Moody 346 Directional stability

Mark Batey

Mark Batey
Member
Boat name
JESSIE
Berth
North Shields
Boat type
Moody 336
Cruising area
North Sea
#1
Hi all,
Apologies if this is dragging up an old chestnut, but having searched on MOA I can't find any opinions one way or the other. Which could well be good news, but here goes anyway.

An early review of a 346 in a yachting magazine thought the boat lacked directional stability, an opinion endorsed by a thread on a well-known yachting forum. Complaints of rounding up, being unable to leave the helm for more than a few moments, of changes of course that an autopilot can't deal with and so forth. I am wary of listening to these sorts of people, because I have no way of knowing whether they are talking sense. So before looking seriously for a good 346, which in many ways seems to be a terrific boat, I thought I would ask here.

I would be sailing singlehanded, or with an inexperienced crew, quite often. Do you think I will find that enjoyable, or will I find myself stuck on the wheel making sure she keeps going in the right direction? It would be great to think I could leave the boat to keep going unattended for a few minutes, leaving a passenger to keep a lookout, and not have to be permanently on watch.

Is this something 346 owners recognise? Or are people on the web talking rubbish? (it's been known to happen before!)

Many thanks

Mark
 

Jeff Williams

Jeff Williams
Member
Boat name
KYRA
Berth
Plymouth
Boat type
Moody 346
Cruising area
South Coast
#2
Most sailing vessels require correct setting of the main and foresail(s) to achieve a good balance. It is merely a matter of getting used to the characteristics of each boat which can take a liitle time and practice. I think the M346 is no different.
I have had my M346 for almost 15 years and much cruising (self and partner) has been achieved, both with and without using the autopilot, without problems. I have read that the ST4000 sometimes struggles in heavy weather but I rarely venture out in such conditions.
P.S. My M346 is for sale; see https://www.moodyowners.info/threads/for-sale-1989-moody-346-bilge-keel.16177/
The choice of an M346 in my opinion would be an excellent one whether mine or any other bilge or fin keel version. They are easy to handle yet have good spacious accomodation and the original engine is powerful and reliable if well maintained.
Good luck in your search for the right boat for you.
 

Chris Burn

Chris Burn
Member
Boat name
Cristobella
Boat type
Moody 34
Cruising area
North Wales / Irish Sea
#3
Mark, all as Jeff says, plus the balance of sail plan will, if set correctly allow you to leave the helm for a little while, although mother nature is not to be depended on for too long, things change and so must your sail setting on any yacht.
On the whole I find our M34 ( same boat without the step at the back) to be directionally stable, we also have an auto helm but don't use it that often, careful sail setting then lock the helm with the screw lock at the binicle seems to allow a spot of time dolphin spotting without anyone being tied to the helm in medium conditions.
Mast rake and rig tension in my experience seem to have an effect on directional stability, rig tension had the most effect and I suspect the review ( which I have read) was on a yacht with a poor rig set up, in general they are stable good sailing .... if not too speedy yachts, respectable performance but not racy, but comfy they are! will look after you in a blow, and have more accommodation than just about any other boat of the same length. Ours is bilge keeled but you wouldn't notice it much sailing, we can just get to places that fin keelers can't.
Buying a yacht is full of choices and decisions, getting your priorities of speed v comfort, style v class, modern v classic are all personal choices of which you can only decide, but if the 346 is ticking most of the boxes, don't let a magazine page put you off, ....... I went out looking for a Jeanneau 37, and ended up buying a Moody 34, and have no regrets at all.
Good luck finding your boat.
 

Mark Batey

Mark Batey
Member
Boat name
JESSIE
Berth
North Shields
Boat type
Moody 336
Cruising area
North Sea
#4
Thanks for the replies, that's reassuring to hear. Now I just have to sell my current boat...

M
 
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