Moody 31 Buying a Moody 31

Gary Rolt

Gary Rolt
Registered Guest
#1
Hi Folks

Around the year 2000, we had a dream of selling our house and buying a sailing boat. My Wife shortly after became pregnant, we had children, and our lives got tipped upside down. A boat was no place for the pitter patter of tiny feet, so that was the end of that.
Funny, I'd forgotten all about boats until recently. We saw an advert for a Moody 28 for sale in Greece for £13k, it really did look special. Knowing very little about boats, we decided to look at one locally before jumping on a plane to view a boat we knew nothing about. The Moody we looked at was a 31, which looked just like the 28 advertised in Greece. This one however was £30K not £13k, and a few years older.
As we walked down the steps into the belly of this thing, I felt quite overwhelmed. I just loved it, we both did.

I know I'd be a fool to just buy it, even if I did I'd have to learn how to sail it. But I really don't wan't to buy a smaller boat, I'd rather pay and have lessons, or go on a course.

Any advice would be much appreciated, especially as to how the prices vary so much.
Our idea is to rent our house out as a holiday let for six weeks every summer, and live on the boat with our children.

Thanks in advance
 

Paul Mear

Paul Mear
Member
Boat name
GUSTO
Berth
Shotley Marina
Boat type
Moody 31 MkI
Cruising area
East Coast
#2
My advice would be not to buy the first you see, there are usually a few on the market, check and compare condition, specification, likely survey results etc., etc. You will need to budget for maintenance, adding the enhancements you would like in addition to the purchase price. Do ask again in the forum when you have more specific questions, Moodys are solidly built boats and will give good service if well maintained.
 

Gary Rolt

Gary Rolt
Registered Guest
#3
Hi Paul
Thanks for that.
Tell me, am I crazy thinking of buying a 31 as my first boat?
I just don't want to buy a smaller boat I don't really want, then have the problem of selling it again.

How much does it cost a year roughly?
A mooring near me is about £700 a year. I'm guessing it'd cost about another 2K a year to maintain it.
 

Barry Voysey

Barry Voysey
Temporary Member
#4
A 31 as your first boat ... I suppose it depends on your experience etc. We are looking for a 31 for our first boat but then I spent 8 years in the RN navigating larger ships so I understand part of the using the boat picture. I've just walked away from one due to engine issues, the Volvo 2003 is an old engine lump and you need to make sure it is well looked after and maintained.
 

Peter Wright

Peter Wright
Member
Boat name
WILD THYME
Berth
Suffolk Yacht Harbour
Boat type
Moody 425
Cruising area
North Sea, English Channel, Biscay
#5
Hi Gary,

These days, a lot of people start out with a 40 foot boat, so I wouldn't worry about 31 foot for your first boat. Running costs can vary a lot, depending on the condition of what you buy. If you don't know boats well, a pre purchase survey is a good investment - make your offer subject to survey then price up any significant issues the surveyor finds and ask for a reduction to make the cash available to remedy those defects.

Marine Insurance is amazingly cheap compared with house or car insurance, but ask a couple of companies for a quote. Maintenance can be cheap if you do it all yourself or quite pricey if you get others to do the work. As with most things in the UK, the labour cost and the 20% vat are the hardest hitting parts of the account.

Given a sound hull and deck, replacement sails, a replacement engine, or new electronics can be pricey, so the age / condition of those bits is important to factor in to any offer you make. Only the sails are essential - when I started sailing electronics didn't exist and a Stuart Turner 2-strke 4 hp. was the standard aux. engine and they only started if there was a Z in the month although I guess manouevering in a marina without an engine is not really acceptable these days. Sailing is always so much easier and more enjoyable with a decent suit of sails.

You should build confidence by sailing with somebody experienced on board, or doing one of the RYA courses, then take a step at a time.

Go for it!

Peter
 

Pete Rowland

Peter Rowland
Member
Boat name
APRIL LASS
Berth
Gosport
Boat type
Moody 31 MkII
Cruising area
Solent
#6
I agree with Peter, go for it.

We bought ours a decade ago with son 13 and dau 10. We put one in the stern cabin and one in the forward cabin because you know how brother and sister just love to be next to each other :rolleyes:. They are now grown up and flown the nest which leaves Viv and I plus the dog which is perfect.

The M31 is quite capable of channel crossings and we have quite a few times. There is a French couple in the Caribbean on a M31 and a couple of years ago one from Cardiff was sailed to New York and back for a jolly. Sailing more locally we like sitting in St Peter Port, Guernsey and watching the world go by. At 31ft we have never not been able to moor up somewhere just by turning up on spec. However, the expression of despair on the harbour staff when a 45 ft yacht arrives in the height of August is a picture. Equally we have been able to get into some really shallow places like Wareham Quay. At 5 tonnes they are small and light enough to turn around with ropes in a tight spot.

They were expensive when new but that pays dividends now with the quality of the original materials. We have changed a few things like sails and electronics but nothing that wouldn't need to be changed over time with any other make of yacht.

If you have no sailing experience, then I would recommend that all of you including the kids go for a weeks sailing course and complete the RYA Competent Crew qualification. Add the one day RYA VHF Radio course and again all of you can do it plus I think there is a weekend navigation course and you will be competent to sailing locally building up your experience. I would choose a UK school rather than the med, because the sailing is a little more challenging but you want the experience of different conditions, not a tick in the box certificate. Rates drop if you go out of season and foul weather gear should be provided. If you all are still up for sailing then go for it. If there is a change of heart, well you haven't committed to an expensive purchase. Lots of adverts in the back of the sailing magazines each month.

There are always a few M31's on the market as they build 305 before moving on to the later S31 design. A M28 or M31 in Greece is probably ex charter boat and therefore well used btw and the price may not include VAT. If you have the chance pop down to the Swanwick second hand boat show which is on at the same time as the Southampton Boat Show. You will be able to view several yachts all on the same day. M28s are quite rare and nearly the same price as a M31. The difference is well 3ft and a bit wider. Inside the galley gains an extra cupboard and worktop space. The forward cabin a wardrobe and cabinet. The engine is larger and probably the water and diesel tanks. The first M31's had a flat transom and the chart table fore and aft. Later Mk 2 yachts had a sugar scoop stern with a step which is useful to in and out of the dinghy and the chart table turned around. Otherwise they are identical. Prices in the UK for a M31 are £25-£30k. Insurance is £300 and yes we probably spend £2k a year on maintenance.

Ours isn't for sale, I hope to retire with just 9 Xmas works parties to go and then we plan to disappear each summer for the whole summer.

Pete
 
Last edited:

Sean Tyson

Sean Tyson
Member
Boat name
POLIBRE
Berth
Barrow In Furness
Boat type
Moody 31 MkII
Cruising area
Irish Sea
#7
Moody 31 would be a great first boat, they are very easy too handle and you feel safe and confident in their abilities.
I also know of a rather nice one for sale.
 

James Everiss

James Everiss
Member
Boat name
TWILIGHT
Berth
Chichester Marina
Boat type
Moody 31 MkII
Cruising area
Solent and Channel.
#8
I bought Moody 31 Mk11 as my first boat and at the age of 67 years young. Found her a delight to sail, comfortable to'live in', and found the original Volvo 2003 engine to be a great starter and, once I decoked the head, it has not missed a beat. I have sailed to from Holland to The Thames, to Ostend a couple of times and to Dieppe, Boulogne, Dunkirk and many of the Channel ports and presently reside in Chichester harbour. I yet to sail in anything stronger than a force 6 but so far have enjoyed sailing her in all conditions met with.
 

John Ranson

John Ranson
Member
Boat name
NAKITA
Berth
Felixstowe
Boat type
Moody 31 MkII
Cruising area
Deben
#9
Hi Garry,
A Moody 31 is a great yacht to start with and if you get a cared for example then you will be well pleased. They can be sailed single handed, they are well built and very comfortable inside. The 28hp engine power enables them to be pushed along into a good chop.

I have owned mine for 28 years now, the engine has been replaced and it has had the usual upgrades along the way.



John
 

Gary Rolt

Gary Rolt
Registered Guest
#10
Hi Gary,

These days, a lot of people start out with a 40 foot boat, so I wouldn't worry about 31 foot for your first boat. Running costs can vary a lot, depending on the condition of what you buy. If you don't know boats well, a pre purchase survey is a good investment - make your offer subject to survey then price up any significant issues the surveyor finds and ask for a reduction to make the cash available to remedy those defects.

Marine Insurance is amazingly cheap compared with house or car insurance, but ask a couple of companies for a quote. Maintenance can be cheap if you do it all yourself or quite pricey if you get others to do the work. As with most things in the UK, the labour cost and the 20% vat are the hardest hitting parts of the account.

Given a sound hull and deck, replacement sails, a replacement engine, or new electronics can be pricey, so the age / condition of those bits is important to factor in to any offer you make. Only the sails are essential - when I started sailing electronics didn't exist and a Stuart Turner 2-strke 4 hp. was the standard aux. engine and they only started if there was a Z in the month although I guess manouevering in a marina without an engine is not really acceptable these days. Sailing is always so much easier and more enjoyable with a decent suit of sails.

You should build confidence by sailing with somebody experienced on board, or doing one of the RYA courses, then take a step at a time.

Go for it!

Peter
Thanks Peter ;0)
 

Gary Rolt

Gary Rolt
Registered Guest
#11
I agree with Peter, go for it.

We bought ours a decade ago with son 13 and dau 10. We put one in the stern cabin and one in the forward cabin because you know how brother and sister just love to be next to each other :rolleyes:. They are now grown up and flown the nest which leaves Viv and I plus the dog which is perfect.

The M31 is quite capable of channel crossings and we have quite a few times. There is a French couple in the Caribbean on a M31 and a couple of years ago one from Cardiff was sailed to New York and back for a jolly. Sailing more locally we like sitting in St Peter Port, Guernsey and watching the world go by. At 31ft we have never not been able to moor up somewhere just by turning up on spec. However, the expression of despair on the harbour staff when a 45 ft yacht arrives in the height of August is a picture. Equally we have been able to get into some really shallow places like Wareham Quay. At 5 tonnes they are small and light enough to turn around with ropes in a tight spot.

They were expensive when new but that pays dividends now with the quality of the original materials. We have changed a few things like sails and electronics but nothing that wouldn't need to be changed over time with any other make of yacht.

If you have no sailing experience, then I would recommend that all of you including the kids go for a weeks sailing course and complete the RYA Competent Crew qualification. Add the one day RYA VHF Radio course and again all of you can do it plus I think there is a weekend navigation course and you will be competent to sailing locally building up your experience. I would choose a UK school rather than the med, because the sailing is a little more challenging but you want the experience of different conditions, not a tick in the box certificate. Rates drop if you go out of season and foul weather gear should be provided. If you all are still up for sailing then go for it. If there is a change of heart, well you haven't committed to an expensive purchase. Lots of adverts in the back of the sailing magazines each month.

There are always a few M31's on the market as they build 305 before moving on to the later S31 design. A M28 or M31 in Greece is probably ex charter boat and therefore well used btw and the price may not include VAT. If you have the chance pop down to the Swanwick second hand boat show which is on at the same time as the Southampton Boat Show. You will be able to view several yachts all on the same day. M28s are quite rare and nearly the same price as a M31. The difference is well 3ft and a bit wider. Inside the galley gains an extra cupboard and worktop space. The forward cabin a wardrobe and cabinet. The engine is larger and probably the water and diesel tanks. The first M31's had a flat transom and the chart table fore and aft. Later Mk 2 yachts had a sugar scoop stern with a step which is useful to in and out of the dinghy and the chart table turned around. Otherwise they are identical. Prices in the UK for a M31 are £25-£30k. Insurance is £300 and yes we probably spend £2k a year on maintenance.

Ours isn't for sale, I hope to retire with just 9 Xmas works parties to go and then we plan to disappear each summer for the whole summer.

Pete
Hi Pete

That was a good read, thank you for your time.
Just been to the Southamton boat show, didn't see anything that stole my heart like that Moody 31
Crazy to think I'd rather have that, than some of the boats that were over a million £££££££
It was love at first sight.

Kind Regards

Gary
 
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