What’s she like to sail?
The Moody 31 is fast, easy, responsive, and thrilling to helm and with her hinged tiller and cockpit layout, she is well set up for singlehanded or short-handed cruising. She is a sailing machine that can be thrown around in a tight corner and yet will make speedy offshore passages, but in strong winds she is not for the faint-hearted. Sailing this boat, you need to think on your feet and be ready for her immediate response to your helming commands.
She’s not a boat noted for looking after herself at sea: heaving to will take great balancing skills to stop her fore-reaching at a speed not suitable for dealing with a problem. A shrewd skipper would be more likely to drop sail and motor while sorting things out.
Although she stands up to her canvas fairly well, this boat does heel readily and rapidly, and care should be taken to reef at the appropriate time.
What’s she like in port and at anchor?
With her shallow-draught bilge keel, she is likely to skate about at the beck and call of wind shifts, a liveliness not helped by the generous height of her topsides, which give her unwanted windage.
That said, her 3ft 6in draught is ideal for exploring the many free and drying anchorages around the British coast, with a bathing ladder to access the beach once the tide has run off. In today’s world this is becoming more and more of a boon as the charges for visitors’ berths and moorings continue to increase.
In marinas, her ability to turn easily and be warped or motored astern with predictability makes her a boon for those nervous of tacklilng tight finger berths. Due to her high topsides, some crews might require a stepping stool to get on and off the pontoon.
The design's shallow sheer and low coachroof give her a welcome sun-deck when the weather’s fine.
Would she suit you and your crew?
The Moody 31 is primarily a young person’s boat: either a young solo sailor or a young family. Some might consider her to be a touch too wild for the senior sailor, but I'm sure there are many still willing and able to sail her.
There are six berths in three cabins: a forepeak with hanging locker and shelving, the main saloon with two settee berths and the aft cabin, which has a snug-fit double berth. She has the accommodation to give privacy to two couples on a weekend away, and enough living space for a young family on an extended coastal cruise.
The low coachroof gives ample space on deck and there is a bathing ladderfixed to her sugar scoop stern, which is equally as useful when you're dried out on the sands as it is for a quick swim.
She has plenty of features to woo coastal cruisers old and new. While she might be a handful to some, there are many who will love her: those for whom being able to cook, sleep and relax while sailing is a great introduction to yachting and their first step up from dinghies.