Hunter 31' vs. Catalina 30' - SailNet Community

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Old 03-14-2010
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Hunter 31' vs. Catalina 30'

Just hoping to get some input as to the main differences between these two boats. I would assume the Catalina to have more interior space even though the Hunter is a foot longer?
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Old 03-14-2010
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Not sure about the interior room. Depending upon the year, Cats are usually a better sailing boat than a Hunter. BUT, with that in mind, "EVERYONE" I know with either brand of boat, likes there boats. SO, if the design of either fits you needs, buy which ever is the nicer better price, I am sure you will be happy.

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Thanks for the reply. I have also read that the Catalina's are more quality built. Everyone I talk to seems to recommend the Cat 30 as a great all around boat.
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Old 03-14-2010
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The Catalina 30 is one of the highest-volume 30 footers around.. pretty hard to beat on that score, esp in the main salon. Where she starts to fall down a bit is in the quarterberth 'double". While dimensionally it may qualify, the portion under the cockpit sole is no place for a claustrophobic. The clearance is very tight.

The Hunter, with it's beam carried further aft and wider transom may have a more usable aft berth. However the Hunter will likely also have a cast iron keel vs the Catalina's lead keel. Both work but the iron keels can be a bit of an on-going maintenance issue vs lead. When properly sealed it's not so bad but any damage to the epoxy sealcoat will lead to rusting between haulouts.

The Catalina 30s are also one of the stiffest boats around so that may be another relative factor between the two - it will affect the feel of the boat and how she carries her sail in a breeze.

As Marty says, there are plenty of happy owners of either type. Catalina does have a stellar rep for how they support the boats and their owners, both new and old.
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Old 03-15-2010
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Depends on the year I guess, current Hunter 31 is a great boat, older ones not so much. Cat 30's have been good since about 1987, before that check the keel to hull joint carefully
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Both are decent boats of similar build quality and price. This is largely a matter of personal preference with the scales tipped toward which boat has been better maintained.
The ubiquitous Catalina smile in which the keel separates from the boat is enough of a problem issue requiring constant attention in itself to far outweigh the added maintenance of an iron keel which, I believe Hunter does not have anyway.
The conventional wisdom is that you are basically choosing between a Ford and a Chevy - not enough difference to make a decision solely based on the nameplate.
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Old 03-15-2010
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When I was looking to move up from from my C-30 (which I enjoyed), the yard manager at my marina told me this: "Do yourself a favor - stay away from Hunters. The Admiral loves them because they have all of the amenities. However, Hunter doesn't put any thought into ongoing maintenance. They bury everything inside the boat. It's takes a lot of time to get to much of the systems which results in higher labor costs."

I have no idea if he is correct, but thought that I would pass it along. Maybe others will comment.

Mike
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Having just looked over a nice 70's Hunter 30 on Sat. I can say that it was a nice, roomy boat. Beautifully done and well maintained. And if I had to work on the engine, I'd have sooner shot myself, as it would have been comparable to climbing under the kitchen sink to perform brain surgery.
But it was a beauty!
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