FIRST TEST MOODY 41DS
Yachting Monthly|March 2021
Adopting a fresh approach to deck-saloon design, the Moody 41DS is an exceptionally roomy cruiser that pushes a lot of boundaries
David Harding

Enthusiasts of deck saloons often reckon there’s something missing if a boat doesn’t have one. After all, especially in higher latitudes, why wouldn’t you want to able to sit inside and see out? Whether you’re enjoying the view of the anchorage or scanning the horizon on the passage, you stay warm and dry and within easy reach of the cockpit – which is still there for when you want to be outside. What’s not to like?

Pursuing this logic has led to the launch of many a deck-saloon yacht over the years, but none quite like the Moody 41DS. This new Moody has taken the ‘one-level living’ approach found on multihulls and motorboats and applied it to a 12m (40ft) monohull. You walk straight into the deck saloon from the cockpit with no steps or companionway to negotiate. From the inside, thanks to the full-standing headroom and large window area, you have an uninterrupted view so you can cook, sit at the chart table or just relax while staying in touch with the outside world.

It’s the same concept as on the Moody 45DS, which we tested in 2008, but most 40-something-foot deck saloon cruisers (and even those substantially longer) have the deck saloon at a lower level than the cockpit.

ACRES OF SPACE

In addition to being one of the few single-hulled sailing yachts in her size range to adopt the one-level approach, the new Moody draws attention to herself in a number of ways. She offers a vast amount of space for a start. Bill Dixon’s team drew a boat with plumb ends, high freeboard, full forward sections, near-vertical topsides, a broad stern incorporating a soft chine, and the beam carried well forward, creating an enormous volume for the interior designers in Germany to play with. They used it to create a seriously comfortable interior for a couple with an occasional guest or second couple. No attempt was made to squeeze in extra berths or cabins, so the Moody boasts living space and storage on a scale that few boats of this length can match. Another notable feature is the way she not only brings the outside in but also brings the inside out. For example, a hardtop extends aft from the deck saloon over the cockpit to a point just forward of the twin raised helm stations, the center canvas section sliding away so you can sit undercover or in the sun as you choose. If you want to be completely in the open, go to the bow, where you have a seatingcum-lounging area creating a sort of forwarding cockpit. Or move all the way aft and lower the hinge-down bathing platform. Few 40-footers offer as many separate spaces for socialising on deck.

Apart from the broad flat stem with its hard corners, there’s little to strike you as out of the ordinary in the context of the modern high-volume cruising yacht when you meet the Moody for the first time. The full bow sections will more than accommodate the slight loss of buoyancy from the bow thruster in its tunnel and support the weight of the optional 100m of stainless steel anchor chain, not to mention a full water tank under the berth in the owner’s cabin. Helped by the broad stem, a deep forefoot allows the bow thruster to be mounted well forward for maximum effect. Staying below the waterline and moving aft, we find an L-shaped iron fin keel of moderate proportions giving a draught of 2.14m (7ft). That’s unless you pay extra, as had the owners of Aurelia, our test boat, for the 1.85m/6ft 1in the alternative. Propulsion is via a saildrive some way forward of a single deep rudder.

FORM FOLLOWING FUNCTION

Back above the water, fold-down boarding steps neatly incorporated into the stainless tubular guardrails help you scale the topsides. Ascent accomplished, you find sunken side decks protected by high bulwarks and extending all the way to the bow – again, just as on the 45.

Overhead is a deck-stepped, double-spreader, high-fractional rig. It supports a self-tacking jib and a mainsail that, though slab-reefing as standard, is almost invariably going to be of the push-button in-mast persuasion as on our test boat.

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