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Moody S31 What's the differences between S31 and 31 Mk 2

Barry Voysey

Barry Voysey
Temporary Member
#1
We are considering purchasing a Moody as our first boat, a 31 footer seems about the right size for my non sailing wife, son and I. We recently nearly bought a 31 Mk2 but there were some engine issues with the aged Volvo 2003 which meant we didn't proceed. We're now back in the hunt for a boat, the 31 Mk 2 seemed to tick most of the boxes for us, but having been exposed to the issues of old engines I am now wondering whether it might be worth finding a bit more money, sure there is some under the mattress somewhere, and so have also been looking at adverts for the S31. I have also looked at some adverts for the 336 but that is a different question!

I realise it is slightly longer, slightly wider and newer, but is it a better constructed boat than the older 31 Mk2, I'm thinking of things like hull lay up. I presume that the engine will be a newer Volvo marinised version of something, if so are these generally better or just less worn out but having similar issues. Hopefully someone will be able to let me know.
 

Neil Eccles

Neil Eccles
General Committee
GC Support Team
MOA Position
Website Editor
Boat name
CUTAWAY
Berth
Vannes
Boat type
Moody 42
Cruising area
West Coast of France and North Coast Of Spain
#2
Hi Barry,

There are others who have more specific knowledge about this, but this is what I know:

There is no difference in build quality between the M31 marks 1 and 2 and S3 and M336.
The M336 is bigger and has wheel steering which makes it easier for non sailing folk. (I speak as a previous owner), engine access is excellent and the heads/shower is to die for. I loved our M336 and we only moved on to get a bigger boat for "all summer" cruises.

The S31 is more of a performer than the M31, a slightly later generation. (Does the S31 have a saildrive anyone?)

All 3 have variants of the Volvo 2002/3 which are generally reliable but now earlier generation engines. Spares are easy to get and there are thousands of boats out there sailing with these engines.

You are buying a boat which is around 20 - 25 years old. Average engine hours are 100 per annum, but we do about 130 sailing all summer.
You can get the oil analysed and the engine compression tested which gives more comfort.

I really don't think you would be disappointed in any of the boats, but my advice would be to ensure that the boat you buy is neat and well presented, that there are no real issues with say rigging or engine and is well looked after. I am sure you have discovered it is easy to tell whether previous owners cared or not.

Do have a proper survey done before purchase though. You can usually save the cost in negotiating any faults against costs.

Hope this helps a bit

Kindest

Neil
 

Dick Holness

Dick Holness
Boat name
CANTATA
Berth
East Coast
Boat type
Moody 36(90s)
Cruising area
East Coast France Belgium Holland
#3
I had an S31 for 12 years and loved it, a smashing sailing boat.
The S31 has a different layout, rig, engine and hull design from the 31.
Layout is more 'modern', overall the boat has many similarities to the 336.
Engine is 19hp Volvo MD2020 with a sail drive. Rig is double spreader with double lowers, a very beefy rig. Most were masthead, a few were fractional with a taller mast and adjustable backstay. Stowage possibly not quite so good as the 31. Most were tiller boats, some had a wheel. Very large double berth aft.
They were built from 1994 to 1998 by Marine Projects at Plymouth, as were all other Moodys of that time, but then for a couple of years a final few were built by Prouts, these boats were branded 'Moody 31 Excel'. Quite a few of these were built for charter companies in the Med, and some (not all) of these charter boats had a reduced fit-out spec down below.
 
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Adam Grater

Adam Grater
Boat name
CORNSILK
Berth
Oare Creek
Boat type
Moody S31
Cruising area
Uk and France
#4
Re engines, I have noticed that quite a few engines in the 30 year-ish bracket are being replaced.
The S31s are about 20 years. Proper maintenance obviously has a lot to do with the life of a marine engine. My personal experience is that the MD2020 really benefits from a good prop like a Brunton's.
Re space, the S31 has less 'cubby-holes' and lockers, but is light and nice and roomy down below. The skipper and I have been 'live-aboards' on ours for about 4 weeks now, we're very comfortable and (often) still speak to each other.
The S31 is about 32', the 336 about 34'. We moved up from a 28 so the extra 4' made a big difference (along with hot water, fridge etc).
Not sure I'd have wanted to go up 6' (esp in narrow and windy marinas).
 

Barry Voysey

Barry Voysey
Temporary Member
#5
Thanks for all your replies, most helpful. I suspect what we consider depends on what comes up on the market when we start looking again at the end of August.
 
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