Moodys of that era were designed by the great Bill Dixon, were laid down at Marine
Projects of Plymouth (who also build Princess motor
yachts), and were fitted out at the historical Moody yard on the Hamble.
Moodys in those days were positioned in the market as being somewhere between production boats like Benes and Bavs and high end boats like Swans and Oysters, but the build quality is very high -- Marine Projects were and are a top-notch builder
with a particularly high reputation for their excellent vacuum bagged resin-infusing techniques.
As time went on, Moody attempted to move upmarket to compete directly with Oyster
, and the last generation of Moody yachts from about 2000 actually bankrupted them, as they were as expensive to build as Oysters, but they were unable to achieve the same prices, so they lost money
on every one. So the last generation of Moodys, although they are pretty expensive ( these days they sell for more than the original new price, even though they are getting on in years a bit) are still a pretty good bargain, offering something not too far off Oyster
quality for probably 20% or 25% less money.
Not all of Bill Dixon's designs are performance oriented, but the 425, one of his early designs, is supposed to be pretty hot, witness the handicaps. Most of Dixon's designs have balsa cored hulls, which make them much stiffer and much lighter than solid core
hulls used in comparable production boats, which accounts for part of the performance advantage. Marine Projects were supposed to have done a really good job building them, and I have never heard of any Moody with core
problems, but you should be sure to check carefully using a good surveyor
. Some people don't like cored hulls, considering them to be inherently risky; you will have to form our own opinion. My boat, a Moody 54, which was the first design of the last generation of Moodys (and my boat was actually the prototype), has sparkling performance despite being a comfortable cruising boat, with most longer passages in my log being made on a pace for 200+ mile days. A great deal of credit for this goes to the partially Kevlar-skinned balsa cored hull
, which is immensely strong while weighing 4 or 5 tons less than a comparable Oyster. She easily breaks hull speed
on different points of sail, and double-digit hours on a reach are not unusual. This despite a modest 16.5 SA/D ratio and an in-mast furling
rig. Thank you, Bill Dixon!
I think for $140,000 such a boat would be a good bargain. Compared to an Oyster 435, this is a good $60,000 cheaper. The Moody will sail rings around the Oyster (a huge difference in performance), whereas the Oyster has a wonderful raised salon
design which transforms existence in the salon
(the Moody is dark and depressing below in comparison). Build quality is similar. Interior layout is a matter of taste; I think both are very good. The Oyster is rather more old-fashioned and somewhat dated in appearance below. I love the Oyster 435, but with that kind of price difference, I would find the Moody hard to resist.
Good luck; and let us know what you decide.