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Old 28-12-2015, 09:01   #1
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Thoughts on a Moody?!

I am not intimately familiar with them but a 1985 46 foot moody that has had extensive overhaul too is on the short list. It has a hydraulic swing keel that also operates jib and main furler and top side winches. Has anyone had experience with this set up or Moody's in general. Thank you!
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Old 28-12-2015, 10:05   #2
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Re: Thoughts on a Moody?!

We own a 1990 Moody 425. Moody was in the yacht building business for 150 years before shutting down so lots of experience. Bill Dixon designed all the later boats and he is an excellent designer. When the company was under normal production they produced a very good product but I have heard that there were some issues on fitting out some of the yachts just prior to closing the doors in Britain. They have a very strong owners group that is first class in every way..Moody Owners Association just Google it. You can ask questions about purchasing without being a member. Feel free to pm me if you want to get into details. Good luck in your boat search.
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Old 28-12-2015, 10:15   #3
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Re: Thoughts on a Moody?!

Sent a PM. thanks for any input.
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Old 28-12-2015, 11:02   #4
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Re: Thoughts on a Moody?!

I have a 2000 Moody 46. Had a 38 Moody, 2002. Both Dixon designs. Solidly-built boats in every way. Stiff as they have a lot of displacement. Moody made a zillion boats, but there are only around 150 or so of all sizes in the US, so you do not hear of them that much. They were higher end production boats, and their equipment is the better quality of the standard outfitters, e.g., Yanmar engines, Selden spars, Lewmar rigging, hatches, winches, etc.

Moodys are still made, well, in Germany now, by Hanse who bought the name around 2010 or so.
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Old 28-12-2015, 11:33   #5
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Re: Thoughts on a Moody?!

That is the impression of the boat I am getting. Was wondering why not many are here in the states and fewer still for sale. Appreciate your response. I take it there is no balsa core deck on them to worry about rot. A 30 year old boat can be a good one if taken care of. Have to find a solid inspector.
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Old 28-12-2015, 12:41   #6
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Re: Thoughts on a Moody?!

First what Moody 46 are you talking about? There are Moodies and then there are Moodies is this a Marine Projects Moody 46 or a Moody 46 Carbineer? There were production line Moodies (Marine Project built boats) and then there were custom/semi custom Moodies. Apples and Pears really.
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Old 28-12-2015, 12:48   #7
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Re: Thoughts on a Moody?!

She is 46'5" and centerboard keel. Doesn't specify model. Two staterooms center cockpit. It looks like a 471 not so much a carbineer.
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Old 28-12-2015, 13:07   #8
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Re: Thoughts on a Moody?!

The HIN number should tell. My Moody was built by Marine Projects (today Princess Yachts, I think) but the HIN starts with MPP.

To the other question, about cored decks. Both my Moodys have had cored decks and hulls. Below the waterline it is solid fiberglass. The cored hull starts a good bit above the water line, and the deck is cored balsa except for areas where there are backing plates. Not a leak in either. I put in a cable clam last summer on the transom just below the caprail. The plug that I drilled out is at least an inch or 25mm thick. Probably a bit more (30mm), but it is not at hand to measure. The larger Moodys came with teak decks that were mostly glued down. I've had no leaks there, nor do any I know with Moodys. Despite being cored, a 46' or 47' Moody displaces 15 and 16 tons, respectively. My 38 displaced 9 tons.

As for solid construction, the attached picture is the chain plate where it is attached to the hull stringer (just under the wood trim).

You can tell from looking at the boat carefully (and listening to the owner if he or she is around) whether the boat has had love. If she has, she is probably worth a closer look.

Find out the length and exact model. As noted, on the Moody Owner Association website, you can ask questions.

Moody pre-purchase questions | Moody Owners Information Exchange
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Old 29-12-2015, 09:58   #9
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Re: Thoughts on a Moody?!

You will find it hard to get objective opinions from owners, who tend to turn into “fan boys” and lose their objectivity. I will try to buck this trend and give you a frank view on Moody boats from the point of view of an owner who tries to never be a “fan boy” of anything.

Moodys are, as someone said, higher end production boats made from 150 years ago until about 2006, when they went broke trying unsuccessfully to compete with Oyster. They have been designed by different designers, but since World War II most of them have been designed by three guys – Laurent Giles, Angus Primrose, and Bill Dixon. During the Laurent Giles era, Moodys were elegant, somewhat retro, and very, very expensive gentlemen’s cruisers, most over 50 feet, with a target audience similar to that of Hinckleys of the same era, except that Hinckleys are sailing-oriented and the Moodys of these era are borderline motorsailers, or even blatant motorsailers, mostly ketch rigged and with high raised salons or pilothouses. Some of them even had twin engines. Moodys of this period are already decades old, but highly sought after and command amazingly high prices.

Angus Primrose (of Gypsy Moth fame) started his work with Moody, in the early ‘70’s, with much smaller boats – first the Moody 33, then 30, 39, 42, etc., which led to increasing popularity and good times for the Moody company. About this time the hull construction started to be farmed out to Marine Projects in Plymouth, a high quality builder (now Princess Motor Yachts), with the fitout done at the ancient Moody yard on the Hamble. Then in 1980, Angus Primrose was lost at sea in a storm in the middle of the Atlantic in his Moody 33 “Demon of Hamble” – died with his sea boots on. The Moody family, remarkably, did not cancel the contracts with Primrose’s design bureau, but allowed Primrose’s young protégé Bill Dixon to take over – a remarkable vote of confidence. Bill Dixon set about with great energy working out his own idea of what a Moody yacht should be, and sales increased more and more. However – during this time, Moody had been going after ever more modest sailors, making smaller and smaller boats, without, however adopting efficient mass production techniques, so still having the cost base of high end boats. And so Moody was blindsided by the sudden rise of Oyster in the late 1980’s, who gobbled up Moodys historic client base of gentlemen sailors. In the 1990’s, the Moody family started to fight back, and ordered a set of new designs of “Oyster killers” – the Moody 54, 64, 47, etc. My boat was the prototype of the first of this new wave of boats, shown at the London Boat Show in 2000 and commissioned the following year. These boats were lavishly specified, intended to beat Oyster at their own game, but the Moody family, dyed in the wool boat builders for five generations, and clueless in the game of creating the mystique of “luxury products”, failed, and went out of business in sort order. It didn’t help that Bill Dixon, although he is now recognized as one of the world’s great yacht designers, did not have the touch for the elegant line that say Kim Holman had, or Andrew Winch for interior design – for which a lavish specification is no substitute. The supposedly “Oyster killer” Moodys like mine are, frankly, a little clunky-looking compared to the best from Holman & Pye’s pens.

So when you are looking at used Moodys, a lot depends on the era, because they are very different boats from decade to decade. The Moodys of the 80’s are very much normal mass-market cruising boats, just much more expensive. Moodys of the 90’s and 2000’s are more like Oysters or Discoverys, only not quite as pretty and not quite as expensive.

Concerning the pluses and minuses:

One big plus, and one thing almost all Moodys share is very, very strong construction – Minaret would like them, I expect. They have extremely robust scantlings and the structures are built practically without compromise, with fully glassed-in and fully through-bolted bulkheads, etc., etc. Moody chainplates are legendary – they look not so much like yacht parts, as components stolen from railway bridges. They are the strongest chainplates I’ve ever seen; the ones on my 54’ boat are larger and heavier than the chainplates on a 90’ Swan. The bow sections are reinforced and have heavily glassed-in watertight bulkheads behind the anchor lockers, just to name one more construction detail. Yet they are reasonably light (my boat has D/L of less than 200) due to fully cored construction.

One minus already mentioned is aesthetic. The interiors are not as elegant as those of some other higher end boats, with some panels having cheesy-looking molded curves, and some obvious molded plastic elements. That’s too bad, because I don’t think the joinery is actually cheap to make. I haven’t found any chip board so far – everything is quality marine plywood, with teak veneer, and very good lacquer finish – so after 14 years of hard use, all the door and other elements of the joinery are in great shape. However – the hinges and latches are cheap and unreliable. Spoiling the whole impression. Was just a bad decision – Moody managed to make the joinery look somewhat cheap this way, and causing trouble to owners, but without even saving any money, as the panels themselves are very expensive.

The Moody deck salon boats also do not have the salon high enough, that you can actually look through the front windows in the deckhouse. And you can’t open them for ventilation. Bill Dixon decided to keep the deckhouse just a bit lower, for less windage, and maybe to make the boat look better from the outside, and just ruined the whole idea of a deck salon. A big minus.

All Moodys are made for the English Channel and North Sea considering the strong prevailing winds in those waters, and have modest SA/D ratios, 16.5 on my boat. That means they have just the right sail area for higher latitudes, but that’s a bit on the low side for the Med or subtropical latitudes. Moodys of the 80’s have the same heavy scantlings as all Moodys but have solid hulls, and so while sea-kindly and strong, they are not very fast. The last generation of English Moodys have fully cored hulls and longer waterlines and are already much faster. By the ‘90’s, all Moodys have more efficient rudders with partial skegs, and have lead bulb keels.

Since the beginning of the Bill Dixon era, Moodys have mostly pretty highly specified rigs, so they are sailor’s sailboats. My boat has just about everything you could find in the Selden catalogue, with three-spreader mast, 8 cockpit winches, oversized traveler and jib cars, and just every control you could want. A good bit of the running rigging was Dyneema, as originally delivered.

Like nearly all cruising boats from the 1990’s, Moodys of this era are woefully short of deck storage, with no sail locker at all. There are no cockpit lockers. My boat has a nice anchor locker, big enough to crawl into and almost stand up, and a fairly decent lazarette, but nothing else, which is not enough. There are plenty of oversized cleats (8 of them), but despite the fact that the deck has nice, short bulwarks, rather than being flush, there are no mooring fairleads – just some cheesy stainless strips screwed into the cap rail. Like most cruising boats, all Moodys have fru-fru vertical windlasses with no warping drums, no Sampson post, and nothing for serious ground tackle handling or mooring. I supposed many hard-core cruisers will share my frustration with this, but it’s pretty hard to find a boat with anything else, unless you have it custom made.

The galley is very well configured and has a powerful exhaust fan. No complaints there.

Moody electrical systems are executed by Marine Projects and are excellent. Only what you see – in typical Moody fashion – is not as good as what is behind the panels. In particular, the panels themselves, which are just sheets of powder-coated alu screwed with ordinary screws into the cabinet frame – wholly unsuitable for frequent access, as needed by tinkerers like me with complex electronics. Much better is the Oyster system with quick-release latches, and with lovely glass doors over the main electrical panel. I’m going to try to find and retrofit the quick-release latches this year – one of my winter projects.

So there you have it. English Moodys are a half a cut below Oysters in overall quality I would say, except for the structure, and the rigs, which are at least as good, and they are not as pretty and not as well laid out below. Moodys are maybe half a cut above Hallberg-Rassy, in my opinion, which have adopted many mass production design features in the construction and have somewhat lighter scantlings.

So in a nutshell, that is what I hope is a somewhat objective and unvarnished view. Neither the best nor the worst boats in the world, and boats specifically optimized for the English Channel and North Sea with very strong hulls and modest sail plans. Which is why I think they were never marketed in the U.S. – different kind of sailing there.

At the time Moody went bust, it was the oldest yacht building company in the world. It’s somewhat sad that it all ended so suddenly, but the market is ruthless. Last year I had my boat lifted at Cowes for a scrub off, and the young man who wielded the pressure washer was – as he proudly told me – the son of the last MD of Moody & Sons, and the sixth generation of the Moody family. I guess he would be being groomed to take over the company, if the company had survived. You could see was proud to have his hands on boats, rather than behind a desk, however humble the work was. I reckon there’s not a single marketing or business gene in that family – they were pure blooded hands-on boat builders.
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Old 29-12-2015, 10:17   #10
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Re: Thoughts on a Moody?!

Wow thank you dockhead for taking the time to fill me
In on not only a little history but the target audience and goals as each generation boat was built. I'm looking for a livaboard and in south Florida mostly what you come across are hunters and jeaunneau a plenty and then the occasional odd duck like this one. A solid build older boat. But I will have to pay attention to deck storage and some of the weaknesses you mentioned when I take a look at her. Glad you are enjoying your moody and have a happy new year! I'll have to keep you apprised how it goes.
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Old 29-12-2015, 12:57   #11
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Re: Thoughts on a Moody?!

I owned a Moody 38 1992 until 2011. 2009 to 2011 I sailed her from UK to the Med., then the Canaries and on to Antigua. Cruised the Carib., then on to Georgia USA via the outer Bahamas and on up to Maine. Sold her in Maine in 2011 after 11,000 miles over two years and a total of 19,000 nautical miles.
Sailed through force 10+ gales twice.
Agree with much of what has been said, a wonderful sea boat and a cruising chute overcame ths light airs performance issues.
Built like a brick built outhouse with a wonderful soft motion in a sea way.
A boat that looks after her crew.
I now single hand a double ended 31 foot Saltram, as I am getting older and stiffer!.
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Old 29-12-2015, 15:08   #12
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Re: Thoughts on a Moody?!

At least up here in Maine, Moody's are considered good reliable boats on par with Hinckleys.
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Old 29-12-2015, 16:12   #13
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Re: Thoughts on a Moody?!

Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
Moody electrical systems are executed by Marine Projects and are excellent.

That was a really great story but I've worked on a 46's windlass electrical system and it was garbage. If the rest of the boat is wired like that you're lucky you still have lights.
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Old 29-12-2015, 17:24   #14
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Re: Thoughts on a Moody?!


I enjoyed the presentation, like a well thought business case.

My opinion: you can change the interiors, and custom them to pleasure
Moody's were never popular in Italy/the Med
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Old 29-12-2015, 19:28   #15
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Re: Thoughts on a Moody?!

If you are looking at the 1985 in Fort Lauderdale that is a very nice boat. Some leakage around the windows on the port side but the boat seems to have had a lot of love. Recent upgrades were all done right. We were very close to pulling the trigger on that boat but found one in Seattle where we live. The Moody group is very strong and you can register as a guest until you decide. The only issue I had was the hydraulics and only because I was not familiar with this type of system. Normally you find these on a much larger yacht. I had no one that was familiar with them so we opted for traditional furling on the one we purchased. Very wide beam and with the swing keel would be very stable at anchor. You are welcome to PM me if you have any other questions.
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