Production boats- justified bias?
Hey all. Would like some input and sorry for asking an opinion question that could generate some hackle raising responses!!
I grew up sailing and continue to do so with my family now. We had a Caliber 28 and are moving up to a 40-ish boat mostly for bay cruising as well as a "year off" cruise with our 3 kids (in 4 years). Looking for boats and have appreciated the feedback on this forum.
I grew up thinking that anything not Bristol/island packet/cape dory was no good.. People used to rag on bene's and hunters (this was 1980's) and touted bristols etc as "good boats". Here's my question: does the same "production boat" stigma still hold? I've been doing a lot of research on Beneteau Bavaria Catalina (haven't read too much on hunter yet) and I just don't see the difference anymore between the "high quality boats" and production. Finesse and fine woodwork aside, if you have a fiberglass hull, end grain balsa cored decks and good quality ports hatches and hardware, lead keel etc where is the difference? I've been really interested in a Catalina 42. But then I started looking at hunter 42 (online) and they look good too (and their websites list all the same design stuff). Similar displacements etc.
I guess my question is: does the same bias from years ago still hold true or have "name brands" and production boats met somewhere in the middle (save for the really high end boats)?
I am pretty budget conscious and want to get as much boat as I can for the money. So I'm trying to come to terms with considering boats that in years past all the old salts ragged on (not Catalina- always heard good things). I'm coming to the conclusion that the bias is dated and not accurate today. Am I missing the obvious?
thanks in advance
'88 Caliber 28
Last edited by bradfalk; 12-22-2012 at 05:35 PM.