A bold, beamy, indigo Moody heads for blue water...

Economic upheaval struck deep into the British boatbuilding industry at the end of the 1980s, and when the tide of woe receded, it left the landscape changed. Moody survived, but needed to rethink its position. Once Camper & Nicholsons stepped out of the production-boat market, there was a gap to fill, and it looks as though Moody has had its eyes on it. That much is evident in the feel of the Moody 46: in the bulwark, in the coachroof styling details, and, although the style is more modern, in the quality and atmosphere of the interior joinerwork. In all respects, the Moody 46 takes on the challenge of the bluewater cruiser and meets it ably in most areas.

From a handling point of view, the cockpit is well laid out, to the extent that someone at the helm can perform most maneuvers without the help of the one stretched out on the leeward seat. In-mast furling in the Selden spar is standard, as is the Selden Furlex headsail furling. The mainsheet controls are aft of the cockpit, and the jib-sheet winches are abeam of the helm. A staysail is optional, but its method of self-tacking, though not unique to Moody, is unusual: The sheet runs up from the traveler car, through a block on the mast above the lower spreader, down through the mast to the deck, and aft to the cockpit. It works fine despite the many turns it takes, but you'd need to inspect the sheet regularly and replace it before it breaks. Swept-back spreaders make the runners necessary only in lumpy conditions when you'd probably be flying the staysail and not the genoa, so tacking remains easy: Cast one off, set the other.

As is often the case, it's a bit of a stretch getting into the center cockpit from leeward when well heeled. A few added cleats would make very good handholds; they don't cost much, and you can tie off lines to them. The cockpit is comfortable and roomy, and the instrument-laden steering console is well proportioned.

Up forward, the anchoring system looks as though it could stand up to a blow, and the electric windlass that comes standard certainly makes for easy duty. There are twin rollers, the chain locker is divided to hold both rodes, and the chain doesn't trap the locker lid closed. Serious-looking horn cleats mounted on plinths off the bulwark round out the effect nicely.

Belowdecks, on the starboard side of the saloon, are bucket seats that are cleverly built so that the seats lift out to become footstools or additional seating at the table. Nice, but it means the only real sea berth is in the passage aft of the nav station to port, with the foot end in a trotter box. The finish and style are excellent, and no doubt it's worth roughing it a little on passage to have the amenities the arrangement bestows once the boat is at rest. The cook won't complain about the lavish and secure galley, the origami-like saloon table metamorphoses between cocktail and dinner sizes, and lots of light comes in through the large deadlights and the overhead hatches. Two generous double staterooms with en suite heads occupy the ends of the boat, and a small cabin to port, forward of the mast, provides extra sleeping accommodations. A split mattress and triple leecloths in the aft berth would improve the crew's seagoing sleeping arrangements.

The ship systems are well laid out: There's room for the 72-horsepower engine and a compact generator to breathe under the cockpit in a well-insulated space fitted with automatic fire extinguishing, and the electrical runs are in substantial protective conduits.

Designer Bill Dixon can be relied upon to create a handsome vessel capable of cruising afar, and he's met his brief well in the Moody 46. This powerful boat is certainly comfortable as is for short-range cruising and, properly equipped, will be a comfortable passagemaker. The version we saw, if you dropped some options like the generator and the electric sheet winches, would come out at about $410,000, good value for the level of fit-out and the quality of build and finish.

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This review/article originally appeared in Cruising World Magazine, December 1999 and is written by Jeremy McGeary. For more great yacht reviews, visit their website and subscribe at: https://www.cruisingworld.com/subscribe-to-cruising-world-magazine

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