I've been around Cals and other boats for a number of years. I currently have a 39. It can still walk by any comparably sized boat out on the water. The quality of construction of the Cals is bulletproof as they used a lot of fiberglass. Hunters and Catalinas are cheaper construction and are much more flimsy by comparison. I've seen Hunters and Catalinas run into things (such as pilings) which caused major damage to the boat where Cals have only had minor gelcoat damage. Try putting a thru hull fitting in a Hunter--the hole will take about 2 seconds to cut through. A Cal takes awhile because the glass is about 5 times as thick. I've seen glass thickness in the bow of a Catalina 36 thats about a quarter inch thick, which is pretty thin. Ericksons are another fine boat and well constructed. The other difference is the Hunters and Catalinas tend to have that motor home look with the fake wood where Cals and Ericksons use real teak. I'd by an older Cal, such as the 34. It's fast and strong enough to take you anywhere you care to go.