Yachting Monthly - - USED BOAT TEST -

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.

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