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Moody 54 Moody 54 as first boat?

Ruth Narramore

Ruth Narramore
Registered Guest
#1
Hi. My hubby & I have decided to stop prevaricating and get on with our lives! We are looking at buying a Moody 54 as our first and hopefully only boat & intend to sail her following the trade winds around the world and also use her as a live aboard whilst we train and prepare for long crossings
Just looking for advice, comments from other 54 owners (& all moody owners) as to potential problem areas to look out for. We are both able diy’ers having worked on various land based properties over the years as well as maintaining cars etc but would appreciate some advance knowledge of problem areas on a vessel
Thank you in advance
 

Peter Sims

Peter Sims
Boat name
SIRI
Berth
Ocean Quay Marina, Southampton
Boat type
Moody 44
Cruising area
Ionian
#2
Hi Ruth
I'll be the first to jump in here. I know nothing about the 54 so can give no advice there other than what you get with other boats - something you don't know about of course.
10 days ago I met a nice couple who had just bought an Oyster 56 as their first boat with exactly the same intentions as you. I met them by chance having heard about them from their surveyor a week earlier. Lovely people with great ambitions and absolutely no idea of what they were taking on. Having met their surveyor I knew the boat was in good general order but, being 2nd hand, had some relatively minor issues. They had no idea what those issues meant and were managing to gloss over them as irrelevant. They were charmingly naïve and one would smile about it if they weren't about to go into my sailing area in 26 tons of boat with no experience other than a couple of weeks of courses on much smaller boats.
You may get the impression I disapprove strongly - and you would be right. I admire your courage, ambition, and your intent and I envy your ability to buy such a big boat. Being a grumpy old man, however, I think you are completely mad - in the nicest possible way. Even if you don't damage yourself or others you will probably damage the boat and other boats. You would be far more sensible to buy a much smaller boat for a year or 2 and get a little experience of what owning and maintaining a boat entails. They are complex pieces of equipment that few of us can claim to fully understand even after many years of ownership.
As the surveyor mentioned above said to the Oyster 56 owners, "What are you going to do if you are coming into a marina and the engine fails?" Their reply was "Turn round". His response was "No, that is not an option. You look for the cheapest boat to hit. Whatever you hit is going to be completely destroyed so make it as low cost as possible". They were horrified. He was absolutely right!
Whatever you decide I wish you well but please stay away from Greece for your first 2 or 3 years if you decide to plunge in at the 54' level.
Hopefully this will encourage others to come in with more positive advice!
Regards, and sorry to be so negative
Peter
 

Ruth Narramore

Ruth Narramore
Registered Guest
#3
Hi Ruth
I'll be the first to jump in here. I know nothing about the 54 so can give no advice there other than what you get with other boats - something you don't know about of course.
10 days ago I met a nice couple who had just bought an Oyster 56 as their first boat with exactly the same intentions as you. I met them by chance having heard about them from their surveyor a week earlier. Lovely people with great ambitions and absolutely no idea of what they were taking on. Having met their surveyor I knew the boat was in good general order but, being 2nd hand, had some relatively minor issues. They had no idea what those issues meant and were managing to gloss over them as irrelevant. They were charmingly naïve and one would smile about it if they weren't about to go into my sailing area in 26 tons of boat with no experience other than a couple of weeks of courses on much smaller boats.
You may get the impression I disapprove strongly - and you would be right. I admire your courage, ambition, and your intent and I envy your ability to buy such a big boat. Being a grumpy old man, however, I think you are completely mad - in the nicest possible way. Even if you don't damage yourself or others you will probably damage the boat and other boats. You would be far more sensible to buy a much smaller boat for a year or 2 and get a little experience of what owning and maintaining a boat entails. They are complex pieces of equipment that few of us can claim to fully understand even after many years of ownership.
As the surveyor mentioned above said to the Oyster 56 owners, "What are you going to do if you are coming into a marina and the engine fails?" Their reply was "Turn round". His response was "No, that is not an option. You look for the cheapest boat to hit. Whatever you hit is going to be completely destroyed so make it as low cost as possible". They were horrified. He was absolutely right!
Whatever you decide I wish you well but please stay away from Greece for your first 2 or 3 years if you decide to plunge in at the 54' level.
Hopefully this will encourage others to come in with more positive advice!
Regards, and sorry to be so negative
Peter
Hi Peter
Thank you for your reply and I fully take on board what you are saying. I should have said that we do have experience sailing on 38-40 ft boats, we have also completed training to Day Skipper level and are looking to gain more experience before taking the plunge. We have also been lucky enough to have had a wide variety of skippers/tutors who have not only given us RYA training in Tenerife and the Solent (as well as much tidal experience in the Bristol Channel in a RIB) but have also equipped us with hints and tips on short handed sailing. We are not going into this totally blind!

We are also reading as much as possible about boat maintenance & what can go wrong both with the boat and us! I am in no way saying that we know even a fraction of what is required but suffice to say we are more than willing to take advice and learn

I fully take on board your comments and appreciate the spirit in which they have been given and will practice engine failure manoeuvres as well as much more. Any advice is welcome whether negative or positive

Kind Regards
Ruth
 

Sean Tyson

Sean Tyson
Boat name
POLIBRE
Berth
Barrow In Furness
Boat type
Moody 31 MkII
Cruising area
Irish Sea
#4
Life isn't a dress rehearsal, get It bought and go and learn as you go. what a fantastic position to be in, well jell!!
You can always sell it if it does not work out, what could possibly go wrong....
 

Ruth Narramore

Ruth Narramore
Registered Guest
#5
Life isn't a dress rehearsal, get It bought and go and learn as you go. what a fantastic position to be in, well jell!!
You can always sell it if it does not work out, what could possibly go wrong....
Hi Sean. This is so true although I think a bit of tuition first makes life safer!
How long have you had your Moody? Do you enjoy it and have you found any problems or niggles?
Ruth
 

Alan King

Alan King
Boat name
ANADYR
Berth
La Roche Bernard
Boat type
Moody 346
Cruising area
West Country / Brittany
#6
The beauty of this website is that somebody has always done it before.
https://mariadz.com/category/mariadz-refit/
I found this by doing a search in info exchange using tag Moody 54.
Think that you have clarified 'first boat' and not 'first experience of sailing'.
Good luck,
Alan K
 

Steve Howlett

Steve Howlett
Boat name
TIGGER
Berth
Great Wakering, Essex
Boat type
Moody 27
Cruising area
River Crouch / River Roach / Thames Estuary
#8
Follow your dreams - where would we all be if our ancestors had not taken their first brave steps towards the edge of the horizon!
 

Pete Rowland

Peter Rowland
Boat name
APRIL LASS
Berth
Gosport
Boat type
Moody 31 MkII
Cruising area
Solent
#10
Ruth, there is a M54 just departing for Greenland in the next couple of weeks. Just wish I could take the time off to go with him. The cored hull will certainly help keep the hull warm, dry from condensation and quiet. The same will apply to boat in the tropics, the cored hull will help keep the boat cool.

http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/f33/greenland-east-coast-196504.html
 

Ruth Narramore

Ruth Narramore
Registered Guest
#11

Michael Barrett

Michael Barrett
Boat name
WHITE STAR
Berth
Fishing Bay Harbor Marina
Boat type
Moody 46
Cruising area
Chesapeake Bay, Usa
#12
I have a M46 and think it is an awesome boat. I've only been on one M54, and it was doubly awesome. Our first boat was a 2002 Moody 38, then we went "up" to a M46. More maintenance because the boat is larger. No harder to sail, but you will need more room for every form of maneuver, especially when allowing headway to come off.

The major documented maintenance issue with the larger Moodys (at least the M46-47 series) was rudder seals. They leaked. Just do a search in the tech library and you'll see plenty of info. The ones on the boat you are looking at have probably been fixed (Princess came back and did most of the M46 models at no cost although Lewmar had manufactured the seals). If the seals have not been replaced, doing so is not a hard task and many owners seem to do it when the boat is in the water--just depends on whether the stern tube is above the waterline when the boat is at anchor. On the M46-47 series the aft deck scuppers are in the lips surrounding the lazarettes--a poor arrangements as the lips hold dirt and debris better than velcro. If the 54 is the same, outside of checking and cleaning them scrupulously, there is really nothing else one can do except keep the lazarette dogged down tightly when leaving the boat. By tightly I mean locked. That helps immeasurably to keep the dirt/debris out. IF you don't, the scupper will clog and water will go over the lip and into the lazarette and then into the aft cabin at floor level--where the carpet is on the aft bulkheads.

Otherwise, no real faults I can think of. The usual things that wear to look for in buying a used boat which your surveyor will tell you about. Like automobiles or homes, certain items have a lifespan and replacements must be taken into consideration. Wear and tear are normal and entirely dependent on location and use, which again, the surveyor should give you guidance.

The big boats have a lot of momentum. I was sort of flabbergasted by the advice about aiming for the cheapest thing to hit in the marina if the engine failed, as I creep into marinas at 2 knots, and even with a 15 ton boat, a collision would not destroy a smaller boat. Then I thought about the currents associated with 12-18 foot tides and will keep my mouth closed. By comparison, we virtually have no tides in the Chesapeake Bay. Big Moodys are well and solidly built. Just look at the competition as you purchase yours. Never a good idea to go out of sight of land on something built by the lowest bidder.

Michael
 

Peter Wright

Peter Wright
Boat name
WILD THYME
Berth
Suffolk Yacht Harbour
Boat type
Moody 425
Cruising area
North Sea, English Channel, Biscay
#13
Hi Michael,

!2 - 18 foot is probably a bit less than the average around the UK coast - in the Bristol Channel the biggest range is around Newport on the Welsh (northern) side where a big spring can have a 45 foot range. The ebb stream between Ilfracombe and Minehead on the English (southern) side runs at 3.9 knots. Now that's a tide.

Peter.
 
#14
Hi. My hubby & I have decided to stop prevaricating and get on with our lives! We are looking at buying a Moody 54 as our first and hopefully only boat & intend to sail her following the trade winds around the world and also use her as a live aboard whilst we train and prepare for long crossings
Just looking for advice, comments from other 54 owners (& all moody owners) as to potential problem areas to look out for. We are both able diy’ers having worked on various land based properties over the years as well as maintaining cars etc but would appreciate some advance knowledge of problem areas on a vessel
Thank you in advance
Hi Ruth,
Snap, just purchasing a 54 to do exactly the same thing. Wendy and I though about this a lot as we're far from experienced sailors and whilst being adventurists (is that a word?) we're not completely and stupid took on board a lot of advice before making a decision, here's how it panned out.

Weekend cruisers thought us stupid, stared into their pints of warm ale and tried to dissuade us (mostly in nasal tones) from leaving the Med.

Dreamers, those who got as far as the Caribbean and turned back, thought it was a good idea but advised us to fix up the boat with every conceivable electronic device before heading off. Despite me being a techy we decided to ignore this advice.

Gypsies thought us affluent idiots and advised us to buy something sub 35 feet. Bugger that we've a need for comfort.

Doers, those people that set the goal and actually made it around the world, smiled and said JUST GO FOR IT! We were lucky enough to have a chat with Jimmy Cornell, an out and out doer, and he just gave us a hug and said go...

We decided to be in the doer camp and are purchasing a Moody 54!
 

Tim Rothwell

Tim Rothwell
Boat name
KISMET
Berth
Dartmouth
Boat type
Moody Excel 34
Cruising area
SW, N Brittany, CI
#15
I heard of a chap called Frank Drake who did it a few years ago. Admittedly he had a bit of a crew but his boat wasn't as good as the newer ones today and he had no engine, GPS or radio/sat phone. If you plan for as much as you can anticipate and pick your time then why not?? Good luck from a mere cross channeller! I admire you.
 
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