In reading various posts on this list, it comes across to me that there is almost a hatred of Catalina, Beneteu, and Hunter boats. Also, for those who favor trailer boats. the hatred is towards McGregor. So a couple of questions.
Hunter, Beneteau and Catalina are the Chevy, Dodge and Ford of the boating industry. They are serviceable coastal cruisers. Not hated but but not quite lusted after either. Hunter gets a bad rap because their quality was not great for quite a few years. Not horrible - just not great.
MacGregors are generally considered to be less than attractive craft. They are very lightly built and not suitable for use in anything other than sheltered waters. Kind of like the mopeds of the boating world.
In looking at ocean capable boats, the CE A rating is to be ignored, although it's very existence is to set minimum requirements for ocean capable. Why does it even exist if it doesn't have meaning?
It has meaning. Other things just have more meaning.
The boats promoted as being ocean capable seem to fall into two categories: a) boats that are old, and no longer made (they just don't build anything, cars or boats, like they used to), or b) boats currently made that are extremely expensive (never drove either one, but there's no doubt that a Mercedes is better than a Chevrolet or Ford...the same logic that's killing the US industry). So if the old style, smaller, less expensive boats from years ago are so great, why are they still being produced?
For a period of time, when there were lots of fibreglass boat builders, the hulls were built quite strongly. So strongly that the boats didn't really deteriorate. They held together so well that there was no real reason to buy a new one, when you could get a used one for half the price. So the reason they don't build most of them anymore is that the old ones are still working nicely thank you.
That said, a lot of the boats that are cruising around the world right now were never designed for the purpose. People being what they are though, they ignore the boat's intended use and happily head off into the wild blue yonder, safely circumnavigating and leaving the less adventurous on the jetties wringing their hands in horror.
The newly built purpose-built ocean cruisers are entirely different craft than the older mass-market flotsam. They are stronger, more intelligently designed and have a much more comfortable motion underway. You get what you pay for.
Imagine that you are driving a car in the Paris-Dakar rally. You could probably finish, and even win driving a Ford Tracker. When you did finish though, there probably wouldn't be much left of the car. So the next time you want to run a rally you need to either buy a new car or rebuild the Tracker.
Contrast that with a Landrover which costs about five times as much as a Tracker. The Landrover is definitely going to finish, and you might need to change the oil and maybe tune her up before you head off to the next rally.
If Catalina, Beneteau, and Hunter are so terrible, why are they the largest manufacturers of sailboats in the world? The charter trade in the islands is tough service for boats and Beneteau seems to own it. Why are the rugged ocean capable boats not in the charter business?
It's not that they are so terrible, they are just not strong ocean cruisers. The reason they sell so many boats is that most sailors have no intention of even crossing one ocean, let alone circumnavigating a couple of times. The big three make boats that are all the average sailor needs.
The charter business is hard on boats but the conditions that they are sailing in are not (usually) too bad. The damage comes from the constant stream of sailors unfamiliar with the boats. They bang, crash, scrape and thunk their way through two weeks in the Caribbean sun and have a great time. After 5 years the boat has paid for itself and is either trashed or sold off. You couldn't do that with a $750K boat. It would take too long to pay off, and repairing the wear and tear is a lot more expensive on the nice ones.
I don't think saying that they are lightly built gets it...A Cat 40 hull and rig weight (displacement less ballast) is 12,500 lbs. A
Caliber 40LRC is 12,100, a Island Packert 40 is 12,800, a tarton 4100 is 12,400, a HallbergRasy 40 is 12,945.
It's not how much they weigh, it's what the materials used in the boat are, and how they are put together. Of the boats that you have listed, the only ones that I would think about taking offshore are the Caliber and the Island Packet.