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Hunter 27 vs Catalina 27
I am considering buying my first keelboat this fall. I have been sailing my dinghy, and am taking an intermediate class in dinghy sailing, but I though it might be the right time to get a 27 footer that I can sail around Long Island Sound with over the next couple of seasons. I am really think of it as a daysailer, for practicing sailing skills, with some local overnights.
My plan is to get experience over the next couple of years as I work toward cruising in 3 or 4 years. So, as a first boat, it seems that cats and hunters are easy entry choices - low price point in mid 70s versions, many to choose from, and good (popular) market to sell into when done.
I do understand the build quality is low, but I am thinking of it more as a learner that I do not sink a lot into. My preference is a catalina, but there might be a good deal nearby on a hunter. Any thoughts on what to look out for, or how they compare? I have found lots of info on the catalina 27 - and there are so many of them around - but less so on the hunter. I did read some owner comments about the hunter having problems with the keel in the 70s, though.
I also looked at a pearson 26, and I gather it is better built, but I'm still leaning toward the cat/hunter options.
Any thoughts would be appreciated.