Beneteau vs Hunter - Page 5 - SailNet Community

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Old 08-13-2009
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If you are still following this discussion, it seems to contain a lot of the same denegration of a particular boat or brand common to Hunters, Catalinas and Beneteaus that some like to perpetuate.
For what it's worth, I suspect I am among the very few who have owned all three at different times and now own an Alden so I may be both more objective and less biased.

In that context, my opinion is simply that there is little difference in quality among these three very competitive companies all competing in the SAME market; hence the differences are subtle.

Among the things I found to be different among them are:
Beneteaus - fit and finish seemed to me to be below that of the other two, particularly the sole plates, bulkhead tabbing and deck hardware mounting which always proved to be the sources of various leaks. Coupled with it's relatively flat bottom which promotes pounding, it was the most disconcerting boat I've ever had in bad weather.
Catalina - better fit and finish but still prone to leaks at all ports and hatches, difficult logistics and accessibility for routine maintenance and sailed the slowest of the three, pointed the worst and went downwind like a barn door.
Hunter - never quite got used to the huge salon windows but my wife preferred them so what that proves is debatable. Had to sail off the wind dead down wind because of the spreaders but found that was often a better VMG angle. Preferred the B&R rig which is actually stronger that a traditional one and since we had a backstay as well, this was a non-issue (some H models do not apparently).

I should mention each was a new boat so wear/tear was not an issue in comparison.

Bottom line - as I've said previously, internet experts are usually worthless. Years ago when I had the opportunity and time to travel, we sailed from the east coast to the S Pacific and never, ever throughout that trip during which we spent time with many cruisers on all type boats did I hear anyone denegrate any boat mfg like we routinely see here. Everybody had problems maintenance issues and breakdowns regardless of who made their boat. Coral doesn't care what the nameplate says nor does a 30 ft wave.

Ignore the so-called internet experts and pick the best maintained boat within your budget, take care of her and try to anticipate your future use to choose the best candidate accordingly.

Everything else is pure BS

Last edited by k1vsk; 08-13-2009 at 08:02 PM.
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Old 08-13-2009
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When considering all the variables, there is far more impact resulting from the skill and prudence of the captain than any trait of these three vessels. I'd buy the Hunebenelina if you want one and enjoy it! 'take care and joy, Aythya crew
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Old 08-13-2009
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I'm also considering a Beneteau/Catalina due to the cost to quality ratio. Does anyone have any thoughts they could provide in choosing between a B373, B393, B36.7, or C380?

We'd be based out of Ft. Laurderdale and would be mostly sailing to the Bahamas and Caribbean.

Thanks for any advice.
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Old 09-06-2009
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I agree with K1VSK - set your budget, set a range of LOA and go see what you can find on the market. What type of sailing are you doing? Hunters, Catalinas and Benes are built for easy cruising and have less aggressive sail plans, smaller winches etc. I personally looked at Beneteaus, Catalinas, Hanse and C&C's - mostly because they still make boats in my size range of 32' and under. The C&C owners I spoke to tell me the boat is very fast - it has way more sail area than the others and HUGE winches (40's and up). But it is more money and more performance means my wife as a novice may be intimidated by the tendency to heel. In the end, budget killed the C&C (among some other tidbits like sail drive issues and product build quality). The Hanse is very lovely but none were available and they too are pricey (built in europe and subject to import duties, shipping costs). The Catalina 309 and 320 we looked at - nice boats - no teak to worry about but I felt they were just plain - 'plain'. Which maybe isn't a bad thing. We did not look at Hunters - I personally like the idea of adjustable back stays like on the C&C but no back stay at all is just a little weird. Also the idea of going forward to unjam a line in rough water and getting past the extra B&G stay which seems to be at a perfect angle to ensure you will get it in the neck was disconcerting. I feel the Hunter looks and is disproportionately tall in the water. In the end a Beneteau 31 came on the market - for me it had more 'character', plenty of room - sails well in light wind (which is what we get here in the Pacific NW) and it was the right price. It has a huge beam - so I am trading off some rough water handling for extra cockpit room. And it has a rear stay (not adjustable) but alas - every choice has a trade off.
I offer this information not as an endorsement of Beneteau but as an outline on my decision process. Take all opinions about this brand or that brand posted here or from your broker with a grain of salt - do you own homework. Enjoy the search - there is a lot to learn in the process. In the end the right boat at the right price will make itself known to you - whether it is a Hunter or a Swan or anything in between.
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Old 08-04-2011
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Beneteau vs Hunter

Hatchet job by unscrupulous Hunter Dealer removed per forum rules

Last edited by Jeff_H; 08-04-2011 at 06:41 PM. Reason: Hatchet job by unscrupulous Hunter Dealer removed per forum rules
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Old 08-04-2011
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Just get yourself something like this.


Go on, you know you want to. Just look at all that teak.
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