the TV screen hidden in the overhead of the hardtop. Overhead hatches are by OceanAir, the best brand available of its type, in our opinion.

Viva Le Difference!

What is the difference between the Back Cove 37 and the Sabre 38 other than the price? The basic specs of the two boats other than the twin vs. single engine are remarkably similar. The Sabre 38 is a galley-down, settee-down one stateroom express cruiser. It has a slightly larger aft cockpit and a smaller bridge deck than the Back Cove 37. These are major differences and chances are that people liking one configuration will not like the other.
The other big factor setting the two boats apart is the amount of wood used in the Sabre 38. Below on the Sabre 38, you are wrapped in wood, whereas the Back Cove 37 has a definite fiberglass feel both above and below deck. There is no substitute for the real thing and lots of it in the minds of many yachtsmen. However, if you are moving from a Euro styled express cruiser you are used to a lot of glossy white fiberglass.

Related Boats

Downeast Cruisers

Back Cove 29 (Not in Production)

1 x 315-hp Yanmar 6LPA-STP diesel engine

Downeast Cruisers

Back Cove 30 (2010-)

Currently no test numbers

Downeast Cruisers

Back Cove 32 (2018-)

1 x 425-hp Cummins QSB 6.7