Moody Eclipse 33 Thoughts on owning a Moody 33 Eclipse

  • Thread starter Glyn Wright
  • Start date

Glyn Wright

Hi, and Happy New Year folks.. I have never posted here but am seeking opinions on ownership values on the Moody 33 Eclipse 1988 era. I am travelling a long way to view the boat that has been lived on for some 10 years. It is Bilge Keel version. So, are there any particular foibles that these models suffer from? The Volvo engine has, apparently, been looked after by a marine engineer. The electrics have been supported by 3 new batteries (2019) and she sports Eberspacher heating and clarifier hot water to the sinks and shower. Reasonable spec I suppose however, the nav instruments are dated and some not operational.
How do they sail? Can she be single handed? Is the interior steering substantial and accurate? Thats enough to be going on with but they will probably generate more questions. Thank you in anticipation.

Paul Crickmore

Paul Crickmore
Boat name
Boat type
Moody Eclipse 33
Cruising area
UK West Coast
Hello back and a happy new year to you too. Welcome to the forum!
I've had my E33 for 5 years now and am very satisfied with her performance. She's not the fastest boat on the sea - the sailplan is slightly compromised by the height of the boom to clear the superstructure and sprayhood, plus the boom is quite short. She's also quite heavy. Having said that, I have had her moving along at 8 knots through the water on occasions. I can't get her pointing very close to wind, but suspect my technique rather than her ability.

In terms of single-handing, the fully furling sails make reefing easy when pointing to wind (with assistance from the autopilot) and the main can be brought in by one person alone. Sailing single-handed is easy. I find parking to be more of a challenge, but that's partly because my co-ordination is poor and I can't throw mooring lines (or jump, for that matter) with any accuracy. She has a fair amount of freeboard and is quite beamy, so it's a long way from the wheel to a pontoon if coming alongside in a breeze. Someone more nimble wouldn't have a problem.

The interior steering is as capable as the outer. There could be slightly more play as it is cable driven rather than using a steel bar. and cables can stretch The seeing is fine except aft until the vessel is well heeled over, but I'd not be steering from below under sail except in lighter winds that don't cause as much heel. Some owners have added an additional hatch in the stern cabin on the starboard side of the companionway, in order to improve light, ventilation and as a bonus, aft visibility (if the cabin door is open).

In terms of instruments; the E33 does benefit from having autopilot (I think all were fitted with the Autohelm/Raymarine ST6000 - capable enough if still functioning, and can be fairly easily integrated with a plotter). The original Stowe instruments were a little basic. The through-hull apertures for them aren't a standard 50mm but about 48mm, so replacing those instruments will require plugging the apertures with wooden plugs before cutting out to the required size.

An on-deck chart plotter is a bit of an issue: there is no cabling going to the helm position and the coachroof is too far away. I solved this (in a not very approved manner) with a length of 5-core flex of 7mm diameter: 3 cores carry the SeaTalk 1 data, the other two cores carry power. I drilled a single hole through the deck under the port upright for the grab-rail and a hole in the upright through which to feed the flex in an outer plastic sheath. It's then an easy route through the headlining in the aft cabin and the engine room to the autopilot for data connection and power. Pictures available on request.

The aft cabin is for a short couple or a singleton like myself, the forepeak cabin is very nice for living aboard. The head and shower is palatial! I have it on good authority that the dropdown berth in the saloon is extremely comfortable. Some literature suggests this is a single, but it will sleep a couple quite happily. In all, the accommodation is worthy of boats 5-10 feet longer.

Best wishes,

Glyn Wright

Hi Paul, Happy New Year to you also.
This information is very well accepted as great advise. We are currently liaising with a guy who has owned his for many years and is retiring aged 89. He is an ex-engineer however, upon his own admission, he has not been able to keep up with some parts of maintenance of his boat due to his lack of dexterity. He has allowed for this aspect in his ask price apparently. It just remains for me to assess the extent of TLC required and, together with a programme of updates and personalisation, we would be looking to keep her in Torquay Marina which has access 24/7.

We have decided to keep a photographic log of our adventure into Moody ownership and will post our exploits to a suitable blog etc. Hopefully, this may help others in their decision-making processes.

So, for now, and with thanks to yourself, we are progressing nicely to Moody ownership.

All the best.

Glyn & Julia