8 Pre-Owned Downeast Cruising Yachts For Under $600K

December 17, 2018 3:18 am

Beginning with the introduction of the Hinckley 36 Picnic Boat in 1994, the market for Downeast yachts has exploded in recent years to become a major segment of the U.S. yachting industry. Dominated by such top-tier manufacturers as Sabre, Hinckley, Grand Banks, MJM and Back Cove, modern Downeast yachts are often built one at a time with the owner working closely with the builder. As anyone with experience shopping the new or used Downeast market will confirm, these dream machines are always priced at the high end of the market compared with other boats their size; indeed, the entry point for many models exceeds $1 million. With that said, the eight Downeast cruisers featured below can often be found on the brokerage market at prices under $600,000 — not cheap by any means but more affordable by far than buying new.

–Ed McKnew, Powerboat Guide


Eastbay 49 SX & HX

Eastbay 49 SX/HX | 1999–2008


At a Glance: Classic Downeast styling with traditional Grand Banks construction and craftsmanship – the SX model has a fully enclosed salon while the HX model has semi-enclosed helm open to the cockpit. Eastbay 49’s elegant salon is three steps up from the cockpit and features a comfortable L-shaped settee with teak high-low table. Two power Stidd helm chairs swivel to face the salon and a flat-screen TV is mounted in a cabinet. Note the power center windshield panel.

The U-shaped galley is down with Sub Zero refrigeration, Corian counters and lounge seating to starboard with another TV. Forward, the master stateroom has an island berth and head with separate stall shower. The guest stateroom has twin berths with a day head opposite. Built on a Hunt-designed modified deep-V hull, Cat 705hp Cat C12 diesels cruise at 24–26 knots (30+ top).

Price Range: 
From the low $400s.


Eastbay 45 | 2007–09


At a Glance:  Beautifully crafted Downeast cruiser designed by the Raymond Hunt Group and built by Grand Banks. The standard two stateroom, single head interior has the galley down and a spacious main salon with a U-shaped settee to port surrounding a teak high-low table. An alternate layout with a second head compartment has the galley in the port aft corner of the salon with a convenient pass-thru for food and drinks.

A retractable sunroof is standard and the forward center windshield opens at the push of a button for ventilation. The master stateroom is forward with island berth and ensuite head. The guest cabin with twin berths is just aft on the starboard side. A Stidd helm chair is standard and huge salon windows provide panoramic views of the water. A timeless yacht, the Eastbay 45 SX will cruise at 24 knots with Cat C-9 567hp diesels.

Price Range:
From the mid $400s. 


Hinckley 44 EX | 1999–2008


At a Glance: An enlarged version of Hinckley’s iconic 36 Picnic Boat. The heart of the Talaria is her spacious semi-enclosed deckhouse with its plush furnishings and handcrafted teak joinery. Forward is the helm area to starboard and navigator chair to port. Aft of the port chair is a L-shaped settee with varnished teak table on an electric pedestal that drops down to form an additional bunk with cushion.

To starboard is a second L-shaped settee with a small bolster cushion forward. (The settees can be raised on hydraulic rams for access to the engines.) The Talaria was offered with one or two staterooms. Neither layout can be called roomy Hinckley 44 EX craftsmanship is on display throughout. Notable features include aft-facing cockpit seating, wide side decks (but no bow rails), and Hinckley’s JetStick control system. A top-selling boat, Yanmar 420hp diesels matched to Hamilton waterjets cruise at 24 knots.

Price Range: From the mid $400s.


Back Cove 41 | 2007–15


At a Glance:  One of the best-selling yachts in her class, the Back Cove 41 is a single engine cruiser whose timeless styling, upscale accommodations and efficient operation hit the sweet spot with sophisticated owners. The focus of her balanced interior arrangement is on two comfortable staterooms each with a private head. The centralized galley location serves the open air cockpit as easily as the salon.

A roomy cockpit with corner settees, aft-facing seat and center transom door will appeal to outdoor pursuits, and wide side decks make getting around easy. An electrically operated window in the aft bulkhead combines with a bi-fold glass door to open the main deck to the cockpit. A cockpit hatch provides quick access to the engine room for daily checks. Bow and stern thrusters are standard. A single Volvo 725hp inboard will cruise at 22–24 knots.

Price Range: From just over $500K.


Eastbay 39 SX | 2006–12


At a Glance: The Eastbay 39 SX is an updated version of the popular Eastbay 38, the boat that launched the Eastbay series in 1994. She was available in two configurations: the SX features a fully enclosed salon while the HX model has a semi-enclosed helm deck with no aft bulkhead. (Nearly all Eastbay 39s were SX models.) The accommodations include a spacious salon/helm deck on the main level with a Stidd helm seat and corner L-settee.

Outside views from any seat in the salon are excellent. Ventilation is abundant as well with a windshield center section that opens, sliding side windows and two overhead hatches. Down three steps is a U-shaped dinette to port, galley with Corian counters, and large head with a curved shower enclosure. Forward is a private stateroom with island queen bed. Built on a Hunt-designed deep-V , Yanmar 480hp diesels cruise at 26 knots (about 30 knots top).

Price Range: From the mid $300s.


Sabre 38 Salon Express | 2013–Current


At a Glance: The Sabre 38 Salon Express is a premium Downeast cruiser with a fully enclosed salon and pod drive propulsion. Hull construction is resin infusion with bi-axial stringers bonded to a foam core to reduce weight. The interior layout—5″ above the cockpit level—allows for an open-plan salon with more living space than one expects in an express yacht this size. A U-shaped settee with fixed table is to port.

To starboard, aft of the Stidd helm seat, is a long cabinet housing an LED television and storage compartments. On the lower level are the master stateroom with island berth and a huge head compartment with separate stall shower. A full-service galley is opposite, within easy reach of the salon and well lit with natural lighting. In the salon the large rear window in the aft bulkhead drops down to open the salon to the outdoors. Twin 300hp Volvo pod drives (with joystick controls) cruise at 24–26 knots.

Price Range: From about $500K.


Back Cove 37 | 2009–Current


At a Glance: An economical cruising yacht in the Downeast tradition — rare to find a single-engine boat in this size range. Beautifully appointed galley-up layout is ideal for two couples. Opposite the galley are two Stidd chairs for the helmsman and guest, and aft of the helm is an L-shaped settee with adjustable table and a shorter settee opposite to port.

The Back Cove 37’s enclosed salon is surrounded by large windows, and an overhead hatch provides ventilation. Folding doors completely open up the salon to the cockpit with its built-in seating and centerline transom door. Large windows provide panoramic views of the water and wide side decks make getting around easy and secure. Exceptional finish throughout. A single 480hp Cummins QSB engine delivers a top speed of 24–26 knots. Optional 600hp Cummins reach a top speed of nearly 30 knots.

Price Range: From the low $400s.


MJM 36z | 2011–15


At a Glance: A blend of Downeast styling and fuel-sipping economy, the MJM 36z is a lightweight and versatile 36-footer perfect for day cruising and weekend getaways. She’s is large enough to seat three couples in comfort and narrow enough for easy single-handed operation. The all-weather pilothouse has 6’5″ headroom and comfortably seats six — plus another 6 in the cockpit — all on the same level. Hullside doors allow for easy boarding access or to exit when handling docklines.

Below, the U-shaped lounge can seat six to watch television or socialize and have a meal. In the evening it converts to two 7-foot long twin berths. The galley is aft, positioned at the companionway for ventilation, and a Vaccu-Flush toilet and separate stall shower are standard in the head. Cruise in the mid 20s (30+ knots wide open) with twin 260hp Yanmar diesels (with joystick controls).

Price Range: From the mid $400s.

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