Catalina 38s actually sail fine in moderate conditions,
and they can be a lot of boat for the money.
I do not think there are any major build quality
issues from any Catalina.
But for me they represent about as far wrong
as you can get in the design of a sailboat.
The origional design comes from a very bad era for
IOR influenced boats. It was origionally a S&S One Ton
one off named Lightning, whose hull shape was used
for a production run of Yankee 38s. The hull mold
was tweeaked and a new deck mold built for
the Catalina 38, what Catalina considered to be their
large racing boat of the day.
This type of boat is great upwind, but not
so good reaching and running in breeze.
The exagerated tumblehome reduces deck
beam, and encourages waves to roll aboard.
The pinched stern acts as a speed break,
and makes the boat unstable downwind.
Then there is the rig
with massive genoas
and tiny mainsail, and a not very ergonomic
cockpit for sail handling.
The early Hunters are fine,
a little heavy but a Hunter 30 should
sail fairly well.