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Moody DS54

2014 January 14

This new Moody model is the design work of Bill Dixon and an extension of his recent work for Moody in deck saloon, "DS" styled boats. Dixon, Judel/Vrolijk and Peter Hrones share the design credits. I'm not sure how the design work was divided among them, but the result has some very interesting features.

I think we are all getting used to seeing modern boats with almost no overhangs. I can't exactly say it's a graceful look especially when combined with high freeboard, but it does maximize volume and deck area for a given LOA.

The D/L for this cruiser is 188 making it "moderate" in displacement. The L/B is 3.3 and that is pretty typical. But I'm pretty certain that LOA includes the short bowsprit. If we dock 20 inches off the LOA for a Length on Deck, LOD, I get an L/B of 3.2.

If you want volume you can't be shy with the beam. There are two keel options, with the standard drawing 8 feet 5 inches and a shoal keel drawing 7 feet 4 inches. I wonder what sailors on the Chesapeake Bay are going to think about a 7-foot shoal-draft model. In the Pacific Northwest, 8 feet 5 inches would not be a problem. The stern is very wide and there is about 3 feet of overhang aft. The sheer looks dead flat, but there is about 3 inches of spring to it. Given the contemporary look to this design I think the near-flat sheer works just fine.

This design is all about comfortable accommodations in a raised saloon or deck-house configuration. From what I can see in the drawings the cockpit and saloon are on the same level. This creates the effect that the saloon runs right into the cockpit and both areas work like one space.

There are three layouts available, but I'll concentrate on two. The big difference in layouts revolves around the location of the galley. The first plan places the galley up in the saloon and has three staterooms, each with a double berth. The master stateroom is forward and it has it's own head with a shower stall, plenty of elbow room and a small vanity in case you feel like putting on some makeup. The other two staterooms are pretty generous and will be very comfortable.

The second plan places the galley down on the stateroom level, and the galley is big with lots of counter space. In this version, the third stateroom is located aft and accessed from the deck house. This aft stateroom has two single berths and access to its own head but no shower stall. I think this layout would be well suited if you were cruising with a paid crew. You could relax in the deck saloon while your paid chef worked below preparing dinner. One of the most interesting benefits of the deck saloon configuration is the big engine room under the saloon.

The cockpit is big and has twin wheels aft on an elevated deck aft with long bench seats forward. Do you see that extension coming off the aft end of the cabintrunk? Those are "arms" running down the edges of the cockpit and they allow a soft top to cover almost the entire cockpit. That's a pretty clever feature if you need protection from the rain or the sun. Lines coming aft are hidden and emerge at the winches aft.

The DS54's SA/D of 17.74 means it won't be a rocket, but it should sail very well considering the design pedigree. Some boats are more about comfort than they are about boat speed. I'd like to see the unusual design features of this boat in person, and enjoy some of the European ambiance and amenities.