When it comes to boats at all, it is a fairly hard decision to make which one you will buy. It depends a lot on personal liking and of course the money you are willing or able to spend. Monohull or multihull, how long should the boat be and what are what are the important things on a boat? We first had a 33-foot steel boat with a long keel and now we live and sail on a 44 foot Moody, Primrose design. In this article, I want to give a short overview of why I love Moody and why it is a good decision to take her for long distance sailing.
A good boat doesn’t need to be expensive
As they say: sailing is the most expensive way to get somewhere for free. Even though there are some good possibilities to save money while travelling, in the end, the boat needs to be maintained and some things will break anyway. You don’t need to spend a hundred thousand on a boat to get a good cruising boat. A good boat doesn’t need to be an expensive one. It needs to be well-designed, extremely seaworthy and solidly built. That is the key to bluewater passagemaking.
New sailboats tend to be built as light as possible to reduce costs and get faster. But, when you go for long distance sailing for example across the Atlantic that will take you between 15 and 35 days anyway. And guess what? It all depends on the wind. When you listen to the VHF conversations and compare your Etmal (the distance you make from midday to midday), you will hear, “wow, there you had a good wind” and not “wow, you have a fast boat”. Honestly, when sailing for weeks and get shaken around by the waves, what do you think is more important? To arrive one day earlier or to arrive relaxed because you had a good and steady trip? For me, the answer is clear.
Moody – one of the oldest brands of shipbuilding
John Moody established his first boatyard in 1827 in England, and in 1935 the first wooden sailboat was built. Since 1965 Moody produced the first fibreglass boat. The well-known designers are Laurent Giles, Angus Primrose and Bill Dixon. In 2007 Hanse bought Moody.
Eric Hiscock mentioned that a bluewater yacht is a “swimming home” and basically that’s it. You won’t find too many racing yachts with an open stern as bluewater boats. The boats needs to comfortable to live in. The boat isn’t just the means of transportation, it is your flat, shelter and living room. Not only secondarily, but primarily.
When it comes to safety a high freeboard is very important. The bow of the Primrose Moody is designed to splash the water away. And that’s what it does. In any kind of sea state, the deck keeps pretty dry and therefore safe to walk and handle the sails or whatever needs to be done. It might not be the fastest boat upwind, but the long waterline translates to good performance off the breeze, meaning the Moody finds its stride in the trade winds.
Of course, it depends on the size of the boat if a centre cockpit makes sense. For boats under 10 meters, you will only find aft cockpits, as the centre cockpit would take too much space of the living room underneath. The cockpit is placed in the centre of the boat, that means close to the mast. That gives you a lot of advantages. First of all, being placed in the middle of the boat it is the place where the movement of the boat is the least, what makes it more comfortable compared to an after cockpit.
Even though some people say that an after cockpit gives you more protection when beating against wind and waves. You won’t do that in the tradewinds that much if even. Most of the time wind and waves come from behind and I heard of some boats where a wave came into the after cockpit what nearly caused the crew to go overboard. That would not have happened with a centre cockpit.
Three-quarters of your time living aboard is spent on anchor or in the marina. And this means mostly in the cockpit. Therefore, it is important to have a big and comfortable cockpit. That may not sound like an important point, but believe me, it is. You spend most of your time of the day in the cockpit and you want to have a comfortable and nice one.
Last but not least, the centre cockpit gives you the space on stern deck to store canisters, dinghy or whatever during sailing passages. May not be beautiful, but convenient.
Very thick hull
This boat was launched in 1980. As mentioned before, Moody was one of the first builders who build fibreglass boats. Not knowing much about it and not being able to calculate with a computer how thick the hull needs to be, they decided “the more the better” when it came to hull thickness. We have one piece of the hull, where the bow thruster was cut out. The piece is thicker than my thumb, about two centimetres thick. I know, after five years in the water we have quite a bit of Osmosis and some delamination. But it does not get deeper than 5 mm. That is annoying and needs treatment, but does not do any harm to the integrity of the hull in any way. That gives me, being chicken-hearted, a very good feeling. And that’s what I need being on the sea.
As I mentioned above, when you live aboard the boat is your flat, your home. It’s where you spend 90 percent of your time. In Winter or in bad weather you spend a lot of time down there. A good and comfy living room is essential. We love having other people on board, friends and family who want to visit. Living on board it is hard to get enough private time, as the room is quite limited. Now we have our own room and our guests have their own cabin and their own toilet. Some privacy is worth so much.
As I read on another homepage, someone asked: “why the hell should I leave my warm and comfortable home that has around 200 square meters and change it to a shaky, wet and sometimes cold 20 square meters?” By the way, 20 square meters are a pretty high guess for living space in a boat. Yes, why should you? Why did I? Indeed, when it rains or the anchorage is rolly I ask myself, why the hell did I think that would be a good idea? But when I wake up and come out in the cockpit, seeing cliffs kissed from the sun, a slight warm breeze and a warm coffee in my hand, I can’t think of something better. Meeting other lovely people from all over the world and having always a topic to talk about (fixing boats is always a topic). Experiencing the unconditional helpfulness of other people we don’t really know and seeing other countries, that’s why I left. But sometimes I need my own space. My own Sunday mood time, with a hot cup of tea, some cookies and watching a good movie. Therefore I love the Moody that has a comfy and big space under deck, where I can sit and enjoy my own time.
Holds it worth when it comes to sell
Well, it is said that the two happiest days of a boat owners life are the day they buy a boat and the day they sell it. And in between you repair, paint and maintain the boat. In the last years, the market for boats got worse and worse for sellers. The prices are dropping for used boats. Only a few people have the money to buy and maintain a boat anymore, but the costs for i.e. marinas stay the same or rise from year to year. So, when you come to the conclusion to sell the boat, you will be happy when the boat hold it’s worth.