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post #1 of 27 Old 09-19-2003 Thread Starter
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Catalina vs Hunter

I''m shopping for a 30'' boat to sail on Puget Sound. What is the general concensus on Catalina vs Hunter? Is one inherantly better than the other or is it entirely subjective?
Any opinions are appreciated. Thanks
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post #2 of 27 Old 09-19-2003
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Catalina vs Hunter

Is this a "troll"?

I know a better place to ask this question
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post #3 of 27 Old 09-19-2003
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Catalina vs Hunter

IMHO Catalina has historically made a better boat than Humter, sort of like the Toyota of sailboats, not fancy but well constructed for their purpose. Catalina 27s and 30s are cruising classics of their time.

I think there a widespread (not to be confused with universal!!!) recognition, among knowledgeable boaters that early Hunters were poorly made. (A memorable moment - back in 1976 I went with a friend to day-sail his Hunter 30. When we got out to the boat, it had two feet of water over the cabin sole. After hand bailing the boat, we discovered that one of the small screws retaining the electric bilge pump in the keel sump had come lose, and water entered from the screw hole. This boat had a fixed keel so go figure. If we had stayed home that day, his boat would have sunk...).

The new Hunters may be better made (no personal experience), but to me they look like floating RVs.
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post #4 of 27 Old 09-20-2003 Thread Starter
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Catalina vs Hunter

Hey tsenator, I was indeed trolling for information. You provided none. Perhaps you should confine yourself to that other board. Even a sailing fool could provide more useful information than you. Thanks fool. That is exactly the type of info I''m looking for.
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post #5 of 27 Old 09-20-2003
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Catalina vs Hunter

I have a preference towards Catalina''s. I don''t have anything against either brand, and I like some of the things Hunter tries out with innovations handed down from big race boats, but I am not sure they will always work or hold up well over time. Sailboats cost a lot of money (to me) so I tend to prefer things I hope will last.
The Catalina 30 has been around virtually unchanged (aside from the transom) since 1974 or 1976. I like the circular cockpits of the new Hunters at the dock, but I don''t know if I would be so happy when heeled over. I also don''t like the rig with no backstay, but I know people who have both Hunters and Catalina''s and all are happy with their boats and I think either would work well in Puget Sound.
I don''t know if you are looking at new or used. Catalina has a tall rig option that would work very well in Puget Sound.
If you are looking at used boats, get a copy of 48 North at any marina or broker and look at the list of 30 foot boats. All the boats for sale in Puget Sound are listed with the price and broker near the back. I look at the boats on before I go look in person so I don''t drive all over until I find a boat or four that I like.

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post #6 of 27 Old 09-21-2003
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Catalina vs Hunter

I can''t speak for the hunter, but I have some sailing time on several Catalina models and you get a lot of boat for your money. I still prefer my C&C. If your shopping used, you might get higher quality (for not much more money) in a used C&C or Tartan.
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post #7 of 27 Old 09-21-2003
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Catalina vs Hunter

I''ve sailed both the Huner 33.5 and 37, as well as the Catalina 34 and 46.

I ended up buying a C&C design, and it came down to that or the Tartan.

I would say the Catalinas were always in the running (c38), but the higher performance swayed us in the end.
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post #8 of 27 Old 09-22-2003
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Catalina vs Hunter

Wow, this is like the C&C list. I also looked at the Catalinas and the Hunters. Looked at a lot of Cat 30''s as there are so many out there. Did not like the Hunters as much, although the interiors were nice and big, did not find the construction and performance to be what I likes. Looked at a Hunter 33 early and it convinced my wife that she could live with a sailboat.

We also ended up with a C&C, liked the reputation of performance and quality. Have not been disappointed. Nice interior space, if traditional, nice performance and very good quality of construction. I also looked at the Tartans but could not find one that was in my price range and with the interior my wife would accept but would not hesitate to buy one all other things considered.
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post #9 of 27 Old 09-22-2003
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Catalina vs Hunter

As I have mentioned before, I went through a search with a friend who was looking at similar year and size Hunters and Catalinas. Generally the Hunters seemed to hold up better. I spoke to a number of very experienced surveyors who indicated that used Hunters generally did better in surveys. Of the big three builders, I personally prefer Beneteau First Series hands down on sailing ability and build quality with Catalinas a clear third place.

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post #10 of 27 Old 09-27-2003
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Catalina vs Hunter


Sorry, its just such a common question that can be emotionally charged and asked quite often on lots of different boards. If your looking for more, just go through the archives and you''ll finds tons of opinions and comments.

It looks like Jeff H is the lone wolf here, and I have to respectfully disagree. I do tend to agree with the Benetaus in some respects, but they make many different quality/types of boats, with the first series being their upgraded racing version ....but they are starting to cheap out in some ways....not that it affects the boats integrity, but in other ways.....they are going to fake plastic teak floors and most of the models do not come with the option for a lead keel (at least thats what the Beneteau dealer told me last weekend...and I looked at the options price list ) Not sure what years and sizes Jeff was looking at, but its not consistent with what I saw, but I wasn''t looking at boats older than 15-17 years though. I won''t comment on 70''s era Catalina......they made 2 classic boats back then the C27 and the C30, but like a lot of other mass producers of these vintages they might have not been up to the standards of some other manufacturers of the time (that, by the way, are no longer with us!)...but starting in the 80''s and continuing thru to today the quality has consistently improved. Outside of the Cheribini''s cutter model Hunter built, the design and quality of the Hunters were not great. I will concur that the quality of the newer Hunters have improved since I started looking at them about 10 years ago, but thats not too hard since I think the late 80''s to early 90''s Hunters were the worst in my opinion. But these days the quality is improving on all the boat manufacturers.

In fact I think if you survey most people out there that have looked at boats and been around them and then you take away the Hunters owners and the Catalina owners as being biased. I am pretty sure you''ll find an overwhelming number of people consider the Catalina to be a notch above the Hunters . I believe Jeff H is very knowledgeable but clearly in the minority when it comes to his opinion ranking these boats.

Take a look here thats a Hunter 376...this is not a one off thing. These things are not a result of a running hard aground or a boating accident either. These are major boat failures . I have heard of this occurring on more than one Hunter in this latest era of their non-backstayed rigged. Still Hunter''s decision to allow the hull to deck joint to support the rigging loads (with or without their magic glass layup that they say they have in this area) is a serious mistake in their construction. People say they have good customer service, but if you''re going to build boats like this you''ll need it.

I just got back from the NY/NJ Sail Expo and I was looking at both sets of boats. There were just too many small items, where for some unknown reason, Hunter cheaps out. In many ways these are very important items on the Hunter that my mind are woefully inadequate. Take for instance the bilge pump hose on the 36'' Hunter, its this tiny 1" hose !!. I almost can''t believe it and the bilge pump is undersized too. Someone has to explain to me why they do that for something that important , looking at their setup they would only pump 1/2 the volume of water that most other boats have. Remember 97% are never going to need or care about that, but what about the other 3%. So I have to respectfully disagree with Jeff H, when you really look at these seemingly small but very important items.

Lets put it this way.....If you told me that I had to sail to Europe and my only 2 options were a Catalina 36 or a Hunter 356 then I don''t think I''d blink an eyelash before I''d pick the Catalina. I think most people that have been on each boat would agree. If you told me I was 6''6" and had to live aboard, then the hunter gets a bit more appealing since it goes for the maximum space conceivable....just look at the freeboard of a lot of hunters. But even then I''m not so sure...
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