Beneteau First 310 vs. Catalina 30 MKII
I am currently looking at a 1992 Beneteau First 310 and a 1991 Catalina 30 MKII. The Beneteau is about 5k more. Both boats are very well maintained and ready to sail. Looking to mostly day sail on Erie with the occasional long weekend cruise with my my wife and son. Any input would be greatly appreciated. Thanks. (I am assuming a clean survey comes through for both.)
Two different boats. The Bene 310 is a racer that can cruise. The Cat 30 is a cruiser that can be used in club races. The Bene 310 rates 138 PHRF (very quick for a boat that size) and the Cat 30 rates 186 (pretty slow for a 30 footer). The Bene will be more fun to sail, while the Cat will have better cruising accomodations. The Bene would be my choice.
Looks like Beneteau First 310 has more fun :)
I think these are comparable boats in quality of build and maintainability etc (in my opinion both decent, not perfect). So, the decision really has to be based on what suits you more. I would make sure cabin layout, cockpit size and line positions etc all suit you. That way you'll never be completely unhappy with the boat, no matter what else is right or wrong.
Then again, personally, I'd choose Beneteau - I owned two so far, they weren't ideal but they served their purpose well enough and I can't complain much about either.
Most people tend to favor the boat they have/know - duh... People want to validate their choice and in most cases don't have experience with other boats so the answers these questions typically generate are usually loaded with all kinds of bias.
For all practical purposes, these boats are interchangeable. The only reason(s) for selecting one over the other are personal perception, the proof of which lies (I infer) in why you choose to limit your search to only B's and C's. There are a myriad of other mfgs making equivalent boats for similar money that are equally well built and outfitted.
About the best advice anyone can give you is ask your family, without imposing any biases or perceptions you have, which they prefer - if they aren't happy, you won't be...
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I will cast my vote in favor of the Beneteau,
especially if it is the deep keel, tiller steered version.
I have sailed on, and raced against several Catalina 30s
although not a Mk II version. They sail fine in good breeze
and flat water, but are slow in light air and chop and must
carry a large headsail to stay powered up. The C30 is really
a retread of a early '70s design, so I would be expect the
B310 to perform much better in most conditions.
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