Back Cove Blog

Monty: 20 year with Back Cove Yachts

When I met up with Monty he was on a mission to fix something called a Chop Gun that had been giving him trouble for several days. I would very soon come to find out that Chop Guns are just one of the many things Monty has become a master at repairing around the Back Cove Yachts facility. Always on the move and known to everyone, Monty has been a fixture here for more than 20 years, and has overseen the facilities at Back Cove Yachts from the very beginning. In celebration, we set out to learn a bit more about this notoriously straight-talking motorcycle enthusiast.

What’s your favorite song of all time?

Somewhere Over the Rainbow, the Judy Garland version from The Wizard of Oz.

Pepsi or Coke?


What’s our favorite dessert?


What’s your favorite food?


Photo Nov 10, 11 16 23 AM

Today’s Project: a malfunctioning Chop Gun

Where did you grow up?

Rockland, Maine. 

What was your first real job?

As a young man I was one of the first 6 people in the state of Maine to be certified as a Decontamination Technician. I sterilized surgical equipment.

Are you a dog person or a cat person?

Cat. I have a rescue named Bailey, and she runs the house.

Name one thing that always makes you smile, no matter what:

Animals. I can honestly say that I would rather face down a bank robber than see an animal get hurt. I even feel bad when I’m driving and I hit a squirrel.

Photo Nov 10, 11 20 33 AM

A Chop Gun is used to spray resin onto the molds. It combines the liquid resin with fiber to create a coating. This one is malfunctioning and spraying in a thin stream rather than a wide fan.

What do you do in your spare time?

Work on other people’s houses

Do you have any hobbies?

Motorcycle riding. Some buddies and I used to take a trip once a year – pick somewhere, stay in a hotel, and explore the area on our bikes. 

What’s the most important thing you learned in school?


If you won a million dollars what would you spend it on?

My Family

What are you most proud of?

My kids and grandchildren. I have four grandchildren, two of whom are graduating from high school next year. They have big plans to be a Firefighter and a Teacher, and I’m very proud of them. 

Photo Nov 10, 11 18 29 AM

It’s called a Chop Gun because this fibrous material comes in rolls and the gun chops it up before mixing it with the resin.

What’s your favorite color?


You have to sell everything you own except for one thing – what would you keep?

My Kawasaki Nomad 1600 motorcycle. I used to have a Goldwing. 

How honest are you?

Very Honest

Does your honesty ever get you in trouble?

Yeah, pretty often. It’s been said I don’t know when to keep my mouth shut. But I’m a straight forward guy – if you ask me a question you’re going to get my honest answer.

Photo Nov 10, 11 24 28 AM

In the containers on the floor is resin (the brown/amber liquid) and acetone (the yellow/green stuff) which is used as a solvent to remove the resin from tools and hands.

What is the best band of all time?

The Beatles. I never went to a concert though, my parents kept a pretty tight rein and they would never have let me.

What do you cook when you’re the only one home?


What’s your favorite sport/team?

Nascar – Kevin Harvick

Photo Nov 10, 11 16 05 AM

Mold after the resin has been applied using the chop gun

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Chinook: Photojournal, Part 3

This final installment completes the Chinook Photojournal. Carefully and beautifully compiled by the owners of Back Cove 37 ‘Chinkook,’ Klaus and Elizabeth spent four months exploring the Great Lakes Loop – a route comprised of inland waterways and canals, plenty of locks, a marine railway, and the Great Lakes of North America.  The Back Cove Yachts Blog would like to thank Klaus and Elizabeth for sharing their amazing adventure. 

Wednesday, August 19, 2015: Vermilion OH

Hi All,

Monday 17, Aug: easy run from Sandusky to Vermilion, Ohio. We discovered an absolutely charming little town (very reminiscent of New England) and found the star attraction, Chez François, just yards away.

Definitely worth the trip.


Back Cove 37


Monday, August 24, 2015: Chinook Continues on Lake Erie

Hi All,

From Vermilion we came to Cleveland, Mentor Harbor and to Erie, Pennsylvania. Vermilion to Cleveland was easy, but Cleveland to Mentor Harbor was lumpy with residual wind and waves tossing us a bit. The entrance to Mentor Harbor was my scariest event for the year, waves on-shore and the entrance ever so small. Thankfully, Mentor Harbor to Erie, PA we judged perfectly and got in a long run on a flat calm day.

We spent a perfect day in Cleveland’s Case Western Reserve University area, and especially loved the Pre-Columbian art from Central and South America and the American and French Impressionist paintings featured at the Cleveland Art Museum.

Image G

At Rock and Dock next to the R&R Hall of Fame, the Science Center and the C. Browns Stadium: couldn’t be more ‘center.’ The nautical flags spell out ‘Cleveland’

Image H

The Great Lakes steamer W. G. Mather is now part of the Science Center exhibits

Image I

Aboard the W. G. Mather. Looking aft from the bridge.

Image J

Cleveland Art Museum’s Hall of Armor.

The Crew on CHINOOK 


Friday, August 28, 2015: Back Cove 37 CHINOOK Reaches Buffalo New York

Hi All,

Friday 28, Aug: we reached Buffalo. NY on the eastern end of Lake Erie on schedule. A short 32 NM run from the Dunkirk Yacht Club in Dunkirk NY with 10 to 12 kts of following wind and perhaps two ft waves. It was quite nice.

We are now in Erie Basin Marina, downtown Buffalo. The whole waterfront area is crowded with locals and visitors.

Image 36

WWII US Navy ships at Canal Side on the Buffalo Waterfront.

Image 37

WWII US Navy Ship

Image 38

Plan of our run on the western Erie Canal from Buffalo to Tonawanda, and to Brewerton,  near Syracuse.

We will be here through Sunday. On Monday we plan to make a short 10 NM run down the Niagara River to Tonawanda and the western end of the Erie Canal. Some caution is advised there; go too far on the Niagara River and you go aaaaaahhheeeeeeeee” over the Falls.



Tuesday, September 1, 2015: Buffalo NY To Tonawanda NY and the Erie Canal

Hi All,

Monday 31, August: we left Buffalo for a short run down Black Rock Canal and the Niagara River to the western end of the Erie Canal in Tonawanda, NY. Thanks to keen navigation and helmsman-ship we we able to avoid going over Niagara Falls. Here we are central to everything for excursions by car rental for several days. On the Canal at North Tonawanda for $20 a day with electricity to keep the A/C running.

Image 39

Garmin Blue chart of the area

We were at the bottom Lake Erie, and took Terminal A to State Armory (Buffalo). The Niagara River flows around Grand Island, then turns west and becomes Niagara Falls where Dufferin Island is marked. We took the eastern branch of the river to North Tonawanda. The thin line thru the W of Tonawanda is the Erie Canal.

With that, our Great Lakes adventure crossing L. Ontario, thru Georgian Bay, the North Ch., L. Huron, L. St. Clair, and L. Erie is behind us. Western Erie Canal to go.

The Crew on Back Cove 37



Wednesday, September 9, 2015: Heading East on the Erie Canal from Tonawanda. Day One

Hi All,

Sat. 5, Sept: Our first day under way heading east from Buffalo and Tonawanda. Our first locks are No. 35 and 34 in Lockport.

Image 41

Invaded by Canada geese

Image 40

Big double gated Lock E35. To the left the remnants of the original 1825 flight of five locks replaced by 35 and 34

Image 42

Looking into E35 from the other side

Image 43

And what was the flight of five locks.


Back Cove 37


Wednesday, September 9, 2015: Heading East on the Erie Canal from Tonawanda. Day Two and Three

Hi All,

The guard gates on the Erie Canal are 16 1/2 ft above the water limiting who can pass through. Our Back Cove handles these just fine but I did have to fold our VHF antenna part way.

Image 44

A guard gate on the Erie Canal

Image 45

Fairport lift bridge

The last lift bridge is this one at Fairport. It is one hundred years old, and in the Guiness Book of Records: one end is higher than the other and built on a slant, with no two angles the same anywhere.

To our surprise Rochester did not have good places for transient boats. Everybody seems to prefer nearby Fairport, and we agree.



Tuesday, September 15, 2015: Heading East in the Erie Canal

Hello All,

We continue to make progress heading east in the western part of the Erie Canal. Next came Newark, but it rained for a day and a half, and on to Lyons.

Image 46

Our last evening in Fairport. We are the second boat on the left (north) side. The crews raced by at an incredible speed.

Image 48

New York Canals Tug ‘Seneca.’ Check out the crocheting! We are the boat behind Seneca.

Imge 49

A fine skirt for a wahine for a hula

Image 47

Seneca under way at Lyons


Back Cove 37



Chinook Crossed her wake where the Erie and Oswego Canals Meet

Chinook took four months in 2015 to complete the Great Lakes Loop.  Our trip measured 1750 nautical miles, took 250 engine hours and 840 gallons of diesel. That is 2.1 NMPG! We went through all 34 locks on the Erie Canal, 7 on the Oswego and 44 on the Trent-Severn Waterway. Our low average speed is explained by the speed limits on the NY Canals and Trent-Severn Waterway, and when not speed limited one still had to follow no wake rules or courtesies. 

We had this inland cruise in mind when we decided on buying the Back Cove 37. It turned out to be an excellent choice. Our biggest concern was our ability to handle the locks and this was quite easy, given the secure side decks and the location and spacing of cleats. We did add a stern thruster and proportional thruster control to our options list, which were invaluable for close maneuvers in the locks. 

Our low 13 ft fixed air draft, water line to all round mast head light, allowed us to do the western Erie Canal, probably the most pleasurable part of the entire cruise. 

With best wishes to our fellow Back Cove Owners and All,

Klaus and Elizabeth

The crew on Chinook

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Chinook: Photojournal, Part 2

The second part of this photojournal, beautifully compiled by Back Cove 37 owners Klaus and Elizabeth, follows their adventures in Georgian Bay and Lake Huron, to Lake Erie and Vermilion, Ohio. The Back Cove 37 is ideal for waterways like the Great Lakes Loop, but you don’t have to listen to me, take it from the man himself:

I’ve said it before, and Elizabeth agrees, the Back Cove 37 handles extremely well on the canals and locks along the Loop. It’s the perfect size. With its fixed 13 ft air draft, and an easily fold-able (or partially fold-able) 8 ft VHF antenna (we left the 18 ft air draft Antenna up) we easily navigate any canal in the Loop. 

We have the optional stern thruster, and the Side Power Proportional Control, (aka the “Back Cove Easy Docking System”) and I would strongly recommend both options. I use low power settings for maneuvers in the locks all the time. In the Erie Canal we had a lot of debris, and once had a brief noise and no-go from the bow thruster. Fortunately, it was easily cleared with a brief opposite ‘thrust all’ at low power. 

 If feasible, and I believe it would be, I might suggest adding two more deck cleats on each side – just aft of the boarding steps and just above the port and starboard pair of beverage holders at the cockpit seating. The cable and line spacing in locks would make the additional cleats extremely useful. 

 Warm regards,

 Capt. K. F. Loehr


Thursday, July 9, 2015: Back Cove 37 Chinook

Hi All,

Yesterday we traveled from Port Severn, the NW end of the Trent-Severn Waterway, to nearby Midland. Today we traveled on to Penetanguishene, putting us at the south end of Georgian Bay, Lake Huron 

Image F

A Huron Chief in Penetanguishene

We plan to follow the eastern side of the Bay along a small craft route through the Thirty Thousand Islands, towards Killarney. 

This morning, the General Manager of Bayport gave us an hour and a half long chart briefing on the best and the worst – the spots to see, and the ones to avoid. 

All our love and best,

K & E


Monday, July 13, 2015: Georgian Bay

Hi guys,

From Penetanguishene we motored a short hop over to Beausoleil Island, Georgian Bay National Park. Three days at the same dock. We enjoyed the beaches, cold showers, and trails (which were mostly very nice, unless they went through the woods, where the mosquito swarms are voracious – the evenings require closing up, or having screens).

Image 24

Typical Georgian Bay Glaciated Granite Slabs

Image 25

Docked here for three days with congenial neighbors and a smoky fire pit (to keep the mosquitoes at bay)

Today we made a thirty mile run up the coast to Frying Pan Island, and Henry’s Fish restaurant. Walleye was the specialty. Tomorrow and Wednesday we have stormy weather forecast so it will be a nearby anchorage in a small cove.



Monday, July 20, 2015: Our Anniversary

Hi All,

 16 July, our anniversary and we found Killbear Marina at Killbear Provincial Park and Parry Sound. Known for local Walleye (called Pickerel here) and some German food.

Image 26

Just for Back Cove 37 CHINOOK

Image 27

Pan Fried Pickerel and Rindsrouladen (Beef Roulades)

The next day was a stinker! Rainy and very windy. We stayed put while all the day boats came in to escape the blow.

All our best.

Elizabeth and Klaus


Monday, July 20. 2015: Killarney, Ontario, Canada

Hi All,

Today, 20 July, we were at the northern most part of Georgian Bay where it meets the North Channel at Killarney. We ran through Collins Inlet, a narrow deeply glaciated inside channel. Lots of pink granite and wind blown pines:

Image 28 Image 29 Image 31 Image 32

And finally Killarney Light one mile from town.

Image 30

Killarney Light

Elizabeth and Klaus

Back Cove 37



Sunday, August 9, 2015: Back Cove 37 CHINOOK in Lake Huron and Lake St. Clair

Hello All,

The last eight days we navigated through Lake Huron, the St. Clair River and into Lake St. Clair, Michigan.

We narrowly avoided the serious threat of damage from a T-storm and line squall in Rogers City. A very large tent became airborne, flinging debris and tent poles into the marina.

Klaus Img 6

Wayne, of Rogers City Marina, with a split tent pole fished out of marina waters

Klaus Img 8

Fresnel lens in the Old Lighthouse at Presque Isle

Image 7

Strange red light in Alpena Harbor

Image 9

Chinook visiting Grosse Pointe Yacht Club in Lake St. Clair


Klaus and Elizabeth


Monday, August 17, 2015: Back Cove 37 Chinook on Lake Erie

This was our weather radar picture this morning as we were running from Sandusky to Vermilion, Ohio. You can see our purple route and boat location.

Klaus Img 33 Klaus Img 34 Klaus Img 35

Thankfully, this one never got bad.


Elizabeth and Klaus

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Chinook: Photojournal, Part 1

The Great Lakes Loop, a modification of its popular cousin, The Great Loop, is ideal for boaters looking to spend a season immersed in Loop culture. The America’s Great Loop Cruisers’ Association provides many great resources for both routes and their numerous variations, and is open boaters of all kinds: from year round ‘Loopers,’ to seasonal enthusiasts, and day trippers. During the summer of 2015, Klaus and Elizabeth, aboard their Back Cove 37 ‘Chinook,’ spent the summer of 2015 completing the Great Lakes Loop and cataloging their adventures in this beautiful and detailed photojournal.  

Seasonal Great Loop Map

Map of the Great Loop – portions in red give an approximate indication of the Great Lakes Loop

Beginning in Port Washinton, NY, Klaus and Elizabeth traveled through the Trent-Severn Waterway in Ontario, to Georgian Bay and the North Channel, and then the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The Chinook and her crew then traversed lakes Michigan, Huron, and St. Clair to the Detroit River, leading them to Lake Erie and allowing them to cross their wake at the junction of the Erie and Oswego Canals. Their adventure totaled 1750 nautical miles, and resulted in a beautiful and detailed photojournal that we are thrilled to share with you on the Back Cove Blog.

Part 1 follows Klaus and Elizabeth from their start in Port Washington, and through the Trent-Severn Waterway. Subsequent parts will be published in our upcoming posts, so stay tuned as we follow the Chinook and her crew along their adventure:

Approximate route of the Chinook, June 7/8 2015

Approximate route of the Chinook, June 7 to July 8, 2015

Sunday, June 7, 2015: Beginning Our Loop Voyage

Hi All,

Today, Sunday 7 June, was our first big day passing through New York City and starting up the Hudson River. Six hours and 55 nm, sixty road miles, and about 98 km.

On the East River just after passing through Hell Gate

On the East River after passing through Hell Gate

One World Trade from the East River

One World Trade from the East River

The Battery

The Battery

Flying our AGLCA burgee that's for Americas Great Loop Cruisers Association

Flying our AGLCA burgee that’s for Americas Great Loop Cruisers Association

Of course the Statue of Liberty or as most Germans might prefer,  "of Liverwurst"

The Statue of Liberty, or as most Germans might prefer,  “of Liverwurst”

From here up the Hudson River.

Love to All,
K. Pops

Friday, June 26, 2015: Chinook enters Trent Severn Waterway, Ontario, Canada

Picton, Ontario to Trenton, Ontario – we made it through five locks and moored at Lock 6.

Image 10

TSW Gateway

Image 12

In Lock 1 of the Trent-Severn Waterway

Image 11


Image 13


Sunday, June 28, 2015: Trent Severn Waterway (TSW)

Hi guys,

Today we made locks 6 through 12. We started at 9am and didn’t finish until around 3pm. Lock 11 is a double lock, each portion lifting us 24 ft – scary, even for the old hand! After they let us into Lock 12 the doors behind us closed with a resounding bang that could scare the daylights out of anyone. Actually, it turned out to be very easy.

Still smiling in TSW Lock 11

Still smiling!

From here we ran just a mile or so and docked in Campbellford Ontario. We are staying an extra day to replenish our energies (and sense of humor). We just bought a fresh strawberry pie in the town’s renowned bakery.

Klaus and Elizabeth

Wednesday, July 1, 2015: Peterborough Lift Lock 21 on the Trent Severn Waterway

Today, 1 July (Canada Day), we lifted through Locks 20 to 26 – a big job for an advance of only 9 nautical miles. The big event was Lock 21, the Peterborough Lift Lock built in 1904. One of few in the world, and the highest.

Approaching Lock 21

Approaching Lock 21

Image 16

Lock 21 – The pan is open for us to enter

Image 15

An easy side tie

Image 17

Looking back, the gate is up and we are ready for the big lift

Love to All,
And a Happy Canada Day to the believers,

Back Cove 37

Saturday, July 4, 2015: Trent Severn Waterway Ontario Canada

Hi All,

Another day in the Kawartha Lakes, Ontario region. Bobcageon to Fennelon Falls and finally to the second “lift lock” at Kirkfield. At Kirkfield we were at the highest point of travel, and the drop was about fifty feet.

Image 21

Entering one of two pans. In front of me is a barrier, and then a fifty foot drop. The willies!

Image 22

This is what it looks like from below

Image 19

Finally tied up for the night

Klaus and Elizabeth.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015: Big Chute Marine Railway

Hello All,

Back Cove 37 Chinook at Big Chute Marine Railway on the Trent-Severn Waterway.

Image 1

Big Chute Marine Railway on the Trent-Severn Waterway

Image 4

Another boat in the slings

Image 2

8:55 and waiting for the 9:00am opening

Image 5

In the slings being moved along.

Image 3

A look back.

Klaus and Elizabeth

Wednesday, July 8, 2015: CHINOOK Completes the Trent Severn Waterway

Hi All,

This morning, 8 July, we completed the Trent-Severn Waterway through Ontario when we passed through Lock 45 in Port Severn. We passed through 44 Locks including two lift locks (counterbalanced pans one goes up as the other goes down) and the Big Chute Marine Railway.

240 statute miles, 209 nautical miles or 390 km. The Trent-Severn Waterway took 13 days, including three lay days.

Image 23

Birds eye view of the area around Lock 45

We spent one night near the Park docks and had a fab lunch at Christie’s Mill Inn (right foreground of the photo above).

The current was challenging between the lock and Starport Severn Lower Marina. A very narrow channel with lots of current under the twin highway bridges (upper right in the photo above). Of course we had to meet an up-bound boat right there!

All our best,
The Crew on board CHINOOK

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Back Cove 37 in Charleston, South Carolina

In early 2014 my wife, Susie, suggested we do something new (crazy,) as we were getting older and maybe needed something else in our lives. I said “Do you mean maybe a second home?” she said, “No, how about a bigger boat?” Wow, I had better check my hearing. A friend of mine said I had better get to the boat dealer before she changed her mind. I really didn’t think she liked boating. 

I’ve had small boats up to 28′ and Susie hadn’t gone out with me in the last 10 years.  I then realized she liked climate controlled boating. Enter Coastal Carolina Yacht Sales in Charleston, SC. I called our dealer, who I bought my other boat from, and asked about a used Back Cove 29. I knew nothing about Back Cove except they were climate controlled. The boat was sold so he suggested we come out and just look at some other boats. I think he meant ‘let’s look at yachts.’ Susie and I went over one afternoon and looked at everything from 30′ to 48′ and decided on the Back Cove 34. 

We traveled to the factory in Maine and watched how they were made. We ordered the 34 and I proceeded to get docking lessons from our dealer on a Back Cove 30 (which he promptly sold.) I then went to the 34 for lessons and he sold that boat also. I then went to the 37 for lessons on a used 37. After, I wanted Susie to look at the 37 and maybe we should consider the larger boat as opposed to finding out next year we should have gone larger the first time. So we switched gears and cancelled the 34 to order a 37. It was delivered in late November 2014, at which point we spent the next several months learning the boat (aka the Yacht)!

We named her Pied-a-terre, which seemed appropriate since she was our second home. The 37 is fabulous, everything we thought it would be and more. We just finished our first trip and traveled north to Pawley’s Island, South Carolina and had a great weekend. It was a great way to get our “feet wet!”

We are still learning but are more comfortable in its operation. The thrusters even make me look good at docking the boat!

Susie & Drew

Charleston, South Carolina 




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