Archives (and now videos) being updated all the time

We acquired Mariadz in 2013 and have done a lot of work on her over the years. Mother archives are being updated all the time catching up with everything we have done and the reasons we have done them.

All of the posts for the refit since we bought the Moody can be accessed here.

And here is our favourite post at the moment.

And now you can see our you tube channel with some videos of Mariadz and her crew.

Battery life or how can they be dead when we only had the lights on…

One good thing was that the boat came with relatively new Rolls AGM batteries. These seemed in reasonable condition and they were split as a dedicated engine start battery and two bags of 4x110Ah batteries dedicated to domestic supply and the winches. Having done some research on battery charging, we decided that we would never want to reduce the batteries below 50% which means that we effectively have 200Ah of usable energy if the batteries are fully charged.

The moody has over 30 lights which are 10W. If these are left on for an hour that is 300W which at 12V is 25Ah. You can probably see where this is going….. If I switch the lights on I use up all my battery power!

One of the first jobs on the Dufour had been to change all of the bulbs to G4 LED Warm White Light Bulbs which draw a tenth of the power. It was clear that this was something that was needed on the Moody immediately. We opted for warm white bulbs to give a softer light and these have been excellent. At the same time, we changed all of the navigation lights to LED too so at least our lighting is optimal.

The winches draw a lot of power when they are used but a dedicated battery bank did seem excessive especially as we have winch handles! So it seemed sensible to consolidate the battery banks and use these across all uses. A second idiosyncrasy with the Moody is that the service battery bank is above the keel, not a bad place to have quite a bit of weight. The second bank is under the aft master cabin bed! So it wasn’t just that I had put some weight on that had led to the stern being lower in the water. There is a slot available aft of the existing battery bank and before the engine room where the second bank could be located. This seemed sensible from an electrical perspective and with a view to weight distribution. Moving a couple of pumps, which also simplified pipe work, was all that was required to make this change happen.

So now we have 800Ah of batteries for our winches and domestic use.

Boat cards now produced

So Maria and I have just spent the last two hours trying to design some cards that we will be able to use on our travels. Thanks to Trevor and Rebecca Martin, Clare and Vic and others for their help inspiring us. We hope you like it. The first picture is us anchored in the Stour and the reverse shows us and the cats. Hopefully people will remember us. 🙂

Mariadz, Moody 54

Dunkirk (Early 2013)

Crew: Adam Dunlop, Maria Dunlop, Lisa Jones

Predicted weather: S/w 20 knots to help us get back to Ramsgate.

That all sounds fine until there is a sharp change in the weather and the prediction goes out of the window with a force 8 on the nose!  Our Dufour 455 was being thrown around but she was fine, the crew weren’t too happy but we were safe enough.

However, there were a number of lessons learned:

  1. Check, recheck and check the weather again from any number of different sources!
  2. Always make sure the fuel is full, don’t believe the fuel gauge
  3. The boat can handle a nasty sea but it isn’t fun

At the end of this experience, we spoke to Martin Hubbard about his thoughts on whether we were mad contemplating going round the world in a Dufour.  He reassured us that the boat was more than capable but that after a number of days of storms at sea the crew may be strung out.  A heavier boat with better sea-keeping would handle it well and the crew would probably be fresher if the worst happened.  Maria’s interpretation of this: in true “Jaws” fashion – you’re gonna need a bigger boat!

Clearly we couldn’t afford a brand new blue water boat so we started the process of looking at what we could possibly afford in the future.


So during the early part of 2013 we started the search for our new boat.

Trulli Mariadz – an introduction

It was September 2009 when we were first introduced to Puglia.  Maria had been working in London and speaking to someone who had honeymooned in Puglia, by the time they had returned they had fallen in love with the area so much that they had bought a small holiday home.  On the back of that, Maria decided to book a long weekend in Italy and got in touch with an Englishman who introduced us to two Estate Agents, one in the North and one in the South of Puglia. 5italy-puglia-alberobello-i-trulliThe two parts are quite different with the southern part being quite flat and filled with Olives. We found that Northern Puglia was served very well by Bari Airport, easily reached from the UK and the southern part by Brindisi airport, accessible from Stansted for us.

We stayed at Alberobello which is a UNESCO World Heritage site and features architecture unique to this part of the world – the Trullo. This type of building is built of stone and has a stone conical roof. Made of limestone they start a light brown colour but then turn to grey over time.  alberobelloAlberobello was a “must see” for us but it is a tourist centre and not somewhere that we would consider living despite its beauty.

So having seen some properties in the North and not having been inspired, we drove south to San Michele Salentino.  Here we met an amazing man called Angelo Epifani who works at SEFIM.  At this stage we hadn’t started Italian lessons and Maria’s Italian was limited to saying that someone had nice eyes or a nice rear end! That wasn’t going to get us too far!  Angelo showed us a number of properties from aderelict 100 year old Trullo to more modern villas.  Our hearts were set on a Trullo and so we refined the search.

There were a number of trips to Puglia over the coming months and we are proud to count Angelo as a friend. Within a year we had decided on a renovation project, the building had been on sale for three years.  Before buying we wanted to have some plans for what we would do for the renovation.  We spoke to Pino from TrulliDream who helped us formalise our ideas for the property.  Once we had our plans in place and we knew we could afford the project we moved forward with the offer.  This was accepted but before we could pay our deposit, which in Italy makes the contract binding (or lose the 10% deposit), we were told somebody else had also put an offer in on the house and were asked to increase our offer.  We agreed with Angelo that we weren’t prepared to get into a bidding war and pulled out.

We then decided that we hadn’t really seen a place that we felt that we could convert to be what we wanted and so took the unusual step of deciding to build a brand new home to be designed and built by TrulliDream.  It took a lot of work with Pino to come up with a design that we were happy with (and could afford!).  After a lot of viewings of different landscapes with Angelo and of course Lisa Jones one of very close and dearest friends who accompanied us, we had found some land, a beautiful plot of olives in 16,000 sq metres. However the buying process for this probably took nearly a year!  The process of planning permission in Italy is very long winded too and we are indebted to Pino for his hard work and perseverance to make sure that the design was approved.  This took the best part of two years, and I have the utmost respect for Pino and his patience to continue to ensure that the planning permission was successful.  In August 2013, we finally had permission to build our dream home.  Massimo Epifani at TrulliDream, Pino’s brother has been working hard with us to keep the build on track, which has mostly been delayed due to us or the weather – we have no complaints about Italian building companies or the builders themselves.

As you can see the construction is going really well and the next stage will be building the Trullo which will be at the right hand side of the picture above.

Our experience of building a home in Italy has taken time but has been a very positive experience with some great people.  We would recommend it to anyone.

One word of caution though as someone from England buying in Italy.  The Italian process is completely different and the people that we have known who have had trouble have invariably tried to force the Italians to work in an English way. We love Italy and the people so we have been happy to work with them and that has helped the success of our project to date. I would also add that it takes time and although the prices are good, if you want something fast you have to be prepared to spend a little more.

Hello 2016

Well, we’re still not back on the boat.

Loads of work has been done but it is still being finalised and with the bad weather we decided to stay with Lisa Jones for a few weeks while everything settles down.

We came off the boat in October to allow for a lot of work to be done without us in the way. Due to a combination of minor problems and additional commissioned work, this got delayed to Christmas and the to late January.

Welcome to the Mariadz website

Hi everyone,

So this is the start of a new adventure for us.  The plans to sail around the world have been in place for five years now but this is our first opportunity to discuss the trials of how we got here :).  Firstly, why Mariadz:

  1. It’s a combination of Maria and Adam (or Adz)
  2. It’s recognition that from the first moment Maria met Adam, all she ever wanted to do was marry Adz!


In 2015 we sold our gorgeous six bedroom home in West Bergholt,  Essex.  We had many great parties at the house and will miss the built in DJ decks, pool table, hot tub and huge TV with cinema sound.  Funnily enough we don’t miss it but we had some great times.

We now live on SY Mariadz while we save the money to allow us to give up work and go travelling. How can someone give up work, we are not rich.

So we have been saving whatever money we have left and building a house in Italy.  trullo mariadzThe plan is that this beautiful holiday home (plug-plug) will rent out during the summer and the income for this will keep us in beans and rice.  It’s a plan 🙂

It does take time though, it took a year to buy the land and then two years for planning permission, the build has also taken a number of years so it looks like the house will be ready from 2017 (so get in quick with your bookings).

For the time being, we have also bought a motorhome so that we are not chained to the boat at the moment.  IMG_3326[1]This helps us with our frequent trips to Puglia and also gives us another retreat. It is an Autotrail tracker RB with a few creature comforts added. We will also document some of the fun and games we have in the motorhome. No prizes for guessing that it is also called Mariadz by the way 🙂

Now how can I get through so far into this post and I haven’t mentioned our four gorgeous kids (the pic may be a little old, but they were cute then :)). DSC00383

This was when we went on a tour to india and met up with a lot of really good friends.  They are from left to right: Amie, Matthew, Kristy and Rachel.  Amie and Kristy are Maria’s twins and Matthew and Rachel are Adam’s children.  This picture was taken back in 2007 when the girls were all 13 and Matt was 11.  They have changed since then – we may blog about them at some stage (if we are allowed!).

There are two other members of our family….. our two gorgeous cats: Bonnie and Clyde.  These are two ragdolls, born in 2010.  They have their own facebook page!  They are very affectionate and important members of our crew.

And this is where all of the fun will be had, our 2001 Moody 54, Mariadz – extensively refitted, and more of that as we blog.


So a lot for us to talk about, hopefully some of it will be interesting for people to see!

Whatever you are doing, have fun 🙂

Adam and Maria

SY Mariadz


And off the boat again!

Oh well, that didn’t last long.  We were on the boat for about six weeks before moving off and onto the motorhome.  We have decided to do quite a major project of refreshing the navigation and sorting out the power on Mariadz. It will take a few weeks…..

unfotunately, when you start these things, there’s always a list of other things that get added…on this occasion we moved the battery banks so that they electrical panel messcould be combined, moved and upgraded various pumps, set up the solar power, added a lot of battery monitoring, moved the aerials off of the Neptunes trident, added Maria’s new spreader lights… get the idea!

Anyway it was clear that we couldn’t move back on the boat during November and with a three week holiday planned from Christmas Day, we thought we would do the extra work while we could and have it all cleared for when we returned in January. That didn’t quite work out. We had water damage to our electrical system caused by the water used to put out the fire all those years ago. imageOlly at SeaPower has continued to be brilliant and we know that he is trying to look after the boat as we would. Seapower aren’t the cheapest but they are also not silly expensive and I’m sure that Olly has cut down the hours he has charged us. imageThe thing we need to remember is the unlit you of his work is the highest quality and you can be sure that he has your best interests at heart – at the end of the day that has to be the best recommendation.

But what it did all mean is that we had to live on the motorhome for a couple of months before returning from Australia and spending a few weeks with our good friend Lisa Jones, who has always been there in our hour of need.