Outboards powering a premium Down East cruiser? We practically ran the Flag Blue off Back Cove’s 340, and found it responsive, maneuverable, quiet and efficient. With twin Yamaha F300s integrated into its broad swim platform, the 340 bested 42 mph at wide-open throttle. It delivered a range of cruising speeds at which fuel economy beats 1 mpg. Speed up as conditions allow without decreasing efficiency. Sound levels of 78 to 83 decibels in that same range mean conversing without shouting. Smoke, foul odors, vibration? Not with outboards. And outboards tilt clear of the water.
For perspective, Back Cove’s popular 34 model, powered by a 480 hp Cummins QSB, tops 33 mph and nets up to 1.5 mpg in that same cruising speed range.
Ride? The long, flat, wide transom-pad design Back Cove copyrighted as the Trailing Edge Lifting System (TRELIS) produced no apparent effect on ride quality as the 340 powered through snotty conditions during a gray fall day on Long Island Sound.
Back at the docks of our test hosts, DiMillos Yacht Sales in Glen Cove, New York, twin engines made smart work of putting the Back Cove 340 into its slip. A bow thruster also comes standard.
With its galley and a convertible Bird’s Eye Maple dinette under the hardtop, and a big island berth, air conditioning, and separate head and shower compartments belowdecks, the Back Cove 340 will weekend two couples comfortably. That dinette also serves as an aft-facing cockpit seat, the transformation occurring manually as the seat slides smoothly on some of the heaviest-duty stainless-steel tubing we’ve seen used in such an application.
At the helm, the teak-rimmed destroyer wheel and teak footrests pick up that white-with-teak-ceiling-and-trim aesthetic adorning the Back Cove 340. A tri-pane windshield protects the helm and hinges open for ventilation. It’s a classic feature that seamlessly mates with the smooth lines and high-tech engineering of the hardtop.
Back Cove’s 340 melds the best of the new with the tried-and-true.
- Outboards prove quiet, fast, efficient, and tilt clear of the water.
- Love the tri-pane windshield with hinged glass.
- Rode smooth and sure during choppy test conditions.
- We’d like to see a fiddle rail at the galley counter to keep items from sliding off.
Toughest Competitor The MJM Yachts 35z, built with pre-preg epoxy composite construction, comes with twin 300 hp outboards, joystick docking, a genset, air and a SeaKeeper gyrostabilizer ($719,000).
Price: $460,000 (with test power)
Available Power: Outboard
How We Tested
Engine: Twin 300 hp Yamaha F300s
Drive/Prop: Outboard/15″ x 15 1/4″ 3-blade stainless steel
Gear Ratio: 1.75:1
Fuel Load: 220 gal.
Water on Board: 60 gal.
Crew Weight: 600 lb.
Back Cove Yachts – Rockland, Maine; 207-594-8821; backcoveyachts.com