Back Cove Couple Readying for Retirement
Growing up, Mark Hayes was introduced to boating on his parent’s Galaxy ski boat. They enjoyed using it on the lakes of central North Carolina, and each year on July 4th used it on vacation near Harker’s Island. That’s where he first noticed larger boats capable of spending the weekend on the hook, and he admired their self-sustained trips spending nights away from the dock
Fast forward to adulthood, and Mark and his wife Rosemary bought a small outboard boat of their own. They enjoyed teaching their son to ski on Lake Gaston and the rivers of Eastern North Carolina, and later upgraded to a newer runabout which they still enjoy. But they were also interested in taking longer weekend trips and started to dream of retirement, when they could attempt the Great Loop and other big cruising adventures. As they steadily became more serious about purchasing a bigger boat, they traveled to Florida and Baltimore’s Trawlerfest in 2018 to consider their options.
They came away from those trips with a better understanding that trawler life might not be for them—not yet fully retired, they coveted a faster boat that could get them where they wanted to go each weekend and be back home in time for the work week. “It’s always about compromise,” Mark says, and he was now willing to forego the fuel efficiency of a slower trawler for a boat that could do their river runs out to the coast at a much faster pace.
Not long after, while at a wedding, Mark struck up a conversation with a Morehead City charter captain who recommended talking to Joe Green from Bluewater’s Beaufort office. The Hayes were ensured that Joe was an honest man who would treat them well while helping with their search.
After a year of looking at numerous brokerage listings and researching options, Mark and Rosemary zeroed in on the Back Cove 41’s combination of speed and cruising accommodations. Joe took the Hayes to Virginia Beach to look at two boats Bluewater had to offer—a pre-owned Sabre and an in-stock Back Cove 41. Mark recalls, “When we walked down the dock in Virginia Beach, the 41 was tied up at the end of the dock and she was just beautiful. She had the white hull with light blue bottom paint, and with the gold detail stripe, she was gorgeous.” He explains they had previously decided they’d prefer a white hull over dark blue and that when they first stepped foot on the 41, they felt it was, “big enough, without being too big.” Ultimately, the relative simplicity of the model was a deciding factor. “But the minute we walked down that dock and saw her, we loved her lines.”
On the way home from picking up the boat in Hampton, they cruised down Albemarle Sound at 24-28 knots and thoroughly approved of the pace. The Back Cove’s speed and performance was a luxury that was extremely easy to get used to. The Hayes also report that the Easy Dock thruster system is a huge positive for their handling of the boat. “It really makes you look like a pro right out of the gate,” says Mark. He recounts their first trip to a marina in Edenton where they were being asked to idle in, turn around and back into a very tight slip. The Easy Dock system helped him turn almost in place and effortlessly into the slip; especially impressive for a single-engine boat. He adds, “it’s really a piece of cake. Easy Dock makes it look like you know what you’re doing and have been doing it forever.”
Rosemary loves the Back Cove for its ease of entertaining. “With the galley setup, the cockpit seating is right nearby, so I’m near the activity while preparing a meal or washing up. Guests are right there within a couple feet and everyone feels included,” she says. They find the 41’s layout makes it easy to be accommodating and engage their guests. Mark adds that unlike a galley down design, he can reach right in the door from the cockpit and grab drinks from the fridge—no fumbling up and down a companionway with an armful of refreshments.
Guests of all sizes have been enjoying
the Hayes’ Back Cove 41
Even though this build was originally ordered as a stock boat by Bluewater, the Hayes agreed that they wouldn’t have commissioned anything differently. “The boat came with a lot of extras, like the SureShade awning, which we’ve enjoyed,” Mark says. He’s also pleased with the Volvo engine, despite being initially tepid about learning all the ins and outs of his first inboard powered boat. They feel the Back Cove 41 was a perfect step for their boating journey—bigger, but not so big that it is too intimidating to handle or maintain. The 41 features two cabins, each with an en-suite head; additional spaces that benefit from the simpler single engine configuration.
“Joe Green was very helpful and patient working to find the ideal boat for us, and he has continued to be there for us as we have returned to Bluewater and Jarrett Bay for service. I have appreciated his knowledge and experience and feel we have made a friend as well.” The Hayes explain Joe even had tips on how to decide on a name for their boat, “this was the hardest part of our process after we picked her out.” Joe suggested drawing inspiration from their favorite type of music or songs. “We didn’t want the name to be cliché, and being beach music lovers and Rolling Stones lovers, we narrowed it down to Just One Look or Satisfaction. Both felt good, but ultimately Just One Look felt right, as we loved her on first sight walking down the dock in Virginia Beach.”
“Joe Green was very helpful and patient working to find the ideal boat for us, and he has continued to be there for us as we have returned to Bluewater and Jarrett Bay for service. I have appreciated his knowledge and experience and feel we have made a friend as well.”
With travel and destination uncertainties now clearing up, the couple plans to do more frequent trips in their new Back Cove, including some overnight stays at Cape Lookout. As they get more comfortable, confident—and perhaps fully retired—they’ll be considering trips to the Chesapeake and Charleston. Longer term goals include journeying to New York, Boston, Canada or the Great Loop trip they have always dreamed about.
In the meantime, the Hayes are thrilled with their purchase and enjoying all the compliments they receive about their new Back Cove. “I have had boaters riding by my slip in Washington tell me that she is the ‘prettiest boat on the river’, and I have to agree,” concludes Mark. Afterall, just one look—that’s all it took.