Quick Look: Moody 45DS

Jeremy McGeary reviews this creative cruiser for the CW 2009 Sailboat Show.


HanseYachts of Germany recently picked up a piece of Old England with the acquisition of the Moody name. It also picked Bill Dixon, who has a 20-year history with Moody Yachts, to design the first model to come down the ways under the new arrangement. It seems, too, to have stirred his creative juices.

The Moody 45DS brings to a monohull the approach used in many catamarans, placing the saloon and galley in the deck house and on the same level as the cockpit. Down below are three staterooms, two of which are essentially amidships, and two heads. Modular furniture components allow a degree of mix and match in customizing the arrangement.

A calf-height bulwark around the deck is topped with a stainless-steel handrail, giving the boat a distinctive look and providing some serious security. Twin wheels are connected to twin rudders, and the cat connection is taken further in the hard top that extends over the cockpit from the deckhouse roof.

Here's an interesting boat from Moody. It's the first one the company will build since its acquisition by the German builder, Hanse, and it will be laid up and finished in Germany instead of Britain.

Bill Dixon designed the Moody 45DS; the interior is by Mark Tucker. It seems to take many design cues from modern catamaran layouts with the saloon and galley in a pilothouse at deck level and sleeping areas and heads below. The cook and diners will have a panoramic view of the scenery. A spacious-looking master cabin is in the bow.

Mounted just aft of the extended coachroof that covers the forward six feet of the cockpit, twin wheels will allow the helmsman to move from side to side easily to see the sails and all around. In the designer's rendering it appears that he will be able to look forward through the deckhouse windows, too. Those on deck will have solid stainless-steel rails atop substantial bulwarks to help keep them aboard. The company says there will be a dedicated locker in the foredeck in which to stow a cruising spinnaker and the builder describes an innovative new way to stow the anchor out of the way, but keep it readily deployable.

Bill Dixon has a reputation for designing good-looking performance cruising boats. The Moody 45 DS is a radical departure from his previous work, but one has to applaud the imagination that went into creating a boat that will suit many cruisers to a T. We'll look forward to seeing the boat when it's introduced at the Southampton Boat Show in the United Kingdom later this year.