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Old 12-19-2003
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gulls is on a distinguished road
Moody 31, and more questions

Hi all,
Firstly, could anyone help with accurate info on a mid 1980''s Moody 31 (not a MkII I don''t think).
All I know is that they are built in the UK.
This could mean pretty good construction as they have some rough weather out there (or not?). The specs are as follows: LOA 31; LWL 25''3"; beam 10''6"ish; draft 5''.
Thats all I have so far. The use for this boat is as a first boat to be used initially on an inland lake (yuchhh) then as a coastal cruiser in a couple of years (Florida most likely).

I plan to use the boat as a cruiser not a racer, but wouldn''t mind a boat that can move in lighter winds.
The accomodations do factor into this to a certain extent as we will be "living " on the boat for a few days at a time.

Other boats I have thought about:
Watkins 30 (know nothing about this one)
Westerly Konsort (a bit heavy??)
Cal 28 (light construction??)
Ericson 30+ (all on the west coast?!?)
Tartan 28 (few available - tight inside)
Islander 28/30/32 (older boats)

Any other ideas or thoughts would be greatly appreciated. Also recommendations of boats to avoid are very helpful and can save a novice a lot of time.

Thanks for the help
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Old 12-20-2003
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Moody 31, and more questions


We''ve been very impressed with the Moody 31 (a brand that''s not normally on our favorites list). I also think their slightly larger design of the same era (336? it''s an aft cockpit 33 footer) is another design you might look at (both Ed Dubois designs, I think). If you''re located within the U.S. the biggest problem will be a lack of choices, as Moody hasn''t enjoyed a wealth of importing brokers for these smaller designs in the 80''s and 90''s.

They suffer from a cast iron keel (a maintenance and, to some extent, performance issue). The later 31 design offers a vestigal swim platform back aft, which we think makes the boat more functional at anchor. These boats were mostly tiller steered which, for this size boat, is a big plus IMO...but I recognize many U.S. sailors would feel the opposite. These are volume-rich, ''fat and stubby'' designs, don''t offer a lot of sail area (as you note, their home waters have plenty of wind) and probably aren''t great upwind sailors. For really long-distance (oceanic) cruising, they also lack adequate tankage and dependence on a watermaker plus care by crew in water consumption would be necessary.

Those are the negatives that jump to mind. The positives are many: very functional layout for navigation, cooking, using the head at sea, sea berths, functional cockpit and - given its small size - workable deck and rig. It offers a conventional drive train(none of the compromises of a saildrive), a semi-balanced rudder, and has a simple sloop rig. Quality of build seems to be above average from what I''ve seen.

We met a middle aged French couple cruising their Moody 31 across the Caribbean in 2002; they''d double-crossed the Caribbean, E to W and back, five times by then. Given what it''s like to get upwind there, especially in a fatter, less svelte hull, I was very impressed with that fact. The boat looked almost new and took the wear (at that point, it was perhaps 12 years old) very well.

Hope that helps. Nice boat, just not readily available in the U.S. I fear.

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Old 12-20-2003
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Moody 31, and more questions

Would agree with Whoosh on points about sensible, strong construction, and holding up well cosmetically. (The two go together, since weak consruction leads to flexing and tired-looking gelcoat.) If I recall properly, the Moody 31 I saw (about 10 years ago) had a really nice layout, including a (small) aft cabin. Handholds were there where you needed them, and the space below was uncluttered (opposite of the Tartan 28, for example.) , helped by the deck-stepped mast.
The cast-iron keel simply needs to be kept painted, tthough watch out for stray currents in marinas. I once saw a hauled boat that was covered with globules of iron filings (looked like leeches) al over one side of its iron keel. Faulty wiring in the adjacent slip apparently drew the metal out without damaging the paint . Over a 20-year period our Soling, also with an iron keel, only needed the occasional touch-up beyond the standard bottom paint. While it''s possibly a bit big for a lake, the Moody 31 sounds like a boat that might match well with your long-term plans.
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