At the risk of getting shot by someone here, I consider the Catalina's, Hunters and Beneteaus in this size group to be very similar. I like them all BTW and so do a billion other people or the marinas
would not be full of them.
They are plentiful so they are relatively inexpensive and there probably are ton's of people who can fix them and I bet the factory support is not too bad.
Looking at the 285 it seems to have the same issue that I have with the Catalina
where the shrouds mount right in the middle of the already narrow side decks. The side decks are narrow to improve the interior
volume but I always find the shrouds getting in the way of going to the foredeck. Not a huge issue but it bugs me. Our shrouds mount right at the rail, the cabin is narrow at head
height and we have pretty workable side decks. This is also conducive to people sitting on the rail. Our cockpit
is about the size of the 285 and with more than 4 it is getting crowded. With 8 on board - yes we've had a loadfull - we have 3 people on the rail, 4 in the cockipt and 1 usually standing in the companionway
. 6 is a much more workable load out for us.
Our experience is that only 1-2 people out of 8 will spend any appreciable time in the salon
The other thing I noticed is the center mounted salon
table. We have the same thing in our boat and I find it a pain in the butt to get around. I would give up a settee if I could move my table to port or starboard.
The price point of these boats is very appealing as well.