Moody 44 (90s) Buying Moody 44.

Steve Leonard

Steve Leonard
Registered Guest
#1
Hi, new to forum, but my wife and I are planning to sell our beloved Westerly Merlin, buy a 44 to live on board and sail around the Med and other areas for a couple of years. Can anybody give us some ideas, is the 44 the ideal boat? What should we be looking for? Does anybody have one between Eastbourne and Gosport have one we could talk to about this venture? Regards Steve Leonard
 

Ian Brearley

Ian Brearley
Member
Boat name
SERAPHINA
Berth
Spain / Mediterranean
Boat type
Moody 44
Cruising area
Spain / Mediterranean
#2
Hi Steve,

We have a M44 and are currently sailing her in Greece.

Note there are several layouts and a 2m fin or 1.5m fin.

We find her an excellent yacht, fast provided apparent wind greater than 10 kns. We recently discussed selling her however; decided their was nothing comparable without spending a fortune so will probably keep her until we retire from sailing, updating as required to make life easy.

If you have specific questions we may be able to help.


Regards,
Ian & Sally
Seraphina of Southampton
 

Mike O'Donoghue

Mike O'Donoghue
Member
Boat name
SCALLYWAG
Berth
Chichester Marina
Boat type
Moody 44
Cruising area
Solent
#3
Hi Steve
My wife and I (plus 2 Westie dogs) lived aboard ours for 7 months between March (cold!) and mid October whilst were in between houses, in Chichester Marina
First thing we did before moving aboard was improve the galley. Something we always planned to do but plan to live aboard gave us extra motivation.
Nothing wrong with the standard galley, lots of work surface space (the top opening fridge/freezer had been replaced with a front opening fridge by previous owner), lots of storage space for provisions too, but we fancied Corian worksurfaces and moulded in corian twin sinks which were bigger than the original so better suited for larger washing up jobs!
We also upgrade the cooker to a new 3 burner with good oven and electronic ignition too (Dometic “Moonlight” in case you are wondering).
So... how did we get on?
Absolutely fantastic. The lovely warmth of the wooden interior was always cozy, twin heads meant no waiting cross legged waiting for for someone to finish. The forward heads is a fab “wet room” for showering (we upgraded the fresh water pump as we like higher water pressure).
The aft (owners) cabin is a delight, was one of the main selling points of the M44, being centre cockpit. Plenty of storage for clothes etc. Plentyof ventilation here for warmer weather and good head room (I am 6’ 1”). The aft cabin is also a nice “quiet place” if one of you just wants to get away to snooze, read etc .
Our M44 is the one with bunk beds on the port side between the saloon and the aft cabin. So we took out the mattresses and put a pair of chest of drawers in their place, which gave us even more storage and a dressing area. Some M44s have this space already built as a purpose built storage area.
In the saloon, ours is the one which has the armchair seating on the starboard side which we called the “posh and becks” seats. very comfortable for socialising too.
We also have the large bi-folding table, which comfortably seats 5 (poss 6) although leg space under the table is a little limited due to the large pedestal on which the table sits, which has bottle storage within.
Our layout has Pullman style bunk beds in the forward starboard hull - great for kids and the V-forecabin is also plenty enough for a pair of visiting adults overnight, with good floor space, plenty of storage and the benefit of en-suite heads in the port side hull.
NEGATIVE POINTS?
Water tankage (just 450litres) is not the largest , especially if you shower at high pressure a lot as we did, but still very acceptable. The water gauge in the elec panel at the chart table allowed us to monitor this easily enough.
Being 1995 there were not that many 240v sockets, so I upgraded these, replacing singles with doubles using the kind with metal spring loaded covers of the kind you would normally fit into laminate flooring.
Our front loading fridge (already fitted) was somewhat limiting for space not really being intended for live-aboard use. If you have the original top-loading version you should be OK.
What about when underway?
The M44 is like the SUV of the seas, we have 2.0m draft version. She is solid , reassuring and will take heavy seas (partic quartering swell) very well. Fully loaded with all the stuff of live-aboard life meant it needed a bit more wind to get her going, but once underway she finds her groove and just keeps going.. and going... and going!
The HUGE headsail powers the M44 really well, so much so that we don’t use the main so much even when pottering up wind! It is cut quite low, so visibility under the headsail is not great from the elevated centre cockpit. - just be sure to peek under the headsail regularly
The M44 has a good size fuel tank which lasts ages. Access to the engine room is possible from three openings, everything quite well accessible (impeller, fuel filters) except for the oil filter which is a bit of a struggle , but do-able.
The cockpit is very reassuring underway , easy to brace yourself and easy to get hand holds, although quite small compared to more modern boats which are more designed for socialising at anchor or in harbour.... you cant have everything!
The forward heads is VERY secure and well thought out even in a lively sea-way. Once seated (facing aft) you are securely wedged in - nice design touch by Moody.
The aft lazarettes are HUGE, for fenders, bikes or whatever.
Deck gear is really well spec’d, solid cleats, and other good fittings. I regularly curl my lip at the latest crop of modern cruisers which seem to have much lighter spec.
We’ve owned ours for 7 years, taken her to west country, channel crossings, Channel Islands and also to Holland and back , where she handled a horrible day in the dover straight of frequent line squalls , big gusts and steep fetch with no drama. Not saying it was pleasant to be aboard that day, in gusty conditions, sleet, horizontal rain etc but the M44 just shrugged it off.
We keep ours on Beaulieu river, if you are passing we’d be glad to let you have a look for yourself.
I hope this helps?

Mike
 

Peter Sims

Peter Sims
Member
Boat name
SIRI
Berth
Ocean Quay Marina, Southampton
Boat type
Moody 44
Cruising area
Ionian
#4
Hi Steve
Your plans are similar to mine. I had a short list of boats that fitted my requirements with the 44 at the top of the list provided it had the right layout. Mike has given a very good assessment of the boat above and the only point I disagree with is the shower pressure!
I wanted the layout with settee rather than chairs in the saloon, along with the large table. I also wanted the version with a dressing room in the port walkthrough rather than bunks. Found the perfect boat already here in Greece and I have been living aboard much of the time for nearly 2 years now.
She sails beautifully and is easy to handle single handed or with crew although bow thruster makes marina manoeuvring much easier. Shoal draft keel is useful if you want to get into shallow areas but it does mean you make a lot of leeway going to windward in light airs.
Internally, having the dressing area rather than bunks aft means you gain a second very large wardrobe in the aft cabin. I also upgraded the cooker to a 3 burner and better oven, ENO Grande Large in my case.
I've tried to be as independent of 240V electrics as possible with pretty much everything able to run from 12v with DC-DC converters in a few cases. This means my ring main is fine but I have fitted 12v USB outlets in all cabins with a couple of 12v cigarette lighter outlets by the chart table. If you live aboard you will probably want to increase battery capacity and there a several ways to do this. I have 4 x 120AH domestic batteries under the aft cabin bed with the engine started from a tiny 27AH Odyssey battery. Charging is mainly from 200W of solar on a gantry over the transom.
Storage is excellent throughout the boat but a previous owner built a tapered set of draws to fit under the companionway steps which is very useful for tools.
The only thing I didn't want in the Med was teak decks but unfortunately I have them so shoes are essential in the summer. For some reason they fitted solid teak to the decks but only teak faced ply in the cockpit and 6 steps. Biggest job I had to do was replace the teak faced ply but Moody Decking have the templates and were able to make me drop in pre made panels for each area out of solid ply. Worst part of the job by far was getting the old ply out.
Ventilation throughout the boat is pretty good but I have fitted Caframo fans in each cabin. Heating, on the occasions when needed here, is from an Eberspacher fitted under the bed in the aft cabin with outlets in all cabins.
My boat is in Greece but if you are out this way you would be welcome for a look and a sail. I will be away most of October but expect to sail in shorts and T-shirt in November. Let me know if you have any questions.
Regards
Peter
 

Mike O'Donoghue

Mike O'Donoghue
Member
Boat name
SCALLYWAG
Berth
Chichester Marina
Boat type
Moody 44
Cruising area
Solent
#5
Hey Peter

Looks like our experiences are similar - I love the idea of tapered drawers under companionway steps - I don’t suppose you have pics?

We also had to upgrade our entire elec control panel after a break-in and our being stolen ! (The only thing taken apart from some binoculars).
There is a separate thread on this, where I have posted pics of the custom panel I had made taking the opportunity to add extra switches dedicated for specific uses, so I did not have to double-up as I had done with the previous original panel.
Like you , I try to be as independent of 240v as poss, doing the usual thing of installing LED bulbs and lighting everywhere I can, also fitting USB charging from the 12v supply in all the cabins, and also at the chart table.

I envy you the storage and dressing cabin in aft port quarter - we wanted that but could not find M44 available that had this at the time we were looking to buy! Our installed chest of drawers on each of the bunks turned out to be a good compromise however, are luckily are perfect fit for the space available!

Cheers

Mike
 
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