Moody 346 Ideas and thoughts on changing fromWesterly Merlin to a M346

Steve Leonard

steve leonard
Registered Guest
Good evening, we are thinking of moving from our Westerly Merlin where we have put in various new additions such as new rigin, sails, oven fridge, engine costing circa £12,000 in the last three years, recon DV24 last month, and moving on to a 346 but need to know about insurance etc and pitfalls with a 1989 1990 boat.
We sail and keep our Merlin in Gosport and are looking for ideas etc.
Our insurance at present through Nav & Gen cost £172 per annum, how much for a M346?
Regards
Steve Leonard tel no 07908218676 or email stephen.leonard2010@gmail.com
 

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 Steve,

Insurers usually calculate your premium as a percentage of the insured value of the boat, so, to some ectent it depends how much you want to nsure her for. In agreeing the insured value, remember that averaging will apply to a claim if you undervalue to keep the premium down. As the premium for your Merlin shows, insurance is one of the cheaper, better value aspects of boat ownership.

The Merlin is a lovely boat, but the main difference you will find moving to a M346 is the comfortable accommodation, including the luxurious aft cabin. The extra waterline length also makes for faster passages. Another difference between Ed Dubois designs and Bill Dixon ones is the balance of the boat. Ed's boats have a racier form and heel a fair bit when sailed hard whereas Bill's boats remain flatter and I find, going to windward, if you wait until the rail gets to the sea for a reef Wild Thyme speeds up on reefing.

A centre cockpit, being closer to the boat's centre of gravity, suffers less motion than an aft one in a seaway, which, I understand, can be helpful for those that suffer mal-de-mer, although the angular movement remains the same wherever you sit. it doesn't take long to get used to the fact there's a lot of boat behind you for close quarters manoeuvres.

The issues that arise with an eighties or nineties boat don't change from Westerly to Moody. There both built on very solid hulls and the condition is more a function of how she's been looked after than how she was built. At todays values, I would go for a boat that has had as many upgrades as your Merlin - it would cost more to buy a boat needing lots of upgrading then pay to have that all done yourself. The only upside of doing the upgrading yourself is that it gets done just the way you want..

The one thing important to look out for in all Moodys of thatera is the way the chainplates are secured - they pass through the side decks and are bolted to a marine ply part bulkhead below the deck which, in turn, is tabbed to the hull. A small stainless steel plate is bedded and screwed to the deck around the chainplate to keep the whole thing watertight - the plate and screws make no structural contribution, they are just for sealing. Over the years, the bedding compound dries out and the seal can start to leak. The cure is easy, unscrew the plates, lift them and rebed with a modern bedding material.

However, down below the chainplates are hidden behind the beautiful cabinetry, so the leak may go unnoticed. In this case, the water can start to rot both the part bulkhead and the balsa core of the deck. In extremis, the bolts holding the chainplate to the bulkhead may tear through the rotten ply and the deck starts to bulge, ultimately cracking so the rig becomes essentially unsupported from the side that has failed. This is definitely a fault to have your surveyor look out for. Again, it can be cured, but it's not a cheap job if you have a professional yard do it.

Hope you find a Moody to suit you,

Peter.
 

Steve Leonard

steve leonard
Registered Guest
Hi Peter,
Thank you for your very informative reply.
As I am a Westerly owner and insured through Nav and General, our Merlin is insured for £25,000 which includes the outboard and dinghy etc, obviously in excess of the true value when you come to sell her, and this cost £178.00 per annum with full no claim discount.- last year it actually went down by £10 per annum!
When I enquired about transferring the insurance over to a circa 1989 M346 it shot up to £424 per annum.
Do members of the Moody Owners have a better insurance deal.

Yes, i agree with your comments about the accommodation as we (I) wanted to jump up to the M42 series, but then the berthing costs were higher.

However, before any changes happen, I need to sell the Merlin, and this may take time, but it is never a good time to sell a boat, I know that becasue at one time we had two with two marina bills etc etc.
One other question, Westerly's suffered from the dreaded osmosis, would this boat at this age have the same issues, or were they better at the gel coat laying up?

Thank you so far, just have to sell one, and also demonstrate to my wife what a 346 is about.

Kind regards
Steve.
PS, we keep our Merlin in Premier Marina Gosport, does any other members have there sail boat in Gosport?
 

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 Steve,

That sounds like robbery from Nav & Gen. I have insured boats since I was a dinghy sailor in the 1960's through Newton Crum, insurance brokers and have never had any complaints. They move from one underwriter to another from time to time, but that's a broker's job - to get you the best deal. I have , in nearly 60 years made two modest claims which were handled promptly and without question. Even at £424 per annum, the insurance is still a very small cost compared to paying Premier's south coast berthing fees, but I'm sure you'll find a better price. The broker Craftinsure advertises with the MOA and offers "Favourable terms" to MOA members.

Moody have a better reputation than Westerly with respect to osmosis, which I suspect is related to the more consistent operational history of Marine Projects . who built Moodys, Sigmas and Princess motor yachts - they now call themselves Princess Yachts and build just those in the same premises as one of the few UK production boat builders still in operation. This consistent history has enabled them to have a temperature and humidity controlled build environment in which they were one of the earlier UK boatbuilders to adopt an isophthalic gel coat, I forget exactly when, but certainly before 1989. This can only reduce the probability of osmosis. Certainly it's rare on Moodys.

There are plenty of MOA members in Premier's Gosport Marina, so there's a good chance one or more has a M346 and/or M35 which is basically the same boat which replaced the M346 in 1990. I won't disclose any names here, but hopefully one will be along soon to chat with you.

As for your wife, I think the success of Moody was due to their understanding that the ladies are important in yacht buying decision making. If you read the descriptions of the yachts on the Moody Archive (link towards the bottom left of the Home page) you will find no mention of sailing performance but a full description of the accommodation - not a polar diagram in sight.

Peter
 

Robert Wilkinson

Robert Wilkinson
Member
Boat name
FREYJA
Berth
Firth of Clyde
Boat type
Moody 346
Cruising area
Firth of Clyde
Hi Steve
Interesting Post - we sold our Westerly Merlin last month and take ownership of a 346 tomorrow! I too previously benefited from the Westerly Owners association negotiated "special" insurance policy terms through Navigators & General which was extremely good value in both cost and cover provided, so doubt we are going to get such a good deal, but will let you know how things go. I have not come across a similar policy through the Moody Owners Association yet - but if I am missing something - perhaps others could let me know if such a member benefit exists?
thanks

Robert
 

Steve Leonard

steve leonard
Registered Guest
Hi Robert,
Thank you for your reply, interesting that you are doing- have done what I want to! What were your reasons?
My problem now is I want to find a M346 with in mast main furling and a fin keel having both on Spellbound, our Merlin. I can't find one, does anybody know of one?
Steve.
 

Steve Leonard

steve leonard
Registered Guest
Hi Steve,

That sounds like robbery from Nav & Gen. I have insured boats since I was a dinghy sailor in the 1960's through Newton Crum, insurance brokers and have never had any complaints. They move from one underwriter to another from time to time, but that's a broker's job - to get you the best deal. I have , in nearly 60 years made two modest claims which were handled promptly and without question. Even at £424 per annum, the insurance is still a very small cost compared to paying Premier's south coast berthing fees, but I'm sure you'll find a better price. The broker Craftinsure advertises with the MOA and offers "Favourable terms" to MOA members.

Moody have a better reputation than Westerly with respect to osmosis, which I suspect is related to the more consistent operational history of Marine Projects . who built Moodys, Sigmas and Princess motor yachts - they now call themselves Princess Yachts and build just those in the same premises as one of the few UK production boat builders still in operation. This consistent history has enabled them to have a temperature and humidity controlled build environment in which they were one of the earlier UK boatbuilders to adopt an isophthalic gel coat, I forget exactly when, but certainly before 1989. This can only reduce the probability of osmosis. Certainly it's rare on Moodys.

There are plenty of MOA members in Premier's Gosport Marina, so there's a good chance one or more has a M346 and/or M35 which is basically the same boat which replaced the M346 in 1990. I won't disclose any names here, but hopefully one will be along soon to chat with you.

As for your wife, I think the success of Moody was due to their understanding that the ladies are important in yacht buying decision making. If you read the descriptions of the yachts on the Moody Archive (link towards the bottom left of the Home page) you will find no mention of sailing performance but a full description of the accommodation - not a polar diagram in sight.

Peter
 

Steve Leonard

steve leonard
Registered Guest
Thank you everybody for your replies
I am also in that dread issue of osmosis
Unfortunately with Westerly, the issue is quite common, I understood that a circa 1985 that they weren't an issue but having found a couple of adverts saying that the boat had been treated, is it?
The boat we would be able to buy would be a 1985-1990?
Regards Steve
 

Robert Wilkinson

Robert Wilkinson
Member
Boat name
FREYJA
Berth
Firth of Clyde
Boat type
Moody 346
Cruising area
Firth of Clyde
Hi Robert,
Thank you for your reply, interesting that you are doing- have done what I want to! What were your reasons?
My problem now is I want to find a M346 with in mast main furling and a fin keel having both on Spellbound, our Merlin. I can't find one, does anybody know of one?
Steve.
Hi Steve - main reason for parting company with our Merlin and buying a 346 for us was additional space below. We also changed our cruising grounds at the same time. After nearly 30yrs on the Firth of Forth, 20 mins from where we live, we are now basing our boat on the Firth of Clyde, which although is much further from home, will mean longer stays onboard per visit, hopefully longer cruises, so the need for more comfort afloat - that's the theory anyway! (Our crew is usually just my wife and I, but I also have two young adult children who frequently still sail with us, so space for them was important too).
Although the aft cabin in a Merlin is a good effort for a 28ft boat - my wife had had enough of the "under the cockpit" type sleeping arrangements, even the Moody 336 did not impress her! I have to admin there is just no comparison with the aft cabin space on a 346, plus add in running hot and cold water, warm air heating and a proper fridge - there is no going back!

Our Merlin was a bilge keel with convention slab reefing main. We ended up with a bilge keel 346 with behind the mast reefing, Bilge keel just opens up more possibilities in my mind - drying harbours, exploring shallow inlets, short cuts ditch crawling through canals, plus no need to buy/hire a cradle for winter storage.
Sure - any fin will point a degree or two higher, and if you are spending your time racing or crossing oceans - fin is the keel to go for, but for coastal cruising and pottering about - bilge keel for us is more practical and appealing.

I was not so sure about the behind the mast reefing, this is completely new to us, but so far I have been very impressed with its versatility - just because its so easy to deploy and recover when shorthanded. We are tending to try using the main much more often in conditions at either end of the wind spectrum when previously we would not have bothered hoisting the main at all.

Our main does need replaced - we knew that before buying, so I would be keen to hear any recommendations from others who have bought a BTM reefing main recently? I read there are lots of options now for BTM reefing mains including advanced designs, low stretch fabrics, short or full vertical battens etc. I am inclined to keep it simple, minimise any reefing difficulties and get something that will last well!

Overall very pleased with the sailing performance so far of the 346.

All the best with your search.

Robert
 

Steve Leonard

steve leonard
Registered Guest
Hi Robert, Thank you for your reply.
How easy was it to sell your Merlin, did you use an agent or privately sold?
Regards
Steve.
 

Robert Wilkinson

Robert Wilkinson
Member
Boat name
FREYJA
Berth
Firth of Clyde
Boat type
Moody 346
Cruising area
Firth of Clyde
How easy was it to sell your Merlin, did you use an agent or privately sold?
Hi Steve
We sold her through advertising privately in June this year - never seen the point of paying a broker 6-10% of your sale value to place an advert when you can do it yourself for free!
I advertised on:
1) Apollo Duck
2) Boats and Outboards
3) Westerly Owners Association

I think the asking price was realistic, and I had lots of serious interest and I was fortunate to sell the boat quickly at the asking price.
(Folk stuck at home under COVID lockdown, browsing the "Boats for sale" pages, may have been a factor!).

The RYA also have a helpful template for "Bill of sale" which you can download and use from their website.

Good luck!

Robert
 

Steve Leonard

steve leonard
Registered Guest
Hi Robert, Thank you for your reply.
How easy was it to sell your Merlin, did you use an agent or privately sold?
Regards
Steve.
 

Steve Leonard

steve leonard
Registered Guest
Do you know anybody who wants a really good Merlin having had £12,000 spent on all of the rigging, sail furling, main sail, new fridge in the last three years and last 2 months a new DV24 engine?
regards
Steve.
 
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