Life & Travels Afloat in our Moody


Having always had a close affinity with water, we bought our first boat before we were even married, and have always had a boat since then. Starting with speedboats, followed by a small cabin cruiser, our real knowledge and experience of the sea commenced when we took up diving. After buying an Osprey rib, we went diving all around the UK, but recognised that one needed to be able to sail to go much further afield. Having set about learning ‘the ropes’, experience was gained though chartering boats in the UK and the Med.

The next step of buying a boat was a major one, and it took quite a bit of searching to find what we wanted. The decision had already been made to go for a heavier yacht, rather than the more readily available modern French or German craft. Working out what would suit extended cruising was also not easy, but the 425 looked to meet most of the ideal specification. Getting to see one, let alone finding one proved more of a problem.

We eventually found A Moody 425 to see at Kip Marina on the Clyde. It was an ex-charter boat and very, very tired. We liked the design, but decided it was not for us. As we were leaving the marina, the staff told us of another which was about to come on the market and we then waited for her to come in.

Love at first sight was definitely the case; Freebooter was immaculate, obviously well loved, and had the most wonderful pirate logo too. When we looked around her, Annemarie didn’t dare look too closely as she was entirely out of our budget. We left the marina and parked outside the Co-op in Greenock, and Steve got out the laptop and did the sums. Suffice it to say she came very close to breaking the bank, but it was a good decision that we have never regretted.

We spent a few weeks sorting her out and driving up to Scotland every weekend, before finding two more experienced people to help us sail her down to the Solent. We left the Clyde on Boxing Day in fine weather, just sorry that we didn’t have time to explore Scotland more. We had to be back at work after the New Year, so time was limited. We planned to stop at Holyhead, Milford Haven, Falmouth and Weymouth on our way to our new home base of Gosport Marina (the old Camper & Nicholson marina).

Since then we have sailed many miles around Southern England and France, and there has always been the siren call of more distant lands that will have to be visited ……

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