SET­TING the MOOD

Cruising World - - Boats & Gear - BY HERB MC­CORMICK

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

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