A former giant of the British sailboat building industry (now a marque owned and built by Hanse), from the early 1970s onwards Moody forged a reputation for producing quality family cruisers with spacious accommodation. The range was perceived as being a quality offering and found favour with those who were looking for a luxurious cruiser for weekend and holiday cruising, as well as live aboard and ocean cruisers.


Moody 33

The company’s first production model was this centre-cockpit design by Angus Primrose, produced like all but a couple of the later models, by Marine projects, builder of Princess motor yachts.

Moody 33

Moody 33: The first production Moody is from the early 1970s and featured a pair of single berths in the aft cabin.

The 33 pioneered what became for many years Moody’s distinctive centre-cockpit layout and wide-beamed hull design, which was still unusual in Europe at the time.

The boat featured a spacious saloon, with an unusually large linear galley opposite the dinette. A full-width heads compartment separated the forecabin from the saloon, while there were two extra single berths in an entirely separate aft cabin.

A number of significant modifications were made during the design’s decade long production run, with the first significant changes appearing in 1978 with the Mark 2 version. This saw the forecabin enlarged with space to stand up while getting changed, plus a small hanging locker. At the same time, the heads was moved to a more square shaped compartment on the starboard side of the boat, while the galley was moved to an L-shape arrangement next to the companionway, giving space for conventional settees each side of the saloon.

The 333, launched three years later, saw more significant changes including a walk through from saloon to the aft cabin. This significantly increased the apparent size of the interior and enabled an offset double berth to be fitted in the aft cabin, rather than the two singles of the earlier models.

While clearly no racer, the boat’s sailing qualities surprised many at the time of her launch, with her comparatively long waterline length enabling faster passage times than many existing designs of the same length, while the wide beam provided far superior form stability compared to her European contemporaries.

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Moody 34 and 346

The 333 was replaced by the 34 in 1983. Designed by Bill Dixon, who by now had taken over the Angus Primrose office, this was a more refined and spacious design that capitalised on the developments of the earlier boats.

Moody 34

The Moody 34 replaced the 333 and featured a completely new interior with the heads near the companionway and an enlarged walk-through to the aft cabin.

Although the 34’s hull was only six inches longer than that of the 33, the new boat had significantly more volume, particularly in the after sections. This allowed for an enlarged walk through to the aft cabin, as well as achieving marginal standing headroom in this part of the boat.

This was only part of the makeover of the interior, which saw the heads compartment moved aft near the companionway, close to the boat’s centre of motion and convenient for crew on on deck. This also allowed for a larger forecabin with improved standing and stowage space. The aft-facing chart table uses the end of the port saloon berth as a seat, allowing the galley on the starboard side of the boat to make use of space in the walk through to the aft cabin.

Although displacement climbed by some five per cent compared to the 33, this was complemented by an increase in sail area of closer to 10 per cent, thanks to the additional stability afforded by the wider aft sections and a heavier and slightly deeper keel. While many new designs of this period had changed to spade rudders, the 34 retained a half-depth skeg from which the rudder was hung, but it also benefited from some balance area below this point to reduce the weight of the helm.

The 346 is effectively a Mark 2 version of the 34, dating from 1986, with the transom extended by 12 inches to create a small bathing platform. By the time production stopped in 1990, the two models accounted for more than 400 boats built.

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Moody 425

This model refined the company’s offering in this size range that started with the 41 in late 1981, followed by the 419 three years later. Launched in 1988, the 425 shares a hull with the 422 from two years earlier.

Moody 425

Moody 425 features a large flat coachroof for sunbathing and a decently sheltered centre cockpit for inclement weather.

It proved to be the most popular of all these models, with buyers particularly appreciating the en suite heads to the aft cabin that could also be accessed from the saloon.

The owner’s aft cabin also has a centreline double berth, reasonable stowage and plenty of room to move around. There’s a second, though somewhat smaller, double cabin forward. The spacious saloon has a table large enough to seat all the crew in comfort, while also providing two good sea berths, in addition to the twin bunks that could be fitted in the walk through to the aft cabin.

On deck the centre cockpit, when combined with a decent spray hood, keeps crew members well clear of the water in inclement conditions. On the other hand, the large flat areas of coach roof also provide ample lounging and sun bathing space. The simple, but robust, double-spreader masthead rig was fitted with in-mast furling as standard from new and two keels were offered, a standard (1.8m) draught model and a shoal (1.4m) option. By the time the 425 was discontinued in 1991, 116 boats had been sold, adding to the 72 Moody 422s built between 1986 and 1988.

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Moody 46 and 47

By the late 1990s Moody was continuing to move into producing larger craft, with more of an emphasis on blue water ocean cruising. These were intended to be yachts that could be lived aboard in a similar comfort level to a smart apartment.

Moody 46

Moody 46: Eventually expanded to a 47-footer, these models were deck saloons with plenty of space down below.

However, they were by no means floating caravans - impressive passage times could be achieved. A new generation hull with an extended waterline, and an all-furling cutter rig, with a self-tacking staysail, enabled these designs to be sailed on passages of thousands of miles with only two crew.

Launched in 1997, the 46 was the smallest of this line-up of three yachts, and was upgraded to a 47-footer in 2001. These two models combined sold around 100 boats, double that of the Moody 54. A small number of the (considerably more expensive) 64 in the same line-up had also been produced when production stopped in 2004.

In addition to the centre cockpit these models also benefit from a deck saloon layout, with a spacious saloon and a well-planned galley with impressive stowage and worktop space. In contrast the bulk of the, albeit cheaper, offerings of the big French and German boat builders, Moody didn’t seek to maximise the number of berths on these boats. Instead, there’s a sumptuous owner’s cabin aft, a spacious guest cabin with en suite forward, both with island beds. There’s also a third cabin forward with twin berths, plus an additional sea berth in the passageway leading to the aft cabin. It’s a recipe for comfortable and spacious living.

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Search all Moody 47 for sale - www.boats.com

For more info on the Moody range visit www.moodyowners.net

For more on quality family cruisers, try: Five Classic Cruisers: Sigma, Rustler, Rival, Oyster, Moody or 5 wonderful Westerlys: Centaur, GK24, Discus, Fulmar and Oceanlord or 6 Dufour yachts: from Arpege to Grand Large


Written by: Rupert Holmes
Rupert Holmes has more than 70,000 miles of offshore cruising and racing experience, in waters ranging from the North Sea to the Southern Ocean and Cape Horn. He writes about all aspects of boat ownership and marine travel, including destinations, seamanship and maintenance, as well as undertaking regular new boat and gear tests. He currently sails around 5,000 miles per year and in the past couple of seasons has cruised from the UK to the Azores, as well as winning his class in the 2014 two-handed Round Britain and Ireland Race. He also owns two yachts, one based in the Mediterranean and the other in the UK.