Moody 376 and 425
I am wondering if I can solicit opinions about the Moody 376 and 425. We are hoping to buy our first boat sometime in 2011, so we're slowly working toward developing a short list of boats choices.
Speaking very generally, our plan is begin sailing on the Chesapeake, slowly working up to more ambitious goals as our skills improve. We hope to do some coastal and off-shore cruising, largely along the East Coast of North America. Due to our jobs, I think that sailing to the Bahamas or Bermuda would be the most ambitious, realistic goals. We just won't have enough time off to get much further.
We are a young couple,so we will want the boat to be a good platform for family adventures. In addition, we are strongly considering living aboard and have been slowly selling off our possessions to facilitate that goal. Thus, we need the boat to small enough that we can single-hand it, but just large enough that couple, a child, and dog can live on board for extended periods with a reasonable hope of sanity. At the moment, I consider our ideal size range is 37' to 42' feet. Preferably, I would like find a boat with two enclosed cabins, rather than a single cabin and an open quarter berth.
Our boat list is still being refined, but we keep coming back to the Moodys, partly because both the 37' and 42' Moodys seem to have suitable interior accomodations, and people seem to have nice things to say about the quality of the older Moodys. (Financially, we could afford to look at Moodys built between the mid-1980s and very early 1990s.) We had a chance to see a 42' Moody recently, and I came away impressed with its characteristics, especially the interior layout. As I expected, it seemed spacious, and had two nice cabins, a decent galley, plenty of handholds, and a useful pass-through area between the main cabin and the aft cabin.
That said, most of the information we have about the Moodys are pretty general. Are we right to have Moody on the short list? Is there a compelling reason for us to take them off the list?
We are also really curious about opinions about the advanges (or disadvantages) of the 37' over the 42' Moodys. We really liked the features of the 42' we saw, but we wonder if the price, maintenance costs, and size of the 37' would make it a better fit for us.
You know, I think Moody makes a great boat. I'm not sure she is the fastest boat in the world, but a solid boat. We have one about two slips down from us (425 I think). But the one down from us does not have a sugar scoop. I wonder if that was an option? For me personally, I would hesitate buying a boat without a decent swim platform/sugar scoop transom for cruising and LA.
The other thing I noticed about teh boat down from us that is a huge turn off is that it does not have a rub rail. That may be unique to the boat down from us... I don't know? What have others seen? I looked online at the 425 and it too looked like it did not have a rub rail, but that is only from pics.
I would not limit my boats to only the Moody. For the use you described, you could get a much newer production boat that would be as comfortable and possibly more comfortable.
As far as size, we lvied aboard the first time on a Catalina 380 with one child and two dogs. THe second time (as in right now) on a Catalina 400 with two kids and a fat bulldog. SO I think your sizing is about correct.
Boats I would consider outside of the Moody, in order of preference, for 40ish feet from $150-190k for a family cruising bermuda, bahamas, keys, and east coast:
Catalina 400 (my preference, obviously... I can expand why this boat over others if you would like?)
Sabre 425 (beautiful boat)
Tayana 42 (my dad owns this and I am very familiar with this boat... solid as a tank but slow....)
Passport 40 (tied with Tayana)
Beneteau 423 (if you can get over that rediculous list and stern 'rub rail'... not my first choice obviously)
Seaparrot - the things I look for in a boat (as we have a family and are cruisers/LA's) is different than what other people look for... but that is my list. Again, I can explain why if you want.
Re: your two specific points. I think you are right that there is not a rub-rail on the Moodys. At least not on the one I saw in person (unless I merely forgot to mention it in my notes). Looking online, there does not appear to be one on any of the boats I flagged on yacht world.
Re: the sugar scoop. The Moody 425 I saw did have a sugar scoop, but I don't think they all do. The others I have seen are can be mounted boarded the back, but with use of a ladder, not with built-in steps. (Forgive me for not knowing the exact terms - I hope that makes sense.)
Your top list of boats for our purpose is very interesting. Right now, our working list (which I admit fully is the product of very incomplete research, and even less hands-on experience) is:
Tayana 37 (*if* we could find one of the rare examples in which the quarter berth is enclosed, and only with fiberglass decks)
Tayana 42 (cc only, fiberglass decks)
I have been lurking on Sailnet for some time. So I will leave you to imagine where we might have gotten the idea to put Catalina 42 and 40 on our list. :D
I like the idea of looking further into the Sabres, but I think the 42's run a little too expensive for us. (Unless we wait an additional year, which we might if there's a good reason, I think our budget will max out in the 120,000 to 130,000 range.) Would you recommend the 38' also, or the 42' specifically?
I really want to put the Passport on our list. But I think teak decks are a deal breaker for us.
I am not sure about the Benetaus. I know this is shallow, but I think the Catalinas are better looking and I haven't noticed any features on the Benes that make me prefer them over Catalina. And there are so many 42' Catalinas on the market at any given time, that I don't think we'll have a shortage of opportunities if we decide to search out a production boat.
The C400 may be off your list too. They are more expensive boats than 42s in general. In fact, I think the 400 is actually longer and beamier than the 42, but for some reason I do not understand, they call it the 400. Good for me, because I tell all the marinas that charge by the foot I am 40 feet long (snicker).
The 42 is a relatively good performer. We have several down here that race in our beer can/buoy races. The 400 will out run her, but there is not a huge difference. The nice thing about the 42 is that there are a LOT of boats and you are more likely to get a deal on one. I alos like the very spacious 'garage' on teh 42 which is accessible from the galley and the midships head. It is a VERY comfortable boat and depending on the age, you may have a washer dryer in the forward head! Nice boat (but mine is better... hehehe... that was a joke)
There simply are not many 400's for sale at any given time (MK II). There are only 8 C400 Mk II's for sale right now, with two of them sales pending. So you would only have 6 to choose from and there has not been much flexibility in the prices... so I have heard. I know the one that is in Lake Texoma (that is where I came from) and really does not have much on it, and is going to have to be trucked anyways as it is on a lake. If you can find a good deal on a 400 - JUMP ON IT! I think you will be happy with the resale and market for her.
I would really have a problem with a boat that does not have a rub rail. We often find ourselves having to bounce off of pilings in a good current to get the boat docked. That could get expeisive without a rub rail!! I can ask my neighbor what he thinks about his Moody if you want and what his concerns are??
Tartan 42 - Great boat if not epoxy. Good performer. Good following. But you may have issues with any factory support. WIth Beneteau, Hunter, and Catalina (esp Catalina), the factory is right there and knows those boats and there are many examples of having parts and retros on very old models. Check the threads here. THeir customer service is wonderful. I understand that Hunter is too.
There you go. Hope I am not throwing too much info at you too quickly. Talk with other sailors here about getting a boat with kids without a sugar scoop (for cruising). I think it will be a big irritation.
We are a young couple too, also on a budget, and take my opinions with a grain of salt, but here they are. I started looking at heavy displacement full keel boats and after a trip to the Bahamas in one decided that I would rather sail than have to be motoring all the time in the kind of condition I will be in while in Florida, the Bahamas and the Caribbean. I looked at a lot of boats on yachtworld and went and saw a few different types and regardless of what the numbers say, some boats will appeal to you and some won't. Some people like a canoe stern, some don't, etc. I would like to have a sugar scoop transom but for my price range and what I like, haven't seen one that fit the bill. After looking around I saw a Sabre 42 and we both loved the way it looked and the layout on the inside. I would highly recommend searching Sabre on here and looking at the thread where a lot of people, including CD commented on them. I won't take it personally that he mentioned the S425 and not the S42 I put an offer on. :) The Sabre 38 and 42 are both great, exceptional quality and every time I have called them with questions, even though I haven't closed on the boat yet, I have gotten a call back that day with plenty of help, to me that says a lot about the company. They have a good reputation for their sailing abilities and I really like the layout on the 42. There is a good sized aft berth, not the palatial setting in CD's 400, but a good sized berth that isn't a 1/4 berth either, about queen sized. A nice sized head with shower area right at the base of the steps that is a convenient wet locker. Plenty of space inside and yet not too large to where you would get tossed all around in bad seas. I also like the way the interior is done as opposed to some of the other heavy production boats I went on, but even between manufacturers there are differences and that is why it is so important to get on board some. You could definitely get a S38 under 100k, and a S42 in the 120-140 price range. Again, there are a lot of great comments on that thread I mentioned. The PHRF ratings are the same for the C400 and S42 CB at 105 and the S42 is 93, so they should be pretty close in speed.
I didn't want teak decks, didn't want a canoe stern and wanted the speed and maneuverability of a fin keel so that I could enjoy the day sailing along the way. Whether it is suitably for some of the longer trips we have planned is a point of disagreement for some, but that is another story.
If you are not going to be living on it and heading off to round Cape Horn, I would seriously take into account how much you will enjoy day sailing it. You are going to want a boat that you will still enjoy sailing on a light wind day. If it is nice out on a Saturday afternoon and you want to head out for a bit, you don't want to be hoping that the wind picks up so you can get moving and not have to motor all the time. Have I mentioned how much I hate having to hear the motor running. :) Also, with a faster light air sailor you are going to be able to get to explore more distance anchorages in the same amount of time should you decide to go on a weekend overnight trip.
CD knows more than I probably ever will about all this - just a few of my thoughts.
Throw my vote in for the Beneteau 423. Several have made trans-atlantic crossings. Dont underestimate the fact that the rig is less than 55' in lenght. That means its ENTIRELY ICW friendly, unlike the rest of those boats. That makes a huge difference in places like S. Florida (Julia Tuttle) as well as West Coast of Florida where many bridges are 55' ...forcing the decision to brave sporty conditions on the outside, or a cocktail cruise on the inside.
Make sure to choose the owners version as many of these vessels made it to the Caribbean Charter trade. The galley in the owners version is easier for passagemaking. ALso, the owners version has a straight(ish) settee that makes a decent passage berth...not so much on the 3 cabin charter version. Not to mention, you'll lose a *HUGE* lazarette if you get the 3 cabin version. Some would say that you can stuff the 3rd cabin with stuff, but I'd rather have the storage in a true locker form so that I could put in a genset or other mechanical equipment behind the scenes.
Lawdog, thanks for describing how you settled on a Sabre. Cruising Dad and you will be the third and forth people who have mentioned Sabre to us. And the one casual look I had inside of one ... I believe it was a 36' or 38' with an open quarter berth ... really impressed me. Small, comfortable, warm -- too bad for me that I want to avoid an open quarter berth so much. The owner is trying to sell her. In any case, I have been meaning to find out more about them -- that task has officially been moved forward on our to do list.
I am especially encouraged to hear the the customer service for both Sabre and Catalina are good (Likewise, it is too bad to hear that Tartan isn't a stellar on that point).
CD, do not worry about overwhelming us with information. We're trying to gather as many details and opinions as we can right now, in the hopes that 6 months from now we will have a much clearer idea of what we want. So everything is helpful, and everything goes in my notes!
A quick question on the Catalina 400s: Would you look at mki boats? Or would you hold out for a mkii? I suppose the same question could be asked about the 42'.
Don't know if this is relevant to you but we looked at a Moody 43 on the Gold Coast last week - built in 1990 - and decided we didn't like the thought that the keel bolts had rusted and needed replacing and the difficulties of access to the motor. Internal layout was terrific but lots of tired bits - mirrors, doorknobs, laminex, vinyl lifting around the hatches. And this was a boat that had been looked after. Also the owners had had to replace lots of things - the decking for one. We were left thinking maybe Moody are a little light on durability?? I gues 20 years is a long time though. Maybe this is only an issue if you are looking at older models.
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