I believe Simonpickard had asked for feedback on the different boats in the same price
level and how they compared, I've been a bit busy of late in purchasing
a new/old boat, putting the current
boat on the market and doing those things that I need to do to pay for my boating
habit (addiction) and hadn't replied.
I was reminded of this thread after helping a friend transport his recently purchased Beni First back about 120 miles from where he purchased it, we did sail it all the way since said friend did not check the fuel
gauge for function by actually putting a dipstick in the tank to verify, but that's a story for another time.
The boat sailed fine, as well as my 30 year old C&C
of similar size but, and here's the but, the cabinetry did not fit well, with crappy finish and ill fitting doors, the running gear
was crap (as delivered from the factory). Sailing upwind all day in 20 knots on the nose in 4-8 foot swells and some chop the creaking down below was excessive. My 30 year old boat has none of that or at least minimal in similar conditions. The tabbing work where done, was rough, the wiring
is not the quality I like to see with minimal securing in some high friction areas, plywwood bulkheads not finished or sealed on edges. Ever had to replace a delaminated bulkhead? I have. THe cockpit
layout was, well, not to my liking, very difficult to get around and function while heeled running in swells. THat 30 year old C&C
had superior cockpit ergonomics.
The Catalinas I've seen in the same price
point are built sturdier, with better fit and finish, better quality rigging
, simpler but works well, more attention to tabbing and fiberglass
quality overall. As for performance they tend to be a little slower but it depends on what your looking for, overall a better bet when looking for a used boat
, but of course it depends on how the example was maintained as with any make. Most bang for the buck.
Hunters, another boat in this price point, had quality issues earlier on, they have improved in recent history
but the older ones varied from model to model, I would suggest looking very closely at joints and grids in those boats, apart from the obvious blistering issues common with many 80's/ 90's boats of certain makes.
My take on it is that I would go a few years older in the same used boat
price point to get a better boat, a Sabre
for example if your looking for an all around boat, well made with an eye for detail, Tartan,s or if your looking for performance J's or C&C's. Pearson
and Bristol also made some very good boats.
Of the new boats? You get what you pay for, sometimes the low initial purchase
price isn't such a deal a few years down the road when your having to upgrade and replace. If your buying
new take the long view, how long are you going to own it and how will your needs evolve.
I've always tried to get the most boat for my money
but have always had an eye for the build quality after having to do major work on a couple of boats I owned early on that I thought were a "bargain".
If your asking about boats further out of the mainstream I won't go into those now since they tend to be more specialized in their intent and appeal to a smaller audience, oh, and tend to cost more.