Moody 42 Review

Issue: January 2001

To put it bluntly, many modern production yachts are based on the denial of old-fashioned values. By that I mean that modern yachts may demand a lot of crew weight on the gunwale. The hull shape may feature flat bow sections which slam in a seaway; the norm for racing, annoying when cruising. The galley may be set along the side of the hull in the main saloon, and thus be impossible to use at sea. The head may be impossible to use at sea. There will be nowhere to store the junk most people find essential, especially when holidaying aboard.

These are characteristics we have accepted; they have become the norm. Immoral profiteers do not produce boats like these; they are intended to cater for the most popular usage, which means a mix of club racing, social day-sailing and occasional (very occasional) coastal cruising.

The Moody 42 falls into none of these categories. It is a very classy centre-cockpit cruising yacht that is modern but observes the traditional values which are essential for true seaworthiness. It has a modest sail area for easy handling, it has the best galley I have seen for years, it has masses of stowage, it even has a proper engineroom which gives access to all parts of the engine. How old-fashioned – and how welcome – is that ?

The Moody 42 makes its standards obvious literally as you step aboard. The first thing I noticed was the teak toerail capping. It is 85mm wide and 25mm thick. Holes are drilled in the teak to accept the feet of the stanchions. To protect the end grain in the hole, tiny gaskets have been slipped around the feet of the stanchions to seal the area against moisture. This sort of detail suggests that Moody expect their boat to last more than a couple of years.

Perhaps they even expect an owner to hold onto his 42 for more than a couple of years. And this sort of detail extends to all other parts of the yacht. The hull has heaps of volume. For her hull length of 12.53m (41ft 1in) she has a beam of 4.05m and displaces 10,520kg. She has plenty of beam at the stern. The result is that every area down below feels roomy.

The centre cockpit is incorporated in quite a low profile so you don’t feel too high and remote from the action. By that I mean you have to enjoy the boat’s relationship with the water; if you’re not hooked on the gurgling sound of wake and bow wave, the act of sailing is not buried deep in your soul. The cockpit seats are 2.1m long, but the wheel (with greenhide rim) reaches to the seat edges, so most (not quite all) of that 2.1m is available.

The dodger must have been designed to be there, rather than being an afterthought, because you don’t hit your head on it or find you can’t spin the winch handle through a full turn. Which, on other craft, I have known to happen.

Down below, the centre-cockpit layout provides a very roomy owner’s cabin aft and vee berth forecabin, both with en suites. I took along my trusty tape measure, and can report that the double bed in the aft cabin is 2.15m long and 1.5m wide.

The vee berth in the bow is 1.9m long on the centreline, with plenty of width. Cupboards at the end of the bed will keep the pillows from falling on the floor. Cherry is the wood trim of choice, with teak and holly floor. This boat had the leather upholstery option, which costs a lot, looks sensational and is worth every penny.

In the portside walkway between the cabins is the world’s best galley. It is so good because it is narrow – there is only 480mm between the benches, so you can brace yourself no matter what the boat’s angle of heel.

The twin sinks are deep so stuff can’t fall out. There is heaps of preparation area, particularly on the worktop over the fridge and freezer, alongside the gimballed stove, which has two burners and an oven. The passageway on the port side provides access to a pilot berth. This is full-length if you want, or it can be shortened and thus provide more hanging space for the aft cabin.

The engineroom wall here has two opening doors. On the other (galley) side there are 1 1/2 opening doors, and the back wall of the engine room lifts out. You can get on very intimate terms with your 50hp Volvo if you want. And with all internal combustion engines, it is in your interest to be on very intimate terms. There is stowage space literally everywhere down below; I am not going to start to list it. Plenty of it is divided into small, useful compartments so you can find things and so they don’t get into a jumble. All cupboard doors – and there are literally dozens – feature strong positive-lock retainers.

With mast height (I measurement from boom to tip) of 15.25m the Moody 42 does not have enough sail area to perform like an IMS lightweight. But it sailed with plenty of spirit on our outing, when we had gusts of maybe 15 knots (and a lot less for much of the time). She spun well through the tacks and accelerated quickly on the way out.

The only problem we encountered came from the Furlex headsail furler. When unrolling the sail the furler line overrode and prevented the drum from rolling up again. Easy to fix. And I found it hard to reach the top of the boom bag, at the mast end. I am only 5ft 8in (OK, 5ft 7 1/2in) and I don’t know what that is in metric. This Moody oozes quality in both concept and execution. It can sleep seven, but a lesser number would live aboard in great comfort for long periods of time.

There are few production boats I would be happy to contemplate spending a couple of months aboard. Come to think of it there are few boats smaller than the QE2 I would be happy spending a couple of months aboard. The Moody 42 is one of them.

The Moody 42’s rig is masthead, with the headsail on a furler and the main dropping into lazyjacks and a storage boom-bag. The twin-spreader rig features continuous D2 shrouds -the wire runs unbroken from the base of the upper spreaders to the deck. There are fore and aft lowers; the fore lowers meet the deck well forward of the mast.

The 4:1 mainsheet is on a traveller behind the driver; Lewmar 8 winches at either end control the traveller. Lewmar 48s handle the sheet winching and are in the right spot. All other controls are led to the deck area ahead of the cockpit, beneath the dodger.

A Lewmar 30 each side handles the lines (the usual reefing lines, vang, etc.) which are stopped by clutches.

Words by Barry Tranter.