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Old 26-11-2012, 12:40   #1
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Catalina 38 vs Hunter 38

We are looking to purchase a 2001 38' sailboat, either Catalina or Hunter. Our intention is to do some long vacation Bahama/Keys trips for the next couple of years and then do extended cruising for several years. Which vessel would be better for our purpose - the Catalina 38 of the Hunter 38?
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Old 26-11-2012, 12:50   #2
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Re: Catalina 38 vs Hunter 38

It's like asking is Trident or Dentyne peppermint gum is better. The two are rough equivalents. Go with whichever you prefer.

However, why limit yourself to these two models is the real question.
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Old 26-11-2012, 12:51   #3
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Re: Catalina 38 vs Hunter 38

Catalina stopped making the 38 in 1990. It was much more of a racing design than a cruiser. Are you sure that's the boat you're looking at?
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Old 26-11-2012, 12:58   #4
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Re: Catalina 38 vs Hunter 38

Correction, it's a 380 Catalina. Looking at these two models because the price is in our range. We have looked at a couple of smaller Beneteaus but they didn't do anything for me.
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Old 26-11-2012, 13:05   #5
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Re: Catalina 38 vs Hunter 38

bbhawn -- what do you mean extended cruising for several years? if you mean up and down the east coast of the usa and the bahamas each year - either is fine but beyond that - hummmmm --

and what are you looking for in a boat?

just our opinion and everyone has one -
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in trinidad
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Old 26-11-2012, 13:13   #6
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Re: Catalina 38 vs Hunter 38

These next 2-3 years will be spent weekend sailing, and 2-3 week stays in the Keys and Bahamas. Following that, the plan is to live aboard for several years or more, traveling throughout the Caribbean and possibly further. We want a comfortable live aboard, yet one that is a great sail too.
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Old 26-11-2012, 13:28   #7
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Re: Catalina 38 vs Hunter 38

I'd suggest you list out your criteria for a boat and your budget. You will then get better responses. (draft, hull shape, rig, # berths, tankage, etc.)
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Old 26-11-2012, 13:33   #8
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Re: Catalina 38 vs Hunter 38

Good idea. Draft should be under 6 ft. Monohull. Main berth good size, preferably bed facing forward. Separate shower in head. V-berth would be nice to have a sink. Want a/c and front load refrigerator.
The usual electronics of autopilot, GPS/chartplotter, wind/depth indicators, etc. Electric windlass. Inverter and macerator. Walk-thru transom.
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Old 26-11-2012, 13:46   #9
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Re: Catalina 38 vs Hunter 38

Just wanted to know what the advantages & disadvantages are in a 38' Hunter and Catalina. Or, is it like ohdrinkboy said, just choosing Dentyne vs Trident?
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Old 26-11-2012, 14:12   #10
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Re: Catalina 38 vs Hunter 38

I think that there are more similarities than differences in these 2 boats. They are both modern production boats and have similar construction and quality. Although I think most would give a slight edge to the Catalina in quality. I think both would be capable of doing what you are planning, bearing in mind that all boats are compromises and have limitations. We saw lots of boats in this size range in the Bahamas. Do keep in mind that sailing to the Caribbean is a larger jump in offshore work. Be prepared for that.

If they both fit your needs from a design and layout standpoint, I think the more important criteria would be age, condition and equipment of the specific boats you are looking at.

Scott
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Old 26-11-2012, 14:43   #11
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Re: Catalina 38 vs Hunter 38

As others implied, it's a toss-up with neither being significantly better or worse than the other in terms of build quality, design or standard equipment. Look at a bunch and choose the one with the best maintenance history, equipment and price and forget the nameplate which is the least important consideration.
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Old 26-11-2012, 14:44   #12
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Re: Catalina 38 vs Hunter 38

Thanks Scott. Those are the criteria I have been looking at, including price. My husband read some negative reviews on the Catalina whic he referred to as a "Fatalina" so I just wanted to hear another opinion.
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Old 26-11-2012, 14:56   #13
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Re: Catalina 38 vs Hunter 38

Thanks S/V Illusion. That's what I will do.
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Old 26-11-2012, 15:22   #14
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Re: Catalina 38 vs Hunter 38

Quote:
Originally Posted by bbhawn View Post
Thanks Scott. Those are the criteria I have been looking at, including price. My husband read some negative reviews on the Catalina whic he referred to as a "Fatalina" so I just wanted to hear another opinion.
You'll find negative reviews on internet forums such as this one regarding both those brands of boats. A big part of this is that they are the two largest sailboat manufacturers in the United States, and that their success has been in their ability to mass-produce boats at a price point that lower-volume manufacturers are unable to achieve. Care to guess whose salesmen lead the way in bad-mouthing Hunters and Catalinas? Some of these guys literally do it for a living.

There are difference between the two lines, but they really aren't differences of quality. They tend to cut corners in different places so that the prices of similar-sized boats are always within a few thousand dollars of each other. Catalina tends toward a more traditional rig and lines, while Hunter tends toward greater innovation.

The "Fatalina" taunt is so juvenile it doesn't merit discussion on this forum. We should condemn it to the same garbage bin as "Wet Snail" for Westsail, "Bendy Toy" for Beneteau, et cetera.

The bottom line here is that comparing Hunters to Catalinas in not unlike comparing Chevys to Fords. They are both solid, made-in-America sailboat lines that have their fans and detractors. Both come with cupholders.
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Old 26-11-2012, 16:42   #15
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Re: Catalina 38 vs Hunter 38

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Originally Posted by Bash View Post
You'll find negative reviews on internet forums such as this one regarding both those brands of boats. A big part of this is that they are the two largest sailboat manufacturers in the United States, and that their success has been in their ability to mass-produce boats at a price point that lower-volume manufacturers are unable to achieve. Care to guess whose salesmen lead the way in bad-mouthing Hunters and Catalinas? Some of these guys literally do it for a living.

There are difference between the two lines, but they really aren't differences of quality. They tend to cut corners in different places so that the prices of similar-sized boats are always within a few thousand dollars of each other. Catalina tends toward a more traditional rig and lines, while Hunter tends toward greater innovation.

The "Fatalina" taunt is so juvenile it doesn't merit discussion on this forum. We should condemn it to the same garbage bin as "Wet Snail" for Westsail, "Bendy Toy" for Beneteau, et cetera.

The bottom line here is that comparing Hunters to Catalinas in not unlike comparing Chevys to Fords. They are both solid, made-in-America sailboat lines that have their fans and detractors. Both come with cupholders.

LOL....Good one!
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