Cruising World - - Boats & Gear -

are led aft to port and star­board Lew­mar winches just for­ward of the Jefa Steer­ing pedestals. The tran­som folds down hy­drauli­cally to cre­ate a sub­stan­tial swim/board­ing plat­form. To top it off, there’s even a nifty re­tractable passerelle for Med moor­ing.

The cock­pit and the main sa­loon are each sit­u­ated on the same level and ac­cessed through slid­ing glass doors, much like on a cata­ma­ran. There are sev­eral dif­fer­ent ac­com­mo­da­tions plans from which to choose, in­clud­ing either a gal­ley up in the sa­loon or one down a set of five stairs, out of the way of the cen­tral liv­ing space (our test boat in­cluded the lat­ter). Either way, there’s a gen­er­ous U-shaped set­tee to port with an ad­ja­cent din­ing ta­ble, and a spa­cious nav­i­ga­tion sta­tion to star­board with all the tools (in­clud­ing au­topi­lot con­trols) nec­es­sary to make it a tidy in­door steer­ing sta­tion. The own­ers suite is for­ward; a dou­ble cabin is aft. There’s also a guest cabin in the mid­dle of the boat (or two cab­ins if you opt for the gal­leyup ar­range­ment).

Con­struc­tion is top-notch, with a fiber­glass layup that em­ploys isoph­thalic gel­coat and vinylester resin with a balsa-core sand­wich above the wa­ter­line. The keel is iron and is avail­able in a shoal or deep-draft con­fig­u­ra­tion. A state-of-the-art Czone dig­i­tal switch­ing and mon­i­tor­ing sys­tem is the hub of the elec­tri­cal sys­tem, in­stru­ments, gauges and so forth.

The DS54 im­pressed our Boat of the Year judg­ing team. Said judge Ed Sher­man: “This is part of that new genre of deck-sa­loon mod­els where they’ve ac­tu­ally de­cided, ‘OK, we want peo­ple in the main sa­loon to be able to look out the win­dows and see the world around them ver­sus look­ing through a sky­light when you’re buried deep down in the bow­els of the boat.’ That lay­out al­ways an­noyed me. It seemed to­tally il­log­i­cal. But Moody has fig­ured it out. It’s a nice all-round view up there.”

“I think it was the first of The Moody DS54 is avail­able with either a gal­ley up, in the main sa­loon, or one down, out of the way of the cen­tral liv­ing area (above). This ar­range­ment gives the cook more space to work with, and also opens up the floor plan in the main sa­loon. many times we heard the word life­style dur­ing our dock­side in­spec­tions,” said judge Bill Bolin. “The com­pany is very strong on the no­tion that this is a boat that caters to those who want to en­ter­tain on the boat, that are go­ing to spend a lot of time in the cock­pit, which they max­i­mized. And with the deck sa­loon on the same level, you have a gi­ant liv­ing space for play­ing, or en­ter­tain­ing, or what­ever you want to do there. They did that very well.”

“There’s a good trend of open­ing up these side decks on new boats, and on the Moody, that was just ex­em­plary,” said judge Tim Mur­phy. “Be­cause it was a deck sa­loon, there was a rail in­board that was just beau­ti­ful, that took you up to the mast. You couldn’t ask for bet­ter, smoother hand­holds, with no edges. And then out­board you’ve got this true rail that goes all the way around the boat. There’s no other boat we’ve seen that has such se­cure side decks.”

Un­for­tu­nately, we tested the boat on a light-air day with the wind never touch­ing more than 5 knots. Even so, the DS54’S per­for­mance was pretty stel­lar, mak­ing over 3 knots in lit­tle more breeze than that. I’d love to sail this boat in a bit of a blow. I’m gen­er­ally not a fan of in-mast main­sails, but the one on the Moody, set on a Seldén spar, sported ver­ti­cal bat­tens and was a good-look­ing sail. I also like the so­lent rig, which is a very ver­sa­tile op­tion for long-range cruis­ing, pro­vid­ing eas­ily man­aged sails no mat­ter the con­di­tions, light or heavy.

All in all, for a boat with a price tag north of a mil­lion bucks, you’d cer­tainly ex­pect a first-class yacht that is a cut above your av­er­age cruiser. Moody has de­liv­ered on that prom­ise, hon­or­ing an old name with a fresh new de­sign that will take its own­ers far and wide in am­ple style.

Herb Mc­cormick is ex­ec­u­tive edi­tor of Cruis­ing World.

Much like a con­tem­po­rary cata­ma­ran, the cock­pit and the main sa­loon on the Moody DS54 are on the same level and ac­cessed through slid­ing glass doors.

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