Moody 31 31 Mkii or S31?

George Skinner

George Skinner
Registered Guest
Hi all you Moody experts out there. I'm looking for my first boat and after much deliberation, I've decided it will be a 31 MKII or an S31. My requirents are a boat that is a stable and safe platform for young family and sails well in all conditions plus can be sailed single handed.
Before I make the final decision, I'd like to hear the opinions of experienced sailors to help me decide and hope you are them.
Please let me know if in your experience, either model offers an advantage.
Looking forward to your feedback.
 

Stuart Armstrong

Stuart Armstrong
Member
Boat name
TOMKAT
Berth
Greenock
Boat type
Moody S31
Cruising area
Scotland
I can’t compare both as I’ve not sailed a 31Mkii but I own a S31 and it would certainly meet your requirements. I’ve only had her a year but I’m impressed with how she sails and with the space and layout for a boat of this size.

I’d be very happy to answer any other questions you have or let you have a look/sail if you are anywhere near the Clyde.

Regards

Stuart
 

Neil Eccles

Neil Eccles
Member
General Committee
GC Support Team
MOA Position
Website Editor
Boat name
CUTAWAY
Berth
Vannes
Boat type
Moody 42
Cruising area
West Coast of France and North Coast Of Spain
Hi George,

Either meet your criteria, you need to think about other factors to swing it one way or the other. The S31 will be faster and more modern compared to the M31 Mk II - on the other hand you can get bilge keel versions of the 31 Mk2 so can sail in shallower waters and beach, and you may get a better example for the same money....

Don’t worry - just get what you fancy!!!

Kindest
Neil
 

Ben Robilliard

Ben Robilliard
Member
Boat name
DORIS OF ARDERNE
Berth
Plymouth
Boat type
Moody 31 MkII
Cruising area
South West
Hi George,
Like Stuart, I have not sailed both, but I bought a 31 mk2 a year ago.
I have been impressed by the way she sails, I am not the most experienced sailor, neither is my wife or 8 yr old son, but the boat suits us and our dog.
I have roller furling jib and after mast main furling, and I can just about single hand.
I have not tried leaving or returning to the pontoon on my own yet though. One step at a time.
Depending on your budget, I would say, get the boat that needs the least work for your money.
This might be a nice older mk2 or a younger s31. The build of both boats is similar, but the more modern finish, and less wear and tear, might be the deciding factor.
We had a budget and bought cheap thinking we would upgrade, but the wiring needs doing and lots of other little things. Our budget is almost gone and we have not done all the things we wanted.
Don't rush, look around, look at as many as you can, and don't let your heart rule (too much).
Despite that, I love the boat, and I know over time I will do all the things that need doing.
Happy hunting
Ben
 

Adam Grater

Adam Grater
Member
Boat name
CORNSILK
Berth
Oare Creek
Boat type
Moody S31
Cruising area
Uk and France
Both of these boats sail well and can be managed single handed.
There are generally a few examples of each on the market. At this time of year you are likely be able to get the feel of each type with a test sail.
The (older) 31 mk2 has the traditional Moody interior, lots of cabinetry, nice wood. Could also have issues such as tired engine, rusty tanks, brittle wiring etc etc that will need upgrading. This can be a splendid adventure if you like diy, mechanics etc, and a good way to get to know about a boat but maybe less time on the water, at least at first.
The S31 is a bit beamier, has a more roomy interior with less storage cabinetry. Cherry or oak inside, quiet classy. Lovely aft cabin.
Maybe £10k +/- difference in price. B/k or fin available in both.
Happy hunting.
 

Martin Lampard

Martin Lampard
Member
Boat name
DRIFTER
Berth
Hythe, Southampton
Boat type
Moody 31 MkII
Cruising area
Solent and Channel
My wife and I are both very pleased with Drifter (Moody 31Mk II bilge keel) which we have owned for 5 years.
I regularly single-hand her and although the setup with overlapping genoa is a little cumbersome if short-tacking, she is very manageable for cruising.
I just completed the Jester Baltimore Challenge in her, and she acquitted herself very well. We were the second boat to cross the line - though most other Jester boats are considerably shorter, and it's NOT a race!
As others have said, a lot will come down to what's available near you, at what price, and with what other features.
If single-handing is important to you, and if the S31 has a smaller or self-tacking headsail (I don't know) I would suggest that's probably a significant plus.
 

Peter Wright

Peter Wright
Member
Boat name
WILD THYME
Berth
Suffolk Yacht Harbour
Boat type
Moody 425
Cruising area
North Sea, English Channel, Biscay
Hi George,

Either meet your criteria, you need to think about other factors to swing it one way or the other. The S31 will be faster and more modern compared to the M31 Mk II - on the other hand you can get bilge keel versions of the 31 Mk2 so can sail in shallower waters and beach, and you may get a better example for the same money....

Don’t worry - just get what you fancy!!!

Kindest
Neil
Hi Neil,

I'm surprised Dick hasn't already been on here to remind you that you can also get a bilge keel version of the S31, and it sails very well.

I believe Adam's current S31 is Dick's previous boat.

Peter.
 

Barry Voysey

Barry Voysey
Member
Boat name
LIONA
Berth
Birdham Pool
Boat type
Moody 336
Cruising area
Solent
I can only advise you of our experience of buying our first boat (inexperienced wife, young son and me very rusty). Last summer we almost bought a 31 MK2, generally speaking the boat was sound and had been in the same ownership for a number of years. Unfortunately the survey showed a number of issues with the engine which was a Volvo 2003, we couldn't reach satisfactory agreement over the works required and in the end walked away. As a result we decided a boat with a slightly newer generation of engine might be in order, seemingly some 2003 parts are much more difficult to source. I started to look for a S31, but couldn't find one, so would wish good luck with your search. In the end we bought a 336 which gives us a bit more space, the only negative from your perspective is I cant see me single handing it, at least not for a while and being bigger and newer was a bit more expensive (had to spend the kitchen refurb money on something other than a kitchen).
 

George Skinner

George Skinner
Registered Guest
Many thanks to all who responded. Seems my own views have been consolidated by your responses. I also hear you all say just do it. Moody is a great brand so unless I was negligent in my choice it would be difficult to get it wrong.
Unfortunately I live in the North East of Scotland so all the boats that are currently for sale seem a long way off. Think a tour of the UK might be in the offing.

Thanks again for your opinions and I wish you all a happy sailing season
 

Ben Robilliard

Ben Robilliard
Member
Boat name
DORIS OF ARDERNE
Berth
Plymouth
Boat type
Moody 31 MkII
Cruising area
South West
Happy hunting George, if you travel to the south west and want a sail in a 31 mk2, give me a shout. Best wishes, Ben
 

Martin Lampard

Martin Lampard
Member
Boat name
DRIFTER
Berth
Hythe, Southampton
Boat type
Moody 31 MkII
Cruising area
Solent and Channel
...had to spend the kitchen refurb money on something other than a kitchen.
But you did end up with a new kitchen (well, a galley) with a boat attached, so a double win!
 

Barry Voysey

Barry Voysey
Member
Boat name
LIONA
Berth
Birdham Pool
Boat type
Moody 336
Cruising area
Solent
But you did end up with a new kitchen (well, a galley) with a boat attached, so a double win!
a 25 year old galley perhaps ... I have sufficiently convinced the wife to do our two week summer holiday on the boat ... so definitely a win in there somewhere.
 

George Skinner

George Skinner
Registered Guest
I can’t compare both as I’ve not sailed a 31Mkii but I own a S31 and it would certainly meet your requirements. I’ve only had her a year but I’m impressed with how she sails and with the space and layout for a boat of this size.

I’d be very happy to answer any other questions you have or let you have a look/sail if you are anywhere near the Clyde.

Regards

Stuart
Stuart, I might take up your offer as all of the S31s are deep south
 

Peter Fellows

Member
Boat name
SHALOM
Berth
Topsham
Boat type
Moody S31
Cruising area
South West
Last year we had the same dilemma 31 mk2 or S31. If you are able to view both boats on the same day, then you may end up as we did buying the S31. If you can afford the jump, then all the kit is at least 10 years younger, md2020 engine, two distinct useable double cabins and will carry forward any investments in refurbs/ improvements.
 

George Skinner

George Skinner
Registered Guest
Last year we had the same dilemma 31 mk2 or S31. If you are able to view both boats on the same day, then you may end up as we did buying the S31. If you can afford the jump, then all the kit is at least 10 years younger, md2020 engine, two distinct useable double cabins and will carry forward any investments in refurbs/ improvements.
Hi Peter, thanks for your reply. I'm seeing an S31 on Wednesday and have seen a couple of 31 mkII's. Must confess I like the internal layout of the mkii so am keen to see how the S31 differs. I fully understand your point regarding age, size of cabins and resistance to depreciation. I've been a little confused lately as many of the MkII's are as or more expensive than some S31s. Takes a lot of effort to understand why sellers arrive at their asking price. I assume that you are happy with your S31. Anything I need to look out for?
 

Ben Robilliard

Ben Robilliard
Member
Boat name
DORIS OF ARDERNE
Berth
Plymouth
Boat type
Moody 31 MkII
Cruising area
South West
Last year we had the same dilemma 31 mk2 or S31. If you are able to view both boats on the same day, then you may end up as we did buying the S31. If you can afford the jump, then all the kit is at least 10 years younger, md2020 engine, two distinct useable double cabins and will carry forward any investments in refurbs/ improvements.
Hi Peter, I know what you are saying about the age difference in context of manufacturing date ranges, but I think that the S31 model was commenced immediately after the mk2 finished, so it is conceivable that a mk2 and S31 are only a year apart.
 

Peter Fellows

Member
Boat name
SHALOM
Berth
Topsham
Boat type
Moody S31
Cruising area
South West
Hi Ben,
Records show that the Moody 31 commenced production in 1983 as the mk1 form so was designed by Bill Dixon, a local lad here in Exmouth, some time beforehand. There were only minor changes to the mk2, particularly the addition of a sugar scoop that became popular at the time and production ceased after over 300 boats in 1991.

However the S31 was a total redesign in hull shape and down below, attempting to move forward radically in production methods to match the French competition. It was difficult to compete with French prices and after only 145 boats, production
sadly ceased
in 1998 with the demise of Moody afterwards.

Pete
 

Peter Fellows

Member
Boat name
SHALOM
Berth
Topsham
Boat type
Moody S31
Cruising area
South West
Hi Peter, thanks for your reply. I'm seeing an S31 on Wednesday and have seen a couple of 31 mkII's. Must confess I like the internal layout of the mkii so am keen to see how the S31 differs. I fully understand your point regarding age, size of cabins and resistance to depreciation. I've been a little confused lately as many of the MkII's are as or more expensive than some S31s. Takes a lot of effort to understand why sellers arrive at their asking price. I assume that you are happy with your S31. Anything I need to look out for?
Hi George,
We wrote a list of items form high to low cost. Starting with sails 3000, standing rigging 1800, self tailers 1500 etc down to batteries ….. The saildrive gasket can be expensive (have heard prices from 1200 to 2000) but we undertook the job ourselves for 240 supply only. There is a date stamp on the gasket if it happens to be on part of the circumference that is visible! Evaluate other items if they exist such as cooker, heater, autopilot, electronics as existence, condition or replacement cost need to be noted.
Finally general condtion of woodwork down below is critical as any amount of money will not recreate the original. Unfortunately there are not many S31's about. Good hunting.

Pete
 
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