We have had our Cal 28 flush deck for 3 months now.
We looked hard at alot of boats, erickson and pearsons and catalinas in particular. We were looking at an older group of boats than you are, late 60's early 70's, but here is what we found.
That little Cal 28 has more space inside than any of the other boats. It is laid out so intelligently it is just a pleasure to work on. lapworth just knew his stuff.
I don't claim to be an experienced technical sailor, but we have found her to be easy to work on and her systems are straightforward and accessible. An important issue if you are doing almost all the work yourself.
She has not had a ton of tlc, but she has not been abused either and she has worn really well. For an older lady she is dry as a bone and without funky smells.
We bought her as a bay and costal boat planning on upgrading in a few years to a boat better suited to cruising. I really can't tell you how many people have said "keep the Cal, she'll go anywhere..."
I would certainly put a Cal 28 on the list of possibles. I love how the ericksons look...but our little Cal is sweet...
and she is BIG inside!
ain't what ya do, it's the way that ya do it...