Join Date: Apr 2007
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....we are in the Chesapeake area, and had looked at the three productions...bene, catal, & Hunter. Had a Hunter (31), and had been very happy with it, though thought we might try the others.
Please, please - no offense to Beneteau owners; different strokes for different folks and I have some friends who LOVE their boats. So, without seeing them (too much) at first, I had truly thought I would be sold on the Beneteaus....of the three, I disliked the "atmosphere" below on the Beneteau. The Catalina is very roomy, as is the Hunter. Loved the Hunter, and just purchased that....
Note that I am the female half, so the galley, roominess, storage, do-dads & knick-knack areas, and other creature comforts were very important, especially with children/larger groups on board. The Hunter is, relative to the Beneteau, "light and airy". I would imagine the Catalina would be, as well.
We've sailed it a bit and, in a short time period, have used it for "boatovers" (children spending the night), friends out for a sail, and family time. It works for all.
My male half went out today, in very "zippy" winds, testing out the Hunter (380). Called recently and sounded like a kid in a candy shop - for the first time. Very, very excited about how well she handled; a bit (happily) surprised as to how easy she was to sail in the conditions (today) on the bay. Actually had a pseudo-race with another fool who was out, too. He now feels like a teenager.
By the way, we too have no intention of making a Bermuda run or anything other than a day hop here and there, while playing Jimmy Buffett....without being the male half of the boating pair, I simply can't say too much as to the "mechanics", structure, etc....except for the fact that it is still floating. Really, though, I think (hope) the boat will be fine for the bay. Hey, I'm not proud - just realistic: It looks to be a great RV, and I like the roominess for friends and family....and if there is a female involved in this choice, you had better d__n well ascertain their approval and get what they like (we like the galleys and roominess) as, regardless of the cost of the boat, a divorce is more expensive!
Just my (female) opinion. Look at the boat before you put a deposit on it....I was truly surprised as to how much my preconceived notions were not on target.
I tend to do the same thing with the stock market, which is why we got a Hunter and not a Pearson or Island Packet.