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Moody S31 - Fin Or Bilge ?

Discussion in 'Thinking of buying a Moody ask a question here' started by David Murray, 15/7/16.

  1. HI everyone. I am considering buying an S31 as a first major boat purchase. My sailing area would be the north west & north Wales. Bilge keels are more practical for this region, but I don't want to sacrifice significant windward sailing ability. Has anyone ever done a comparison?
    Many thanks . David Murray
  2. Dick Holness

    Dick Holness Dick Holness

    Boat name:
    Boat type:
    Moody 36(90s)
    Cruising area:
    East Coast France Belgium Holland
    Hello David, welcome.
    I owned an S31 for 12 years, a bilge-keeler, and she sailed extraordinarily well. At one stage we did some racing in one club regatta per year (I raced dinghies pretty seriously for years) and found that, properly set up, she went upwind really well, showing a clean pair of heels to larger fin-keelers! I can remember bar conversations afterwards where others refused to believe that she was a bilge keeler.
    Obviously windward performance will suffer when it blows hard, although even so, if the sea stays fairly flat she'll still go pretty well to windward, with leeway only starting to become an issue if there's a big chop running.
    She's a beamy boat in the aft sections and it pays to keep her pretty upright, first by using sail controls to flatten the sails, then starting to reef down. I remember she would go upwind really well in 20 knots of breeze (apparent) with full genoa and one slab out of the main, but only if you got both sails really flat, with loads of luff tension.
    A great sailing boat, you won't be disappointed.
    There were, incidentally, two versions, the normal rig being masthead (which mine was), but also there was a fractional rig version, which was aimed at club racing and had a taller mast and adjustable backstay. I don't think there were too many of these, and I would expect they were mostly if not all fin-keelers.
  3. Stuart Rodgers

    Stuart Rodgers Stuart Rodgers

    Boat name:
    Boat type:
    Moody S31
    Cruising area:
    Hi David
    My S31 is a bilge-keeler with the taller mast and fractional rig.
    She sails very well!