Re: Catalina 27 or Pearson 28 or Ericson 32
All three are decent boats. Get the boat in the best overall condition for the money.
Don't be afraid of the A-4, it's a great engine if it and the fuel system are well maintained.
If it's a tie, I would choose;
One of the main reasons that the Catalina comes last is that it's the smallest of the three and the newest.... why would I put the newest last... you might ask... because as the years went on the steel mix used to cast the A-4 block and head decreased in quality. That is why you sometimes find engines from the sixties to early seventies still going strong even though they are salt water cooled and engines from the late seventies+ that have issues.
JMHO, whatever that's worth.