Superyacht amenities without the superyacht price tag–that’s the new Moody Deck Saloon. The model defies categorization. It’s part voyaging sailboat, part motorsailer, and part mini superyacht, which is an oxymoron to be sure.
If the Moody 54 hull looks familiar, you’re paying attention. Hanse has owned Moody since 2007 and this is not the first time they’ve borrowed an existing hull design, then added a different deck and interior to create a whole new boat. The Moody 54 DS is based on the Hanse 575, of which over 150 hulls have been built in just a couple of years. In the revamp, the Moody model gained a high coachroof, two-story accommodations, single-main deck living, and a sliding glass door reminiscent of a catamaran entry. It also gained 10,000 pounds. The engine had to be supersized too, from 110 HP to 150 HP, to manage the extra weight and windage. This makes the new Moody less a pure sailboat and more of a modified motorsailer.
There few sailboats that looks like the Moody 54 DS and that’s evident right from the dock. An easy way to board is via the hydraulic transom that lowers to form the swim platform. When closed, the transom hides an awesome stowage area that can be used for toys and tools or as a dinghy garage.
Because the hull is so tall, it’s no easy step from here to the deck, but there’s an integrated ladder just aft of the port steering pedestal that you can ascend. Twin steering stations resembling the pods on superyachts come complete with a full console, housing the carbon wheel, instruments, a multifunction display, engine throttle, autopilot controls, and toggles for the twin hydraulic headsail roller furlers. Identically equipped pods are both port and starboard.
Visibility from here can be challenging. Yes, you can see forward just over the coachroof when standing, or through the saloon windows when seated. However, even if you step out to the side deck next to the wheel, you can’t see the bow of the vessel. This will make it difficult to dock without additional crew or a forward-looking camera.
A solid stainless-steel railing mounted on top of the high bulwarks runs the entire length of each side and provides a secure handhold all the way around the boat. Another rail is recessed into the cabin top, so in rough conditions you can go forward holding on with both hands. No more depending on flimsy lifelines between you and the drink.
There are two places where the railing is routed slightly inward to make a fair lead for the shrouds and the sheets leading to the genoa track. The Moody 54 has twin headsails; a self-tacking jib for quick upwind work and a large genoa for downwind runs. The mainsail is furled inside the Selden mast and is easily deployed electrically with the touch of a button at the helm. It’s nice not to have to venture onto the high cabin top to manage the big sail.
Into the Cabin
Entry into the cabin is via a large sliding glass door like one you would see on a catamaran or a powerboat. The cockpit, saloon, galley, and nav station are all on the same level, which makes it easy to move about.
Just ahead is a nav desk with an inside steering station including an MFD and engine controls. There’s no wheel, but you can steer with the autopilot control. Visibility from here is actually quite good and on long passages in open water and nasty weather, this will be the place from which to command the ship.
The Hanse 575 was so tall below that I couldn’t reach the overhead hatches or even the grabrails built into the headliner. So when Moody added even more height via the deck saloon, they created enough interior vertical volume to effectively build two stories. Well, really one and a half.
From the saloon, you go down five steps to three cabins that are about a half-story lower. The master forward is flooded with light from the fixed overhead sunroof as well as side ports. Two guest cabins, a larger double to port and a smaller one to starboard, share a head while the master suite has a dedicated head with a separate shower stall.
There’s one more cabin aboard accessed via separate steps aft and across from the galley. A part of this cabin is situated below the saloon, hence the two-story living reference. Twin beds, a head and an optional washer/dryer combo share this space, which could be used by crew. Alternately, there’s a bow compartment accessed via the deck forward that could be converted into a skipper’s cabin with a bunk and a head.
The engine room is also on the first “floor”. Access is via a cabin sole hatch next to the galley. Climb down the ladder to service the Volvo diesel, the genset, and most of the pumps and systems aboard.
A feature I found confusing was the placement of the CZone digital control system, which allows monitoring many of the systems aboard on one screen. It’s a sophisticated big-boat feature that would make sense to have at the nav station or near the cabin entry so it could be set upon entering or leaving the boat. Instead, Moody has placed it in the lower hallway near the master stateroom.
Everything about the Moody 54 DS feels sturdy. She seems to beg for high latitude sailing in unfriendly weather and powerful gusts, and it will most likely take a bit of wind to move her 53,000 pounds. Regardless of the cruising grounds, this design will work as a great crossover between a long-distance cruising sailboat, a comfortable motorsailer with numerous powerboat-like features, and an aspirational vessel with a bit of superyacht style in her accommodations and helm pods. That’s a lot of boat(s) in just 54 feet, so her appeal is sure to cast a wide net when attracting potential sailors.
Other Choices: The Hylas 56 is another long-distance cruising luxury machine. A cruiser with a more modern look and feel is the Euphoria 54.
See Moody 54 DS listings.
For more information, visit Moody Yachts.
Displacement: 53,550 lbs
|Sail Area||1,739 sq. ft.|
|Fuel capacity||138 gal.|
|Water capacity||214 gal.|