Moody 419 Moody 419 suitable for ocean sailing?

Linnea Hubble

Linnea Hubble
Registered Guest
We are a couple who are considering a Moody 419 as a liveaboard yacht, planning to eventually sail as far as from Europe across the Atlantic and onward in the Pacific Ocean. We have also looked at the Moody 376, which better suits our budget, but which we are concerned is too small in terms of storage, water capacity and size of anchor locker. We would appreciate any input on these boats' suitability for crossing oceans. Specifically, we have these concerns:

* In the beginning of our search we were pretty set on getting a long-keeled boat, or at least an encapsulated fin keel like on a Hallberg Rassy, and have now found ourselves considering a Moody with bolted on keel. We don't like the idea of it falling off ;) What are your opinions of the keel construction and the safety?
* The anchor locker space and draining. The anchor locker doesn't seem very large or very deep which keeps the weight of the chain high up in the bow. How much chain can you keep in there? Also, it drains into the bilge which doesn't seem practical. Anyone know why that is? How do you keep the bilge dry? Does anything else drain into the bilge as well? Where does the shower drain to?
* Emergency steering under the bed down inside the boat doesn't seem very practical. What emergency plan or solution do you have for if the steering would fail?
* Where would you fit a watermaker?

What are your experiences regarding these things?
Any other feedback is also greatly appreciated, both for the 376 and the 419. Thank you!

Peter Wright

Peter Wright
Boat name
Suffolk Yacht Harbour
Boat type
Moody 425
Cruising area
North Sea, English Channel, Biscay
Hi Linnea and welcome to the Moody Owners Forum,

The Moody 419 is the second of a series of Moodys, the 41, 419, 422 and 425, which share a common hull design and sail plan, but in which the accommodation was developed from one to the next and a sugar scoop added to the transom for the last 2. Designed by Bill Dixon, they all have great sea keeping ability, great balance with a light touch to the helm and an uncanny ability to reel off the miles on passage. They are proven ocean voyagers, some being dotted around the Pacific at present.

I do not fear the keel dropping off our M425. Compared to the short deep dagger board like keels employed in some modern designs, the top of the Moody keels is both long and broad allowing a generous number of large diameter keel studs, which makes it a relatively low stressed design. In cases of serious grounding, damage to the grp keel stub on the hull has been recorded, but the yacht was still able to sail many ocean miles before the keel was removed for repairs to the grp and replaced. One Moody 422 was unfortunate enough to break free of its mooring in a hurricane and be driven ashore. The rudder was damaged, but when the owner had the keel dropped for inspection, no damage was found.

The cable locker draining into the bilge is a poor feature of the design. Like many others, we have raised the base of the locker and provided an overboard drain with a clam shell cover. Overboard draining cable locker, inevitably means the weight is carried above the waterline - theoretically not ideal, but the cable weight forms a small proportion of the all up weight of our 10 ton dry weight (probably 12 tons with European cruising gear and full tanks) so we think the benefits outweigh the penalty. On the M425, the showers are drained by pumps discharging through seacocks on the waterline.

For World cruising, I would convert at least the lower bunk of the passage cabin to a workshop incorporating a water maker and perhaps a washing machine.

The addition of the sugar scoop to the 422 and 425 replaced the function of the cockpit locker with a cavernous lazarette right across the stern aft of the aft cabin. The steering quadrant is under the sole boards of the lazarette so the emergency tiller is rigged from the aft deck, through a brass threaded plug and passes down through the lazarette to engage the rudder stock. This is a significant improvement on the arrangement which has the emergency tiller down below imho. I have used the emergency steering on our M425 when the quadrant failed - it worked fine.

I forget how many fathoms of cable are in our locker - I have only once deployed it all and it self stows without trouble, despite having marginally reduced the space available by raising the floor to ensure self draining overboard.

The prime source of water in our bilge is drawing the log impeller to clear it of weed fouling. We have arranged for this compartment of the bilge to be readily isolated (a bung in the limber hole and all pipe / cable penetration through the floors sealed) so only this area needs mopping out after cleaning the impeller.

The main disadvantage of the 376 relative to the 419 for your purposes is size - when it comes to passage making, there is no substitute for waterline length, you can't defeat the laws of hydrodynamics.

You can find details of all these Moodys in the Moody Archive which is accessed via a link towards the bottom left of the MOA Home page.

Hope this helps,


Micky Barnes

Michael Barnes
Boat name
Boat type
Moody 41
Cruising area
South Coast

I have a Moody 41 – the first in the series. I am the second owner and have had her for 19 years. The M419 is identical internally to the M41 except for the orientation of the aft cabin berth. Moody boats are not light displacement racers but they look after you which is much the most important for extensive cruising. The layup on them is thick and should outlast many modern light displacement boats. Further to Peter’s comments, my comments are based on experience with my M41, which are entirely relevant to the M419, but I cannot comment about later models.

Keel. This is all iron and faired at the join to the hull like an aircraft wing and does not present a sharp right angle between keel and the hull; the latter construction is not only weaker but also from an aerodynamicist’s point of view is less efficient. The fairing provides two rows of keel bolts instead of just a single row. Almost without exception when owners have removed keel bolts for inspection they have been in perfect (as installed) condition. However there have been comments about the nuts on top rusting. These almost invariably look worse than they really are and normally only require wire brushing and re-treating.

Cable locker. I have 60metres of 10mm chain + 15m of anchorplait attached to a Manson anchor stored on a modified bow roller. Spare fuel for the outboard motor is also stored there. Original manual windlass has been changed to a vertical axis electric one, with battery stored in the forepeak. Mine drains overboard and never drained into the bilges. One other M419 that I have seen in detail had the same arrangement so I am surprised by your comment regarding draining into the bilge. I do have to feed the chain forward when weighing anchor – holding the boathook at an angle usually does the trick.

Emergency steering. This is poor in the M41 and as manufactured can only be used from within the aft cabin. I have once had to use it for real when my old red steering conduit collapsed. At first the autopilot was used to steer. Then I steered using a hand compass from the aft cabin with instructions sent from the cockpit but soon changed to having the emergency tiller between my legs and my head out of the aft cabin hatch. I would strongly recommend that the emergency steering is modified to that used in later models.

Other brief comments. There are a number of hidden compartments in the M41/M419 which can be opened up for additional stowage. I fitted a dedicated engine start battery in aft cabin but with a switch to enable emergency starting from domestic batteries. Additional battery bank (200+ Ah) under navigator seat.