Catalina vs Hunter
I have a preference towards Catalina''s. I don''t have anything against either brand, and I like some of the things Hunter tries out with innovations handed down from big race boats, but I am not sure they will always work or hold up well over time. Sailboats cost a lot of money (to me) so I tend to prefer things I hope will last.
The Catalina 30 has been around virtually unchanged (aside from the transom) since 1974 or 1976. I like the circular cockpits of the new Hunters at the dock, but I don''t know if I would be so happy when heeled over. I also don''t like the rig with no backstay, but I know people who have both Hunters and Catalina''s and all are happy with their boats and I think either would work well in Puget Sound.
I don''t know if you are looking at new or used. Catalina has a tall rig option that would work very well in Puget Sound.
If you are looking at used boats, get a copy of 48 North at any marina or broker and look at the list of 30 foot boats. All the boats for sale in Puget Sound are listed with the price and broker near the back. I look at the boats on Yachtworld.com before I go look in person so I don''t drive all over until I find a boat or four that I like.