Back Cove Blog

Downeast Beginnings: 800 Back Cove Yachts

Back Cove Production Team and Associates gather with the 800th Back Cove yacht.In the autumn of 2017 Back Cove launched our 800th yacht. It’s an impressive milestone that becomes even more significant when you consider all that it implies: 800 Downeast-style yachts, crafted by more than 200 of Maine’s best boatbuilders, championed by a network of more than 20 dealerships, in locations around the globe. Suddenly, our founding question of whether a simple and nautically sensible design could capture the heart of the boating public had a clear answer.

It was 2003, and the popularity of Downeast style was growing rapidly. Designs that had once only been popular in New England quickly were becoming the boats of choice all over the USA and in many export markets. Sabre dealers were selling all of the production that we could build and they wanted more. They asked Sabre to come up with a smaller less complicated Downeast style boat that could be made in larger volumes to satisfy the growing demand.

That spring, the Sabre Design Team met with six dealerships in Manchester, NH ( a common airport location for Southwest Airlines) to unveil the first ever Back Cove yacht. Differentiating Sabre and Back Cove would be reasonably simple; Back Cove was to be smaller, with a single diesel engine and a bow thruster, and interior fiberglass liners to simplify assembly. Sabre would remain larger, with twin-engine propulsion, stick built interiors, and their sizes would range from 38 to (eventually) 66 feet in length.The dealers fell in love with the concept, and the Back Cove 29 was born.

Then the issue of location. The company had previously purchased the assets and facilities of North End Composites, in Rockland, Maine, but the custom fiberglass and tooling business was on a bumpy road. The shop needed something to build on a consistent production-oriented basis that would smooth bumps in the road and support a strong workforce. The Back Cove range suited the facilities perfectly, and the plan was off and running.

Back Cove 29 - retired in 2010

Building upon the success of the Back Cove 29, seven additional models were introduced over the next 14 years. The Back Cove 26 debuted in 2004, and the 33 followed two years later. In 2009 the Back Cove 37 expanded the lineup over the 35′ range, and we knew things were really cooking. By the time Back Cove celebrated our 10th birthday, the 33 had evolved to become the 34, and our design team had introduced two more models coming in at 30 and 41 feet in length. Since then Back Cove has introduced the Downeast 37, a second version of the original Back Cove 37, and most recently we introduced the new Back Cove 32. Back Cove yachts can be found in Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Central America, Bermuda, the Bahamas, the UK, France, Italy, Greece, and Norway.

Today, as hull 800 left our facilities, we resolved the question of whether a Downeast boat with a simple but consistent trade dress, built in the Maine tradition, could succeed in a market full of white plastic cruisers.

The answer is a resounding “yes.”


– Bentley Collins, VP Sales & Marketing, Sabre Yachts & Back Cove Yachts


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Back Cove’s New Lead Project Engineer

We are excited to announce that Joshua St. Germain has been promoted to Lead Project Engineer.

Josh will take a leading role in the planning, scheduling, and execution of complex technical projects within the Back Cove Engineering Department. Josh’s judgment will be critical to the successful implementation of the challenging assignments required to maintain Back Cove’s outstanding reputation in the industry.

In the nearly five years that Josh has been on the Engineering Team, he has been instrumental in engineering new models and introducing them to production. He will continue to validate new product design during prototyping, support production, and make improvements to our products; all things at which Josh has proven to excel during his time on our team. Josh’s knowledge and enthusiasm for all marine products make him a perfect candidate to grow with our company and to assume more leadership within our technical team.

Our sincerest congratulations to Josh!

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Meet our new National Sales Manager!

Jamie Bloomquist – National Sales Manager, Back Cove Yachts

Jamie has over 25 years of experience working in sales, marketing, and business development. He has worked as a professional photographer, founded two technology companies, and was the co-creator and President of USHarbors, delivering tide charts and marine weather for over 1,200 harbors nationwide.

Jamie grew up boating on Chautauqua Lake, in New York State but has spent the last 15 years living in Camden, Maine boating on Lake Megunticook and Penobscot Bay with his wife and two children.

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Lessons in Infusion – the Maine Wind Blade Challenge

Each year, teams of Maine high school students compete to design and create energy producing wind blades in the Maine Wind Blade Challenge. The challenge is hosted by UMaine each year as a part of the STEM program (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). Back Cove Yachts is proud to join educators and our fellow manufacturers in making this possible for Maine students. 

Through a hands-on process that includes design, engineering, and manufacturing components, students create a set of wind blades that will go on to be tested in a day long challenge against other teams across the state. Back Cove Yachts aids local high school students in the manufacturing phase. Specifically, facilitating the resin infusion process. Beyond making it possible for local students to participate in the challenge, the opportunity to share our knowledge and expertise is especially valuable.

When the manufacturing process is completed, the student teams will test their designs to determine which blades produce the most energy in 3 minutes or less. In addition, each team is required to present and explain their design, outlining their decision-making process and research. 

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We’re Going Back To School, Sort Of.

Hi All,

As those of you who have visited our factory will know, ‘good enough’ is never good enough for the Back Cove Team. In typical Downeast fashion, we recognize that there’s always room to be even better, and that’s where our latest project comes in. We’re starting a program of informational sessions designed to promote a comprehensive understanding of our design and production process among our craftspeople and associates. 

These information sessions are open to all Back Cove team members, and our first few have covered Hardware Types and Usage, and Composite Cores and Bonding. In each session and a member of our team will present a topic in which they are the expert, sharing not only their knowledge but also the whys and wherefores. For those attending, the sessions provide an inside look at our larger design and manufacturing systems, allowing everyone to work together more efficiently and with greater understanding.

We’ll keep you in the loop regarding topics, questions, and items of interest!


Jamie LB Governale

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