Getting a turn behind the wheel of a Back Cove 372 is nice in itself—now add a panoramic view of bald eagles and seals and the feeling of crisp ocean air off the coast of Anacortes, Washington, and your ride becomes unforgettable.
I boarded the boat on a calm Saturday morning with my accomplice, Jeff Moser, Editor-in-Chief of Passagemaker. He made it known pretty quickly that he’s not one for cherrywood in the stateroom. “Too fussy,” he says. We could agree that the stateroom and cabin almost felt like that one immaculate room in Grandma’s house that you’re not supposed to play in.
I’d be lying if I said that the cherrywood finish exactly fit my fancy, but what I could not deny was the beautiful nature I could see all around me through the seemingly endless views this boat has to offer. I would venture to say that such visibility is the highlight of this latest model. And with double doors that open to the aft deck and a sliding sunroof and an opening center windshield, this boat is primed to enjoy whatever climate she enters.
The Back Cove may be a Maine-built boat, but with ample seating in the cockpit and the ability to open up to the elements or completely close off to frostier temperaments, the 372 is comfortable cruising any coast. The reverse heating system on board would keep you warm in just about any waters, save for maybe Antarctica.
Back Cove 372
“If you’re going up to Alaska, installing the diesel heater is very much possible, we just don’t do it at the factory,” Back Cove Yachts National Sales Manager Jamie Bloomquist said. “There’s an open valve we leave so they can tie in the diesel.”
When you compare the 372 ($880,545 base price) to the original Back Cove 37, not much has changed, according to Bloomquist. It’s as much a well-rounded vessel as her older sister, with a generous stateroom and cabin and plenty of space in the salon, which seats seven passengers comfortably in addition to another two at the helm.
“We didn’t change the layout. Everyone loves the layout of the 37, and that’s why we have 200 of them out there,” Bloomquist said. “But we listened to customers a lot and made upgrades.”
Some of the key changes on the 372 include a redesigned AC/DC panel, a larger SE 100 bow thruster, frameless direct glazed pilothouse windows and an updated head with redesigned shower, medicine cabinet and vanity mirror.
Of all the updates, my personal favorite was the addition of a 24-volt electrical system. The 372 has also swapped the 485-hp Cummins engine on the 37 for a QSC 8.3 600hp Cummins engine or an optional 600-hp V8 Volvo engine—a facelift that’s given the new vessel about 8 to 10 knots on its predecessor, with a 25-knot cruising speed. I enjoyed running the boat at speed; it handled sharp turns at WOT admirably. It was a smooth ride underway, and she got out of the hole fairly quickly. There were quite a few logs adrift to look out for, which our captain pointed out to me left and right, but thanks to the vast visibility that this boat offers, I never had any trouble eying the obstacles.
While I may be an adrenaline junky, speed wasn’t so much an issue for our test run—yes, I like to go fast, but not when I’m reliving the child-like wonder of my first visit to the zoo. Moser and I are city slickers, so pretty much every critter we saw was cause for excitement.
“Look, two bald eagles! Get a shot of our boat next to the eagles!” Moser shouted into our captain’s phone to our chase boat.
We ran back and forth to the portholes like kids looking through the windows at a toy store. As we passed surrounding cliffs, various flocks of waterfowl that clung to the rock walls took to the air all at once, in tight moving flocks, before our eyes. They couldn’t have been more than 20 feet away from the boat as they performed seamless loops and formation changes.
As we headed in from our shoot, a seal popped its head out of the water, staring curiously as we passed.
“He wants to be part of the shoot!” Moser joked to the photographer.
As for me, I thought of it more as a gentle goodbye.
Back Cove 372 Test Report
Back Cove 372 Specifications:
Displ.: 22,100 lbs
Fuel: 300 gal
Water: 80 gal
Power: 600-hp Volvo Penta D8 engine