October 2015 | Down East Yachting

Keith: 15 years at Sabre Yachts

Posted by | Uncategorized | No Comments
Photo Oct 19, 8 33 12 AM

You’ll usually find Keith in the heart of the Sabre Yachts wood shop. A man who loves pecan pie, hunting, and the New England Patriots, Keith is kept busy on the production floor with a multitude of tasks, including making toe rails and creating valances for the Sabre 42′ and 48′ lines. A Raymond native who describes himself as ‘very honest,’ his handiwork has been an integral part of the Sabre product for 15 years. During our interview, Keith showed me around the shop, and explained some of the lamination process.

Explaining the next steps for this Sabre 48 toe rail

Where would you go in a time machine?

Back to the 1800s, it was a simpler time without all this commercialization and technology. I’d like to go back and live off the land; I think it would be a more peaceful life.

White hat, or black hat?

I think being a black hat would be more fun.

If you had to sell everything you own, but got to keep just one thing, what would you keep?

My home

What is your least favorite food?

Cucumber and Watermelon

After grain matching, laminating, planing, and finishing, this material will become a toe rail

If you could do one thing differently in your life what would it be?

Go into the service after school, I could be retired with benefits by now. I would probably go into the Air Force and learn to fly a plane.

Do you have any hobbies?

Hunting, Fishing, Snowmobiling

What’s your dream car?

Mustang Shelby GT 500; ‘Eleanor,’ the car from the movie ‘Gone in 60 Seconds.’

Photo Oct 19, 8 33 56 AM

Laminate takes roughly 48 hours to cure, depending on the temperature

What movie, no matter how often you’ve seen it, do you have to watch every time it’s on?

Young Guns

Are you a dog person or a cat person?

Dog person, especially black labs. I have a two year old lab named Buck. My wife lets him sleep with us, and he’s a bed hog.

Who is the smartest person you know?

The owner of Sabre – Daniel Zilkha

Pepsi or Coke?


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

A float plane, and a log home in Alaska.

Photo Oct 19, 8 45 54 AM

Tools of the trade

What’s your favorite song of all time?

Stairway to Heaven, by Led Zeppelin.

Have you ever been to a Led Zeppelin concert?

No, but I wanted to. My first concert was J. Geils, and Ted Nugent and Bad Company both put on good shows. But the best concert I ever went to was definitely Eric Clapton.

Think back to your first day at Sabre? What is different and what’s the same?

Well, I have the same supervisor now as when I started. But in all seriousness, a lot has changed. Our methods and technologies are better which means we create better products. We are constantly improving how we do things, so the quality of our boats is constantly improving as well.

Photo Oct 23, 10 25 59 AM

The Finished Product

Chinook: Photojournal, Part 2

Posted by | Uncategorized | No Comments
Image F

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

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).

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

Volvo Penta hosts Sabre and Back Cove in Sweden

Posted by | Uncategorized | No Comments
Dave and Kevin

Last week, Dave and Kevin were among a group of Americans hosted by Volvo Penta on a visit that covered multiple facilities over three different parts of Sweden. Their adventure included everything from Scandinavian seafood to brand new products set to release in 2016:

Dave and Kevin

The Visitors

The trip included Volvo’s marine testing facility, engine foundry and assembly plant, and the IPS research and assembly facility. The visitors were also introduced to some exciting new technologies being developed by Volvo Penta, and were invited to preview and test some new equipment that will be introduced in 2016.

A world-leading supplier of marine leisure engines and complete power systems, Sabre has offered Volov Penta engines in our yachts throughout our 45 year history, and Back Cove has offered Volvo options since the company’s founding in 2003. The partnership between our companies is long standing, and based on a mutual thirst for reliable performance and innovative technology.


The Volvo Penta Facility

To cap off an already exciting trip, Dave and Kevin were treated to some amazing Scandinavian seafood.


Scandinavian Restaurant


Delicious Scandinavian Seafood

Chinook: Photojournal, Part 1

Posted by | Uncategorized | No Comments
Approximate route of the Chinook, June 7/8 2015

The Great Loop is among the most popular routes for dedicated boaters: circumnavigating eastern North America by way of inland lakes and rivers, the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway, and the Great Lakes, this continuous waterway covers 5,000 to 7,500 miles depending on a number of route options. The Great Loop is the acknowledged stomping ground of the ‘Loopers,’ who in large part live on their boats and often complete The Great Loop every year.

Unfortunately for us, most of us must shelve our jealousy of the Loopers, and settle for shorter and/or less frequent trips along The Loop. That fact did not, however, stop Back Cove owners Klaus and Elizabeth from spending their summer on a portion of The Loop, and cataloging their adventures with wonderful and detailed photographs. Aboard their Back Cove 37 ‘Chinook,’ Klaus and Elizabeth spent the summer of 2015 traveling from Port Washington, NY through the Trent-Severn Waterway in Ontario, Canada, around much of the Great Lakes, and finally crossing their wake at the junction of the Erie and Oswego Canals in New York. Part 1 of this photojournal will cover their adventures from Port Washington through the Trent-Severn waterway, with subsequent parts to follow in our next publication here on the Back Cove Blog.

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 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