Beneteau vs Hunter
A couple quick comments here,
Beneteau offers a lead keel on most of their models as a comparatively inexpensive cost increase option. In talking to my local dealer about just that issue, few buyers take that option. That said I had the chance to sail back to back weekends on older First 35s, one with and one without the lead keel option and it was very noticeable on a beat.
Regarding coring, at the Annapolis Show I discussed coring with the Catalina sales person. He indicated cited one of the models at the show as being cored and indicated that Catalina was moving that direction with newer models. I do not recall which model he cited as this came in the course of a much larger discussion. To me coring is actually a good thing. It costs more to do, but done properly it really makes a better boat.
On the Catalina warranttee issue, I have posted the issue of alledgedly poor warrantee covereage whenever I comment on new Catalina''s for almost two years now since a disgruntled Catalina owner first discussed this problem with me. I have discussed this statement with quite a few Catalina Owners. To the person they all have concurred to one degree or another with some citing some pretty awful horror stories, that the Catalina has not responded properly to warrantee claims. I have not gotten that kind of response out of Hunter or Beneteau owners. I ahve asked because I wanted to see if this was a normal ''new boat owner carping'' syndrome. Its not. I have yet to have a Catalina Owner say anything contrary about the Warrantee being handled well. I am not saying that Catalina owners do not like their boats. In fact, most that I have met like their boats alot ''for what they do'' and seem to understand the relative merits and issues of their boats. They seem to have the normal list "You know what I would change" items rather than massive complaints about the boats themselves. But with regard to the warranttee, I have posted that statement here quite a few times, as popular as Catalinas are, there hasn''t been a response here from Catalina Owners contradicting that statement and I have recieved email supporting it. I always try to post this issue in a manner that is looking for comments supporting Catalina''s warrantee response. I just have not gotten it. I would love to be wrong here.