I don't understand that choice for a wing keel (unless that’s the only the option Catalina has for a short draft
A 6ft fin keel with a big bulb on the bottom would be a better option. That solution would require for the same righting moment a lot less ballast and that would mean a faster boat. That's why almost all European boats follow that option on their short draft versions and on 40ft boats (even bigger) their short draft versions have less than 6ft draft.
Besides we have already seen that a wing keel with 6ft draft needs more draft if the boat is heeled (sailing) and that is surely a big disadvantage.
Regarding the list, it is a nice one but as you have said, all boats are compromises and our perfect list will never fit completely. Regarding those compromises I would say that you miss an important one: PRICE
Most of us would not have a problem in choosing a boat if that was not that limitation and price is one of the main factors in a choice, at least for most of us.
I would say that a boat that would fit that bill would be the Dufour 425. Bigger, faster, with more space and very good storage, for about the same price.
Anyway, even with the same program, two different sailors would chose probably two different boats just because they like different styles in interiors and in the outside line of the boat. After all boats are not a rational thing, but a passion one, and passion has not much to do with reason
Hey Paulo! How are you!??
Well, first off, you may be right about the wink keel option. I have not had the expeirence of sailing on fin-bulb keeled boats that I can remember. I would have to have some experience on them on shore and off before I would opt for one. I will say that my experience with a wing has been generally positive and have no problem reccomending one. I do like the fins better, but many if not most of the fins down here are deep draft boats and unsuitable for the waters I sail (Bahamas, most of Florida, and in fact much of the waters south). It is very hard for other sailors like you and my other Portugese friend to realize that 10 feet would keep you about 5-10 miles offshore down here! And in the keys, Bahamas.... forget it. You will be anchoring with the tankers!
I like the Dufors, but my only personal negative of the boat is the locatio nof the galley. When we cook and eat, I want it totally seperate. It makes it easier for us when entertaining or when we are doing homework. FOr exampkle, Kris and I often have one person cooking and the other working with the kids on the stuff (or playing games or watching TV, etc) and that is a lto easier done for us when it is totally seperated. To be very clear: this is our personal preference. Others will feel totally different. Just my negative of the boat. In fact, it is enough of a negative that I would not consider a boat at all with that layout. When dinner has been cooked and we are all sitting down, I don't want to see the mes in the galley!!! Just me.
As far as price, you are correct. Our boat does meet most of the requirements that we have. Some of the ones it did not meet we modified for. The excptions are the Fwd facing nav station (I have to clamp myself in on a bad sea as mine faces port), the seperate bunks (the C400 and 42 does come in a 3 cabin version, but they put the galley across from the salon table which again I do not like), and tankage (which I modify). The Bene 423 has a similar layout (2 cab version). I cannot remember the model, but there is a Jeauneau with one too but I rmember teh lazarette being very small.
Everyone has their own list and priorities, of course. THese were just mine (and why).