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Old 18-04-2022, 05:14   #16
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Re: Hunter, Catalina, Benneteau Debate

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Get any boat you want that makes you happy and fits your budget and needs, outfit and upgrade it to fit the uses you will use for it, and get good at sailing it. Iím a multi millionaire and can get any boat I see and still got a Beneteau, outfitted it to 2022 standards and thatís all you need. Anyone who tells you otherwise is an armchair sailor and loser who doesnít have a boat. Ignore them.
That you chose a Benneteau means that you are utterly ignorant as to the way they are built and got sucked into marketing BS. Doesn't matter how you kitted it out, it's still a recklessly engineered boat. There's an old adage that states a fool and his money are soon parted and when you go to sell that boat in a 5 or 10 years for a tiny fraction of what you paid for it you'll regret your decision. You'll regret it even more if the keel fails while you're crossing a large body of water. Best of luck to you Mr. Millionaire!!
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Old 18-04-2022, 05:16   #17
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Re: Hunter, Catalina, Benneteau Debate

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I have surveyed ...
85 Catalinas
192 Hunters
112 Beneteaus
28 Jeanneaus

On systems installation, build and material quality alone, I believe Hunter and Catalina are superior to Beneteau and Jeanneau.

Couldn't agree more. I don't know my numbers but I've surveyed and delivered quite a few of the big four myself and there's nothing I hate more than going to sea on a Group B boat!
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Old 18-04-2022, 05:25   #18
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Re: Hunter, Catalina, Benneteau Debate

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Originally Posted by sailtheworld79 View Post
That you chose a Benneteau means that you are utterly ignorant as to the way they are built and got sucked into marketing BS. Doesn't matter how you kitted it out, it's still a recklessly engineered boat. There's an old adage that states a fool and his money are soon parted and when you go to sell that boat in a 5 or 10 years for a tiny fraction of what you paid for it you'll regret your decision. You'll regret it even more if the keel fails while you're crossing a large body of water. Best of luck to you Mr. Millionaire!!

That assessment seems a little extreme to me. The Beneteaus certainly have some design and build features that I strongly dislike or have some concerns about. But at the same time, look at how a lot of people that aren't cruising the world use their boats. Plenty of them will never push the limits of even the worst of Beneteau's construction.
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Old 18-04-2022, 05:27   #19
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Re: Hunter, Catalina, Benneteau Debate

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Originally Posted by boatpoker View Post
I have surveyed ...
85 Catalinas
192 Hunters
112 Beneteaus
28 Jeanneaus

On systems installation, build and material quality alone, I believe Hunter and Catalina are superior to Beneteau and Jeanneau.

So what's your opinion on the value of lead over steel, if any?


Back to main topic, this isn't the first such discussion on exactly this topic, but that's no surprise comparing the top selling brands.

One must note that it's not just the brands, it's the model and year too. Just like autos- GM makes the Corvette, and GM made absolutely junker vehicles too.

The Catalina 34 is an outstanding boat. It's not just a bigger C30.

As-designed, as-sold qualities are one thing. But these boats are all now aged, and that's just as, or more, important than how it came from the factory. Not all of us age the same, and neither do boats.

I had the C30TR for 26 years, beat the crap out of it, but maintained it. When it was time to sell, the savvy buyer knew what he was looking at, and it was gone.

We were set on the B430, an absolutely stunning design, and well made (minus the rudder issue.) For example, the floorboards are all laminated wood, and edged (compare that to the 423 which has thin laminated floorboards with raw edges.) However, every one I looked at- from Brisbane to FL to Champlain- had saturated decks and some ruined bulkheads because the owners had done zero rebedding. In the end, we had to give up on the 430s because of bad owners.

OTOH, we looked at a B455 that was meticulously maintained and looked better than it did when new. And the price tag reflected that. It sold very, very fast at a price more than 50% higher than the typical example. A neighbor has a (IIRC) 2003 Hunter that he maintains meticulously, and it too looks better than new.

Both the Hunters and the Beneteaus from the 2000-?? era have way too much freeboard and thus too much windage. Owners complain to me all the time about being blown around. Well, that's where you get that great headroom.

Our big issue with the new-to-us Hunter is the previous owners' modifications. Just to hit ONE set of problems: the instrument pod is a rat nest, and moving it knocks out the instruments; the autopilot is direct-wired to the starting battery; and the autopilot works on-and-off. Our greatest projects have nothing to do with the design of the boat, they're a result of half-assed installations and lack of maintenance- which are independent of manufacturer.
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Old 18-04-2022, 06:13   #20
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Re: Hunter, Catalina, Benneteau Debate

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Originally Posted by sailtheworld79 View Post
That you chose a Benneteau means that you are utterly ignorant as to the way they are built and got sucked into marketing BS. Doesn't matter how you kitted it out, it's still a recklessly engineered boat. There's an old adage that states a fool and his money are soon parted and when you go to sell that boat in a 5 or 10 years for a tiny fraction of what you paid for it you'll regret your decision. You'll regret it even more if the keel fails while you're crossing a large body of water. Best of luck to you Mr. Millionaire!!

What a fatuous statment!


You certainly have an axe to grind on here.


While I agree that some of the Benny, Dufour, Jeaneu design features could be bettered, there is no escaping the fact that remarkably few cause death or injury considering the vast numbers in use. At this very moment plenty of these boats are traversing seas and oceans everywhere in the world.


A fellow club member here in the UK bought a new Legend - thats how Hunters are sold here - sailed it seven times and got shot of it ASAP. He found sailing it in the Solent all year round - no winter break - the short, sharp chop caused a nasty motion onboard. His wife fell three times while they were sailing, something she had never done before, or has done since with the replacement boat. He found poor ergonomics made it dangerous to move around inside and outside.


That is not good design!


The Benny you mention that lost its crew in that mid Atlantic tragedy was a hard worked charter race boat. It had been improperly repaired after a serious grounding. Not that I condone that method of hull/keel construction, I think it is appalling. Almost impossible to fix after a grounding, certainly not cost effective to do it properly.


All boats are a compromise. Some have more compromises than others.


I am reminded of Jay Leno's reply to the question " What is your favourite motorbike? "


He said " The one I am riding when asked that question! "


Ergo, all motorbikes, like all boats, are good.



Some boats are just better than others..........................
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Old 18-04-2022, 06:35   #21
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Re: Hunter, Catalina, Benneteau Debate

Iím a power boating who bought a Jeanneau Sailboat and joined the dark side.
I looked at Hunters Beneteau Hanse Barvaria Dufour but never saw a Catalina nor would recognize one.
I grabbed the Jeanneau cause itís a pretty boat. Didnít have a clue. Turns out I got a kick ass little boat. As too Boat failures the more you make the more you have badly maintained boats. Beneteau and Jeanneau just our number the other brands.
As to wood I noticed in a brand new Hanse exposed end grain on plywood. I questioned the Dufour rep on this. He said we can write the factory. No not when after taxes its 500k
So I hear you loud n clear on modern material not working out. So my Jeanneau has every exposed plywood Mickey Mouse edge with Systems West. This will certainly hold delamination at bay. On that note the glued on strips hiding hunters glass Iíve seen delaminated. I canít find any furniture damage in the boat.
The entry door is a joke. The air conditioning is 7 years old and egh.
Iím pricing out sails. Apparently my main is stretched. I traveled with 2 Beneteau and a Hunter. The Hunter was the newest boat and absolutely beautiful. I thought the hull joint a little awkward. The cockpit is total copy of a Jeanneau. I didnít notice if the Hunters furniture was nicer. The 2 Beneteau were older and lots of updates. The both had dark interiors which donít appeal to us. The interiors as far as I could see was pristine. We commented on the faux white leather in one Beneteau over 20 years old in perfect shape with a polished teak table and wall to set it off.
As you mentioned the rental fleets are full of commodity built boats which are abused.
In the private world this condition doesnít not seem to be an issue. We looked at them but didnít want the hours on the drive line.
Beneteau is not your average competitor. Hunter or Cadalina could never muster their buying power. Europe attacked by Trump caused the demise of their 36 year old factory Europeís tariffs on US boats cause 4 good old American brands to move to Poland.
Beneteau dared to make the First 53. How dare they enter Swan and Xyachts backyard with plywood and iron to stop leaching lead into the water. Then the First 36. That Poppa Bear and Baby Bear. When they bring out Mamma Bear my skill level my be up to it.. I love the minimalist interior. I donít want an old smoking library look.
Maybe ppl donít buy used hunters cause there are so few available.
As to hull builds well Hanse has 3D printed a 38í Yacht so hold that thought.
Hull construction. My power boating skill came in handy. A hull which flexes too much will glaze the glass right on a bulkhead glued bolted screwed Epoxy etc.
As to the keel bolts. A j bolt canít be replaced. The Handful of Benneteaus which have lost keels were abused.
In Powerboats Bayliner use to get all the mud slinging. Bayliner sold 400,000 chopper gun boats a year. I saw a Contessa scream into Parry Sound with a hole from a rock which would not have holed a stronger boat. But Iíve never heard hundreds of owners complain they just fixed and upgraded.
Iím silly happy putting in my Dinghy with my 4hp Yamaha.
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Old 18-04-2022, 06:53   #22
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Re: Hunter, Catalina, Benneteau Debate

I'll accept that Catalina is best of breed for that category.

So what's the next step up from this class of boats? What features are desirable that the Catalina doesn't have? Can you get something like a Catalina, but with stronger hardware and a step up in terms of fit and finish?
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Old 18-04-2022, 07:08   #23
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Re: Hunter, Catalina, Benneteau Debate

We did check out a Marlow Hunter 40. The helm seating was a deal breaker. Hanging out over the transom vs the Jeanneau seats a no brainer. So if it’s built smarter I’m amazed cause it cost less.
More experienced sailors have told me they never expected Hunter to survive.
I think my favourite US made Sailboat is the Hinckley 50’. Kind of a classic and not jealous of anyone else’s success.
Beside Hinckley is where the AC test boat Mule was built. Talk about an ugly interior the Mule wins.
Canada is building a huge lithium battery factory in Windsor to serve all the electric car factories in the Great Lakes.
Beneteau Delhi Yachts claim all their boats will be 100% electric by 2023.
Toyota’s 30 Loa hydrogen power by Yanmar a real hit. Yamaha Toyota 450hp Hydrogen V8. Rand Boats Picnic.
Where Beneteau is the developer of electric sail drives Hunter will be a customer.
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Old 18-04-2022, 07:12   #24
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Re: Hunter, Catalina, Benneteau Debate

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I'll accept that Catalina is best of breed for that category.

So what's the next step up from this class of boats? What features are desirable that the Catalina doesn't have? Can you get something like a Catalina, but with stronger hardware and a step up in terms of fit and finish?
Many will say Pearson, but I'm ho hum on that. Definitely Sabre. And some of the Euro boats. Some may say Bavaria, but that depends on year.

Desireable? Well Jim already said it- upgraded hardware. Then there's fit and finish.

Sabres (for example) sail better than Catalinas (generalizing) though that's actually more a result of who's sailing. That said, our Hunter sails better and is far easier to sail than the old, beloved Catalina.

But I cannot stress enough: The top reason to buy Catalina is catalinadirect.com. No other manufactured boat has the ease and speed to get parts. No BS, no figuring out what part you need, you go on the website, find the right part for the model Catalina, and order. This saves greatly on frustration, and moves search time to sailing time.

On another note, let's debunk Rumrace's "stop leaching lead into the water." Be careful what one reads and who one listens to.
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Old 18-04-2022, 07:22   #25
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Re: Hunter, Catalina, Benneteau Debate

I’ve read Catalina support is amazing. The Buck Knives of boating. Not one unhappy owner
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Old 18-04-2022, 07:23   #26
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Re: Hunter, Catalina, Benneteau Debate

Yes please debunk. Now the copper is safe let’s make lead safe too
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Old 18-04-2022, 07:26   #27
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pirate Re: Hunter, Catalina, Benneteau Debate

Never owned a Catalina but have seen them slagged off on CF in the past as great coastal but crap offshore boats.
Only Hunter I have owned was a Cherubini 37c, sailed like a witch but poor interior quality with undersized screws etc, loved her anyway..
Solo'd a French built 1987 Bene 321, Caribe to UK, tough little boat, did the same on a US built 2001 Bene 331, same problems as the Hunter internally, undersized screws etc, gets upsetting when the aft cabin berth collapses onto the prop shaft as you get in.. but otherwise a great little boat.
You get what you pay for, just don't buy if your a bitcher..
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Old 18-04-2022, 07:27   #28
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Re: Hunter, Catalina, Benneteau Debate

Lead keels are generally coated, which would minimize leaching. I don't think I've ever seen one left bare. Iron keels aren't used to avoid lead leaching, they're used because they're cheaper, or because a builder wants a given size keel (surface area) but doesn't want to design in as much weight (iron is less dense than lead).
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Old 18-04-2022, 07:48   #29
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Re: Hunter, Catalina, Benneteau Debate

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While I know this post is going to (in all likelihood) generate an argument I feel it needs to be rehashed for the millionth time and here's why. Hunter and Catalina get a bad rap for no good reason. Benneteau and Jeanneau seem to be well loved for no good reason
I see ALL the mass production boats bashed on this forum. Maybe Hunter a little more than the others, but Bene and Jenneau also.

I love my Hunter but then again, I do see flaws and trade-offs compared to my marina neighbors and friends who own Catalina, Beneteau, and Dufour. But I have advantages they don't. If I made a full list, it would take forever to fill out. In the end, I think it's a wash. They are pretty equal.

Before bashing the quality of any groups of boats, keep in mind that really, only the hull layup is totally their own. Pretty much everything else that is important is bought from somewhere else. Both on production boats and high end boats you will see a lot of equipment from the EXACT SAME manufacturers - Lewmar winches or hatches, Yanmar engines, etc.

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Originally Posted by Tetepare View Post
But I cannot stress enough: The top reason to buy Catalina is catalinadirect.com. No other manufactured boat has the ease and speed to get parts. No BS, no figuring out what part you need, you go on the website, find the right part for the model Catalina, and order.
Hunter has basically the same thing: https://hunter.sailboatowners.com/
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Old 18-04-2022, 07:59   #30
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Re: Hunter, Catalina, Benneteau Debate

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I'll accept that Catalina is best of breed for that category.
One of our grandkids still ďacceptsĒ that I can pull his nose off. He accepts almost everything I tell him. But he is 4.
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