That is a good point about the full batten main. The Practical Sailor review made mention of the fact that the 350 they test sailed was a bit handicapped by having a furling main that left that particular boat underpowered.
I apologize for my tone about the 350. I am the first to recognize that boats are built for different purposes. Lots of folks buy boats primarily based on the comfort and accomodations of the boat, and that is certainly a reasonable perspective. In fairness to Catalina, they have admirable customer loyalty and lots of satisfied customers. The hardware that Catalina is putting on their boats these days seems to be good quality and appropriately sized. That is certainly a positive thing, particularly in comparison to older boats that may have been equipped with winches that were too small, etc. I think a lot of thought goes into these boats.
Over the years I have observed that Catalina buyers/sailors seem to place a great premium on accomodations. At the same time, they are often ordering boats with tall rigs, wing keels, fixed three bladed props, one headsail, usually no smaller than a 150, and hanging dinghy davits, complete with dinghy and outboard, off the stern of 36 foot boats. Now the result of all these decisions usually result in a boat that isn''t going to sail well, particularly when the conditions are a bit challenging. I personally believe that the 350 just pushed the "accomodations at the expense of performance" too far...for me. When I look at that boat, I just see too much beam and too much freeboard...for me.
Sailing is individual. I remember the first time I took the helm of a Bermuda 40 and felt how well balanced and comfortable that boat felt in a breeze, it was a bit of an awakening. My last boat was a C&C 33 and it was a great sailing boat. My current boat is a Sabre 34, and I think it sails well. I, personally, would be happier with the 36II than the 350, but that is a decision based on my own preferences and priorities. (Not that I am in the market for a boat). I was just curious how the marketplace was sorting through that question.
I am glad that you are pleased with your boat. That is what counts