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Moody Eclipse 43...maybe?

Discussion in 'Thinking of buying a Moody ask a question here' started by John Dekkers, 24/10/17.

  1. John Dekkers

    John Dekkers John Dekkers Registered Guest

    Messages:
    5
    Hi all,

    I have been on a quest for a boat to use for a family of four in the Med, perhaps touring the french canals and up into the Baltic. I was very excited when I came across the Moody Eclipse 43, this ticks almost every box..... shoal keel, 3 state rooms, interior helm (something about standing watch in the pouring rain and wind that just doesn't appeal to me), love the true raised saloon that makes great use of the space underneath for a full mid ship cabin, walk around island V-berth, lots of storage in the Aft Port compartment (I like to cycle as well and adequate storage large enough for a proper bike or two is rare). So awesome! What's not to like? Then reality set in, only 38 of these were made from 89 - 91. These are now 28 year old boats and yet they still carry a fairly heft AVG price tag of Euro 132,000 (for the 5 that I found). I guess I'm not the only one who feels these are awesome boats.

    For the right price, I can deal with maybe having to replace an engine, windlass, standing rigging, navionics etc. but what I really don't want is a boat that is already half way to Davy Jones locker. I am very concerned about rot. Can anyone advise of the hull construction of these? Deck construction. I also like the Moody 44 CC and learned that it is a solid glass hull with balsa core deck. Is the 43 the same? Balsa core scares the %$#@ out of me. Any moisture ingress during it's 28 years and it will be rotten...what are the odds of that not happening? Was Moody a super diligent manufacturer that sealed the core with epoxy at every hole in the deck? Could this boat be THAT awesome? I explicitly rule out any boat that has teak decks with any mechanical fasteners as this just creates a 1000 opportunities for moisture to destroy the core.

    What has been the experience of Moody owners of this vintage or older? Does the coring stand the test of time? I am not into a massive recoring/re-skinning project....especially not at the prices people are asking. I have also read about rusting keel bolts and fittings on other Eclipse models so that would also mean dropping the keel for inspection....more work, more $$$. Love the boat, but the age scares me a lot. Would love to hear from others who have gone through this process of buying an older boat. Thanks for any feedback!

    John
     
  2. David Woolgar

    David Woolgar David Woolgar

    Messages:
    69
    Boat name:
    JEMMA
    Berth:
    Medway
    Boat type:
    Moody Eclipse 38
    Cruising area:
    East Coast
    Hi John

    Sorry for the very late reply to your thread. Over the last 12 years I have owned a 1989 Eclipse 33 and a 1991 Eclipse 38 and they ARE awesome boats. What is not to like!

    In my current 38 the engine is still the original with 2500 hours and it still starts and runs really well. Yes, we have changed the standing and running rigging, the windlass, the navionics (and most of the 12volt and 230 volt systems) as well as the sails, the hatches the windows and the upholstery but we have a boat that we really like which is like new and a quarter of the cost of buying an equivalent new deck saloon. The hulls are solid fibreglass and the decks are balsa cored but not where most of the deck fittings are mounted. Here the fibreglass is solid and backed by marine plywood pads. If there are mounting bolts through the balsa then Moody (Marine Projects) were a diligent manufacturer because there are no 'soft spots' on my 38 or any of the other 38's I know. I am in touch with 18 of the owners of the 24 boats that were made. Eclipse 38's are really rare!

    You may have heard about 'rusting' keel bolts on other Eclipses but when the bolts are drawn or the keel dropped they are nearly always in good condition with no wasting and unlike stainless steel there is not the threat of hidden crevice corrosion. I know owners who have drawn and changed the bolts usually because a surveyor has recommended this, and sometimes they put new ones in as they have the old ones out but I do not know of any Eclipse owners who had to change them because they were dangerously wasted. I have also never heard of a Moody yacht losing it's keel and there are a lot of Moody's from the 70's still sailing around.

    In conclusion I would say allow for how much you may need to spend on the things that wear out on a yacht and try to get the price reduced to reflect this but do not worry about the build quality of the hulls. They are still better than many boats built today!

    Good luck!

    David
     
  3. John Dekkers

    John Dekkers John Dekkers Registered Guest

    Messages:
    5
    Thanks David, I really appreciate you taking the time to share your experiences. The description of what you have done to your boat is really exactly what I'm envisioning this 43 that I'm considering will require. It appears to be almost entirely original so in need of everything. But so long as it has good bones, I can go through and refurbish all those things that need attention, rigging, sails, keel bolts, windows, hatches, upholstery, navioncs etc. It is daunting but I feel in the end I would have a boat that I truly like and will be solid for many years to come. I fear a little bit that the to-do list may never end (but then, it never does with any boat) or that I will spend more time fixing than cruising....but then I hear that's what cruising is...working on boats in exotic locations. :)
    Guess you'll know if I went for it if I show up again in the MOA forums. Thanks again!

    John
     
  4. Peter Wright

    Peter Wright Peter Wright

    Messages:
    1,791
    Boat name:
    WILD THYME
    Berth:
    Suffolk Yacht Harbour
    Boat type:
    Moody 425
    Cruising area:
    North Sea, English Channel, Biscay
    Hi John,

    In my view, a to do list that you never finish is a normal part of boat ownership. A near original example is the best option with boats of this age - once you've finished the first refit, you know that everything has been done the way you want. You will find this site exceptionally helpful in working out what to do and how to do it. I know it saves me several times the subscription fee every year.

    Hope your purchase goes well.

    Peter
     
  5. David Woolgar

    David Woolgar David Woolgar

    Messages:
    69
    Boat name:
    JEMMA
    Berth:
    Medway
    Boat type:
    Moody Eclipse 38
    Cruising area:
    East Coast
    Hi John

    I agree with everything that Peter W says especially regarding having a near original example as a 'blank canvas'. The only thing I would add is maybe do the safety related items straight away but then use her for a season. You will learn a lot about what and where to fit all the new bits you will be buying but also you can get in some cruising to give you the motivation to work through the long dark winter!

    My 'to do ' list is now reassuringly short but it still exists!

    Hope all goes well.

    David
     
  6. Peter Sims

    Peter Sims Peter Sims

    Messages:
    310
    Boat name:
    SIRI
    Berth:
    Ocean Quay Marina, Southampton
    Boat type:
    Moody 44
    Cruising area:
    Ionian
    Hi John
    I can only endorse what David and Peter say above.
    My boat is a 1997 M44 but hull length is 43 so I wonder if it is the same hull? They started the model in 1992 I think so about the same time as the Eclipse was stopped.
    Mine has teak decks but they are all glued rather than screwed down so no water into the balsa core thankfully. I imagine an Eclipse would be the same as they were fitted at Marine Projects. Only the next sizes up had decks fitted at Moody's and they were screwed down.
    My keel was dropped by the previous owner after he last used it as his maintenance man told him the studs were rusting in the bilge because the keel wasn't connected to the anode. Absolute rubbish of course bu it means I had brand new keel bolts along with photos of the old ones showing them in perfect condition. Many articles in the archives on this subject but you should never be complacent about such an important item.
    My boat had a major refit when 10 years old and is anyway rather different to an Eclipse but the size, performance, comfort etc is fantastic.
    Hope your purchase goes will if it is the right boat.
    Regards
    Peter