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Re: For a family of 4 - Islander 28 vs Catalina 30
I haven't been on an Islander 28 either, but I almost bought an Islander 30 and really liked what I saw. My slip neighbor also has an Islander 30 and sails it on 2-3 day trips pretty much every weekend and loves it.
The Islander 28 was designed by one of the great designers (Robert Perry) and is said to be one of his 3 favorite projects. Initial build quality on the Islanders is also a little higher than Catalina. So that's the one that I'd personally start with.