Originally Posted by turfguy
Have been recently looking at Catalina 350's. They seem to be a well designed boat. I also like the Hunter 36 but am thinking the Cat is better built for offshore cruising.
Any opinions appreciated. Thanks in advance,
I have a 1991 Catalina 36 MKI and my slipmate has a 2007 C350. I've sailed on his boat and it is very nice, but honestly I don't like it (or any of the newer designs) as much as the models it replaced. I'd rather have a C34 or C36 over the C350. The v berth and aft cabin of the 350 are super, but my wife and I didn't like the saloon layout much. The cockpit of the 350 is great. Tradtionally, Catalina has tried to accomodate do it yourselfers and the systems on my C36 are for the most part fairly accessable compared to other boats I've been on. I would expect that to carry through though I haven't WORKED on my neighbors boat.
The new 37X might be an exception but I'd have to see one in the water to know for sure. I know its the pot calling the kettle black but the new designs have even more freeboard than my boat and it of course has more than more tradtional boats. Anyway the new crop of cruising boats look good to me on paper but then when you see them in the water they look like floating Winnebago's they have so much freeboard.
I don't have any experience with Hunters, and don't think they are quite as well built as Catalina's but they are built to a similar price point and each probably has its strong points. A B&R rig with in-mast furling seems like a double bad idea to me.