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So I really want to be upfront that I'm not trying to hate on anyone's boat, this thread is not a troll post. I have a friend who is shopping for a coastal cruiser and they see Moody 34's come up now and then so it's become a conversation with us thanks to a youtube channel I've been following.

I've heard of Moody's being bluewater capable and some have sailed across the pond. Perhaps I just happen to hear from people who love them and it's skewed my idea of what people think they are capable of. They aren't necessarily being regarded as highly as a Baba or Tayana, but they seem to be held to a high level from those I've heard talk of them. What makes me think they aren't well through out or well built (entirely my opinion) seems obvious:

-Emergency tiller attaches down inside the aft stateroom and you can't see where you're steering with it unless you have a compass inside, or someone up above to yell down
-Chainplates are hidden behind the cabinetry and very hard to inspect
-Knees made of a single plywood piece tabbed to the hull without any glass over them (on the boat I saw) and no way to inspect without what seems to be serious disassembly of the interior
-Baby stay is known to be weak and can pull right up out of the deck as it's not securely mounted below enough layers of laminate

There were a few other items that came to mind for me, but I can't seem to think of them now. Again, I am really not trying to hate on anyone's parade. I just feel like I've heard such great things about these boats, but then I see some poorly thought out design flaws that seem obvious to me, a "new guy". Maybe I'm overthinking it and those flaws aren't that big of a deal and there's something about these boats that makes them better than I realize, feel free to teach me, I'm always trying to learn more about boat design and characteristics!
 

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I have gotten to the know the Moody 34's more intimately than I would have ever expected. There is nothing 'blue water' about them. They are decent coastal cruisers, but would be very far down on my list as a blue water cruiser.

Whether considered from from a hull form/motion comfort, stability/sail carrying ability, build quality, structural design, or pretty much any other standpoint, they are pretty mediocre boats. The glass work that I have seen is pretty dismal. In my mind they fail on the basics like leaving plywood structural components unfinished in concealed areas, even when these components are bolted to chainplates. They are loaded with idiosyncratic details that make long term maintenance difficult. Cabinetry appear to be held together with air driven pin fasteners. If your friends want to see what this looks like have them visit the 'Sailing Nervous' YouTube channel.

But also this is a very small boat for an aft cabin- mid cockpit layout. Bill Dixon, the boat's designer did a decent job of it, but having to leave circulation space for the passway, severely restricts space for storage. (not as bad as some small mid-cockpit boats that try to get a second head).

Jeff
 

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I have gotten to the know the Moody 34's more intimately than I would have ever expected. There is nothing 'blue water' about them. They are decent coastal cruisers, but would be very far down on my list as a blue water cruiser.

Whether considered from from a hull form/motion comfort, stability/sail carrying ability, build quality, structural design, or pretty much any other standpoint, they are pretty mediocre boats. The glass work that I have seen is pretty dismal. In my mind they fail on the basics like leaving plywood structural components unfinished in concealed areas, even when these components are bolted to chainplates. They are loaded with idiosyncratic details that make long term maintenance difficult. Cabinetry appear to be held together with air driven pin fasteners. If your friends want to see what this looks like have them visit the 'Sailing Nervous' YouTube channel.

But also this is a very small boat for an aft cabin- mid cockpit layout. Bill Dixon, the boat's designer did a decent job of it, but having to leave circulation space for the passway, severely restricts space for storage. (not as bad as some small mid-cockpit boats that try to get a second head).

Jeff
Thanks as always Jeff, my thoughts were very similar to yours, I just wanted to make sure I wasn't missing something. I was a bit nervous to ask too, I didn't want people to think this was a "pile on" thread to knock a boat, but when boat buying it's good to confirm the facts\impressions and dodge ones that are sketchy. I'll let me friend know. Thanks again!
 

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I have gotten to the know the Moody 34's more intimately than I would have ever expected. There is nothing 'blue water' about them. They are decent coastal cruisers, but would be very far down on my list as a blue water cruiser. Jeff
Would this be generally true of all Moodys or particular to the 34? I was under the impression they were considered pretty well-built boats and they sure aren't at the bottom of the price range for the larger boats.
 
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Would this be generally true of all Moodys or particular to the 34? I was under the impression they were considered pretty well-built boats and they sure aren't at the bottom of the price range for the larger boats.
I can't really answer that. I had some experience with the smaller 1970's Angus Primrose designed Moody's. They had a strange design, but seemed to be simply and decently constructed. I had an extremely brief exposure to a Moody 54 from around 2001, and thought from what I could see that boat seemed to be a nicely detailed boat in a lot of ways, but I did not get into the back corners to see how that boat was actually built.

But I have become friends with a couple with an early 1980's Moody 34 and have been advising them on that boat. I see my comments as specific to that that model and vintage.

Jeff
 
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After watching Vin and Amy's videos I came across a Moody 34 for sale. After seeing it in person and watching their videos I'm glad I passed on that one.

I ended up purchasing a Catalina 36, which seems to be better built and the important bits are much easier to get to.
 

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After watching Vin and Amy's videos I came across a Moody 34 for sale. After seeing it in person and watching their videos I'm glad I passed on that one.

I ended up purchasing a Catalina 36, which seems to be better built and the important bits are much easier to get to.
The Catalina is a fine coastal cruiser but I think you kid yourself to consider it better built than a Moody, or particularly well built in general...it's built for coastal cruising. To appreciate some of the details that should be covered by the concept "well built" and are not by a coastal cruiser like the Catalina, read this article

EQUIPPED TO SURVIVE (tm) - Lessons Learned: Sailing to Hawaii...The First Attempt by Arnold Rowe
 

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Would this be generally true of all Moodys or particular to the 34? I was under the impression they were considered pretty well-built boats and they sure aren't at the bottom of the price range for the larger boats.
At one point when researching Moodys, they were pretty well reviewed but I read one critique on the fact plywood used did not have the "end grain" sealed leading to problems.
 
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