Hanse's new Moody 45DS


‘I designed Moodys for over 30 years,’ said Bill Dixon. ‘It was a shock when it stopped and I’m delighted they’re back.’

And how. Dixon explained how he and Michael Schmidt – ‘Mr Hanse’ and now owner of the Moody brand – first discussed ‘a motor sailer – NO! NOT A MOTOR SAILER, a sailing yacht with a deck saloon’ in the lounge of London’s City Airport, near ExCeL, in January 2007. ‘It’s a brand new concept with everything designed from scratch – in one year!’

Dixon said she’s a bit like a superyacht he’d already designed (scaled down, obviously, hence the working from scratch) and that Schmidt had taken a liking to. The boat itself looks a lot like the graphics you’ll have seen already (except for the RN surplus paint job) and, once you’ve adjusted to the high freeboard (she has a foot or so of gunwhale, stainless steel guardrails above and retractable thrusters fore and aft to counter the wind), I’d say she’s not as uneasy on the eye as many have said, maybe even a bit of a beauty to some beholders?

She’s a boat that could be single-handed easily. All lines are ducted back to a bank of clutches either side and an electric winch behind each (just two on the boat). Both can be reached from around the wheel. Views forward are good from the raised, outboard helm positions. There are instruments in the cockpit cover moulding (open or closed with a pull-out canopy) and a chartplotter built into the cockpit table. It’s all very practical and clearly well thought out.

The ‘patio doors’ open onto a galley to port and a saloon to starboard. Forward of the galley is a chart table with throttle controls but no wheel (though there is an autopilot control). Down the, er, companionway, there’s a sumptuous and well lit owner’s suite forward with an en suite with separate shower cubicle, and either side of the companionway are two not-quite-so-salubrious double berths: fore and aft to port and athwartships to starboard.

Inevitably there will be some who look at the open transom and saloon French windows and see ‘a poopin’ from a followin’ sea!’ That’s a bit like asking where you put the shopping in an F1 car. She’s not designed to go round Cape Horn and you’d be daft to try it. If, however, you’re a couple that likes uncomplicated sailing in pleasant weather, the odd Channel or Irish Sea crossing, or a home from home in the Med, and you like entertaining a few friends in no little style, she’s your for (ouch!) £328,885, ready to sail away. And there were two solid prospects at the press briefing.

Find out what James Jermain makes of the new direction in May’s Yachting Monthly.