S2 27 vs Watkins 27
Hmm....really don''t know the S2, but I had a 1980 Watkins 27. I thought it was very sturdy/solid boat for the money. For instance take a look at the size of the spars and the standing rigging as compared to other 27 foot boats its a bit oversized. In fact when I was going to put roller furling on, the people at Shaeffer were amazed at the size forestay I had on and actually sent me the incorrect sized parts.
Build quality of the Watkins is middle of the road. I think Watkins made a conscious decision to put the build costs into a solid boat with out a lot of "pretty frills" (such as teak or wood flooring which I am sure you''ve noticed). But important things like the great 1 1/2 inch solid teak anchor platform roller.
I had it 8 years and I though it was fairly reliable basic boat. Never had anything about the boat "break". I have fond memories and miss the boat and always felt comfortable that it would get me home "safe".
I sold the boat to get a bigger boat (C36) and wanted a walk through transom for fun easy coastal cruising with kids/dogs
(ps I had the 15 HP raw water cooled Yanmar 2QM15 -- it was a bit hard to start sometimes, but once running it was a great running engine and it would probably go another 20 years )