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Which Centre Cockpit Moody Under 35 Feet ?

Jim Boyd

Jim Boyd
Temporary Member
#1
Hello,

I have owned a Westerly Merlin for about 6 years ago and am thinking of buying a larger boat. The main considerations for me are:

Reasonable sailing performance including pointing ability
OK for single handed coastal sailing
Good manners in reverse under power
Comfortable sleeping accomodation for my wife and I (without the gymnastics required to get out of bed at present -hence the centre cockpit preference)
Good living space and storage

Would anyone be able to offer advice?

Best wishes and thank you

Jim
 

William Wilson

William Wilson
Boat name
CARPE DIEM
Berth
Dunstaffnage Bay
Boat type
Moody 35
Cruising area
West Coast Scotland
#2
Jim
Whilst not under 35 ft I would recommend the moody 35. It ticks all the boxes for me, and meets your criteria I sail single handed a lot without any undue problems
Cheers
William
 

Jeff Williams

Jeff Williams
Boat name
KYRA
Berth
Plymouth
Boat type
Moody 346
Cruising area
South Coast
#3
I recommend the less expensive but slightly older M346.
I have enjoyed mine for 13 years but now for sale due to (my) old age!
(see boats for sale section for full spec)
 

Neil Eccles

Neil Eccles
General Committee
MOA Position
Website Editor
Boat name
CUTAWAY
Berth
Vannes
Boat type
Moody 42
Cruising area
West Coast of France and North Coast Of Spain
#4
Actually a Moody 36 would give you a nice centreline double aft berth. They are good to sail and can be sailed single handed.
 

Mike Neave

Mike Neave
General Committee
Solent Branch Committee
Boat name
GANNET
Berth
Wicor Marine (Portsmouth)
Boat type
Moody 35
Cruising area
Solent & South Coast
#5
Jim

I will be biased as I own a 35 however having gone through the process a few years ago of upsizing from our then Moody 31 this is why we ended up choosing the 35.

We looked at a number of boats including the 346, the 35 and the 36

The 346’s generally were not in as good a condition (Not surprising given that they are older boats) and the interior is an older generation design to the 35 or the 36. The big cockpit locker is a plus point and they have plenty of stowage. Sailing wise they are no race boat and there is some evidence to say that they don’t track as well as some other Boats and certainly when we sailed one it was not that easy to trim it to sail hands off however we have a number of Friends with 346’s and they don’t seem to have a problem and most people would have an autopilot anyway. 346’s also have a reputation for having a list to Port caused by the water tank being on the Port side so if you also load them up with heavy items on Port as well then you end up with it listing to port.

The 36 is a lovely boat but you pay a premium for it, typically £10-15K more than a 35. The Topsides and Gunwale are quite high (to get the interior volume up) so you can have quite a step up which could be a problem if you are either short or not best on your feet. The Interior is lovely and the Aft Cabin Berth is accessible from both sides. Sailing wise they are not as quick as a 35 as they carry more weight and have a similar size rig but neither are they poor performers.

The 35 has a more modern interior (Particularly late models 1994/95) than a 346 with the walk through heads accessible from the saloon and the Aft Cabin with plenty of room for the shower, the down side is you lose the deep Cockpit locker and Deck stowage is limited to one aft deck locker which is why most 35’s have fender baskets. They sail well and with a decent set of sails will show many larger boats a thing or two. They handle well both short-handed and also under power and will turn in their own length and going astern is no problem as long as you have a bit of way on and we have never had any problems getting in to tight Marina berths. Down below stowage is acceptable but you do have to be organised (like any boat) to make the most of it.

For us the final choice came down to the specific boat that we looked at being the “Best condition” of all the ones we looked at for an acceptable price and the money we saved over a 36 was put to new sails and an electronics refit. We have been very happy with the 35 and it’s what I would call a perfect Solent & Channel boat, if you want to cross oceans and live aboard then something else is likely to better fit the requirement.

If you are interested in a 35 then ours may be going on the market in the not too distant future as we are considering “Crossing Oceans” and probably will look to change.

Rgds Mike Neave
 

Jim Boyd

Jim Boyd
Temporary Member
#6
Thank you all for the speedy replies. I had read something about the tracking problems on the 346.

Does anyone have a view on the 333?

Thank you again

Jim
 

Jim Boyd

Jim Boyd
Temporary Member
#7
Thank you all for the speedy replies. I had read something about the tracking problems on the 346.

Does anyone have a view on the 333?

Thank you again

Jim
 

John Mortimer

John Mortimer
Boat name
WIZARD
Berth
Southampton
Boat type
Moody 346
Cruising area
Solent
#8
Our tacks fine :)
f9 in the channel a couple of years ago - boat rode it very well.
We are really pleased with our 346.
Feel free to ask away - this is a really helpful group ( saved me a fortune )
Fair winds and good luck with your search
John
 

Jim Boyd

Jim Boyd
Temporary Member
#9
Our tacks fine :)
f9 in the channel a couple of years ago - boat rode it very well.
We are really pleased with our 346.
Feel free to ask away - this is a really helpful group ( saved me a fortune )
Fair winds and good luck with your search
John
Thank you John. My observation was about how well the boat 'tracks' as opposed to 'tacks'.

What I had heard and what the other person referred to was, I believe , an issue about the balance of the boat in respect of any excessive tendency to veer off course if you take your hand off the tiller.

Obviously I know that the sails must be set properly for any boat to stay on track but I suppose some are more well mannered than others in this respect.

Any observations you may be kind enough to offer in this regard would be much appreciated .

Best wishes

Jim
 

Geoff Greatorex

Geoff Greatorex
Boat name
TILLYMINT
Berth
Yarmouth, IOW
Boat type
Moody Excel 34
Cruising area
South Coast/Britanny
#10
Just read this thread. A bit late perhaps, but don't forget the much later 34 Excel. Not many made. (David Moody says 4 in his book, but I know of 8!). Looks like small 36, but the layout of the 346, with basically a modification of the 336 hull. Could do with more canvas in light airs but holds what is has very well in a blow.
 

Mark Williams

Mark Williams
Boat name
FIRECREST
Berth
Caernarfon, North Wales
Boat type
Moody 346
Cruising area
North Wales
#11
Hi Jim
Regarding the tracking question I can say that the 346 tracks very well. Ours is the bilge keel and I can leave the wheel for some minutes under power or sail and it maintains its course. Bought an autopilot for the 346 as my last boat, a Trapper 501, veered off course the moment you let go of the tiller. Can say that I hardly have to use the autopilot unless on a long passage. The 346 is a great sailing boat.
Good luck
Mark
 

Andy Hazell

Andy Hazell
Boat name
none
Berth
N/A
Boat type
Searching for a Moody
Cruising area
South Coast
#12
We have a 346 and love it.
The list to port is caused by the fuel tank as opposed to the water tanks.
We have the bilge keel version which sails fine. She is really nicely balanced, and I sail her single handed all the time. Upwind, you can tack her over, leave the wheel and grind the headsail in with no issues whatsoever.
I might be slightly biased but she's a fabulous centre cockpit boat, and perfect for my young family. The 346 has just had a cracking review by Yachting Monthly - perhaps the best centre cockpit boat under 35ft around!

I guess everything depends on how much you want to spend, where you want to sail and keep her, how much performance you are looking for.
On top of this, a Moody holds her value as opposed to our french cousins. In my opinion, this is due to having a cracking owners association and Moodys having a reputation for build quality.


Performance:
If you want more pointing ability, look at replacing the 145% genoa with a non-overlapping headsail with vertical batterns in the leach, plus add a folding/feathering prop.


Draft
For reference the 346 draws the same (give or take a few cms) as the M31 bilge keel, but you get so much more volume.

Reverse Power.
I currently have a 2 blade fixed prop with the original Thornycroft engine. She's a joy to handle under power. She kicks about 6ft to port before going backwards. I actually love this as I'm able to turn her within her own length.
Once shes going in reverse, she's fine. I regularly reverse down christchurch river and park her straight onto her mooring.


Very happy to talk in more detail with you if that would help.

Andy
 

Tim Rothwell

Tim Rothwell
Boat name
KISMET
Berth
Dartmouth
Boat type
Moody Excel 34
Cruising area
SW, N Brittany, CI
#13
Hi Jim, I was fortunate enough to be offered a deal I couldn't refuse on a 34 Excel (No.17) last year and have now completed one season with 'Kismet'. We've been caught in a blow and easily rode it, pointed well into the wind and got where we wanted to be in good time on all occasions (Scilly and back from Dart the longest trip). Now I am about to take delivery of a new set of sails, I expect even better. We have lots of headroom, bags of cabin space and a responsive boat in both astern and forwards and on all points of sail. I couldn't have expected better.
The bad news is that only about 20 were made so if one comes up for sale, I recommend you to have a look. They aren't the prettiest with their high topsides but SWMBO and I are both really happy we 'fell over' the 34 Excel last year and decided to buy it.