SETTING the MOOD
With its spacious floor plan, contemporary looks and smart accommodations, the MOODY DS54 is a decidedly new take on a legendary brand.
Once upon a time, Moody Yachts was a very English company building boats in Great Britain (for nearly 200 years) that exemplified what we’d expect from a longtime British boatyard. In other words, their vessels were stout and robust, quite seaworthy and somewhat conservative, with straightforward interior layouts and accouterments. They weren’t necessarily flashy, but they certainly got the job done. Those days are long over. Now, Moodys are built in Germany by Hanse Yachts, which took over the brand a decade ago and has become one of the world’s most prodigious, prolific and sophisticated production boatbuilders. And nowhere is this change more evident than with a model introduced to the United States last fall, the Moody DS54, the initials standing for “deck saloon.”
Interestingly, the hull of the Moody, with modifications, is the same one employed in a pair of larger Hanse offerings, the 575 and the 588, and was designed by the German naval architecture office Judel/vrolijk, which is best known for high-performance raceboats, including America’s Cup winners. The interior was then fashioned by veteran Moody designer Bill Dixon of Dixon Yacht Design, making the DS54 a collaboration, of sorts. Even so, this is definitely not your grandpa’s Moody.
That’s evident from the boat’s powerful lines, with a straight stem forward, a long waterline and commanding topsides, dotted with six windows in the hull to each side. The pilothouse is relatively low and sleek, with an eyebrow overhanging the forward window. Teak decks are standard; the foredeck is low and flush (there are fitted cushions that make a cozy daybed), and leads to a solent setup with twin Furlex furlers on the bow. The double-spreader Seldén rig incorporates a self-tending staysail. There’s a substantial bulwark topped by a stainless-steel handrail, both of which make wandering up the side decks a safe and comfortable experience. All in all, it’s a quite handsome and imposing profile.
One of the signature features of the design is the spacious cockpit with a pair of long settees sandwiching a large, foldable table, all of which can be closed off in inclement weather with an overhead retractable soft Sunbrella Bimini; it can also be rolled back when the sun shines. There are twin wheels, each fronted by a set of large pods with engine and (bow and stern) thruster controls, sailing instruments, chart plotters and so on. Large and comfortable helmsmen’s seats are situated all the way aft. All sailing controls and running rigging