Join Date: Jul 2002
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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.