I am a big fan of Dudley Dix's work. He is a very creative designer
who seems to exercise a lot of care in fully developing his designs. He seems to understand what it takes to design a well rounded boat that offers reasonable seaworthiness, comfort, ease of construction, and performance.
That said, on an objective basis, the Carribea 30 does not look like a particularly good design. It is somewhat dated in ways that would not suggest any virtues over Dix's later work like the Didi 34. The Carribea appears to be a considerably earlier design than the Didi series. In its day the Carribea 30 probably was a pretty advanced design, but the understanding of what makes a good seaworthy
design has advanced since then and Dudley Dix's work kept pace with this increased knowlege of as his designs advanced producing boats like the Didi 34.
To be frank I am a very big believer in Dix's Didi series. These are extremely well thought out designs in all regards that should produce boats that are far superior to the Carribea 30 in all aspects. The Didi 34 offers better accommodations, more seaworthiness, should offer better motion comfort, should be easier to handle, and should offer wildly better performance. Given their similar displacement
they should cost roughly the same price
to construct. BUT, and this is a very big but, the Didi 34 should have a much higher resale value should you ever decide to sell her.
One very importanty word of caution, boats are designed as a system. Amatuers who do not routinely design, engineer
, and build boats assume that it is somehow an improvement to "make sure everything is over-built to start with". Frankly, this does not improve the strength of the boat. When you overbuild a boat, it greatly increases the stresses and so moves these increased loadings around the structure until a weak spot is found. It becomes a case of chasing your tail as each piece gets heavier than designed and the boat ultimately becomes greatly compromised in terms of strength and seaworthiness. Guys like Dudley Dix are used to designing boats that are intended for very harsh sailing venues (South Africa
and the South Atlantic is about as harsh a sailing venue as there is varying between the light air of harbor racing
and the extremely heavy air found offshore). Responsible designers, like Dix, know what they are doing and so 'overbuilding' is actually likely to produce a less reliable boat than building to Dix's carefully engineered design.
I should also point out that in reality, the cost of materials are such that you should be able to buy a very good used boat
for far less than it would cost to simply buy the materials and gear
to build either of these boats.