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Old 22-04-2022, 07:33   #76
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Re: Hunter, Catalina, Benneteau Debate

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I Plastic deck will look like fresh wood 20 years longer than wood.

Unless you buy some of the really durable, exotic woods that hold up even better than many of the plastic decking products. But they also make the (expensive) plastic decking look cheap, so they're rarely used.
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Old 22-04-2022, 07:43   #77
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Re: Hunter, Catalina, Benneteau Debate

I recently bought my first new to me sailboat, a 2003 Beneteau 361. After looking at many Hunter, Catalina, Jenneau, Beneteau and even Gemini, I landed on this particular one for a few key reasons. First, I liked the layout for my purposes of coastal cruising. Second, the previous owner was a retired US Navy Commander (destroyer and cruiser) who had maintained this vessel very well. Third, the price was very fair and under budget, especially considering the condition. I would've been pleased with any of the makers as long as the vessel has been well maintained. Sure, I'd like a almost new HR or other top quality bluewater yacht, but those are out of my budget.
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Old 22-04-2022, 08:20   #78
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Re: Hunter, Catalina, Benneteau Debate

I use to sell Catalinas and Beneteausí in the late 80ís. Previously I was a Captain that ran race boats. I can share this. Catalinas in those days were not the best sailors. The interiors in many ways were cutting edge in design. Jerry Douglas did all the interior design until just recently. They worked very hard to stay in contact with every owner and yearly had sails for owners. Frank Butler, owner and Jerry would listen to their customers and integrate the owners feedback. Most of that feedback was about interiors. It was years around that time Catalina purchased Morgan. They modified the interiors to fit the Morgan hulls. That helped the boats be better sailers. Frank has used Garhauer for many years. In my opinion they are almost bullet proof but not the lightest nor are the blocks very slippery. A friend of mine blew up a main sheet block that was in excess of 30 years old. When he told me he was going to contact Garhauer to see about getting it replaced because it failed I laughed. Garhauer apologized for the failure and sent him a new one! Frank understood how to produce boats as cheaply as possible. That is one of the reasons the interiors were oiled instead of varnished. The masts were heavy as it was cheaper to use an aluminum extrusion instead of a designed mast that was lighter. Catalina is a lesson in evolving build technics, design and customer service. Frank was never to busy to talk to a customer. In fact he welcomed the feedback!

Beneteau had an entirely different build philosophy. First they hired real naval architects to develop the hull shape. Then built hulls that were lighter by using a grid system to offset the loads from the mast. The grid was also developed so the furniture could be attached to directly it. Since the furniture was attached to the grid it no longer needed to have any strength as it was not part of the structure of the boat. This allowed Beneteau to use laminated wood in the furniture and pre build the interiors. Then they would drop the furniture in and attach it to the grid before putting the deck on. The masts were engineered to use swept back spreaders which was cheaper to build and in the fractional rigs didnít need to be as strong. The result was a lighter and faster boat.

I do not have as much experience other than sailing several. Overall i was not a huge fan. I didnít think the build quality as great. They certainly had great looking interiors though.
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Old 22-04-2022, 08:30   #79
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Re: Hunter, Catalina, Benneteau Debate

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Hey Hunter no longer makes anything but trailer boats. The factory is sold and they are gone.
Catalina and Beneteau are fine.
.
Mattel, Lego and Fisher Price are fine too.
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Old 22-04-2022, 09:33   #80
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Re: Hunter, Catalina, Benneteau Debate

I work on boats all day long. Production boats have their advantages- most everything is accessible without having to disassemble cabinets or remove glass (talking glassed-in fuel/water tanks on custom boats…Bene/Jene tend to be more cutting edge as to design-they’re also lighter- from the rigging to the hardware. Smallish shrouds, shackled, lines, etc. iron keels- not a fan of their chain plates/stantions…Catalinas are more solid- the fit & finish is basic, but they’re really easy to work on and find parts for. They’re the Ford Explorer of the boat world. Larger Hunters 41-50 are very nice boats. I especially like the DS44/45-they share the same, Kevlar impregnated beautiful hull. I love the elevated traveller and radar arch. The B&R rigging not so much, as well as the below water hull to deck joint at the stern, and the massive mainsail, but, very nice, comfortable boats. All of these marques are excellent values. I live aboard a Catalina 42 Mk2. Keel stepped mast & lead keel. All systems are basic & easy to access/repair. It’s been a cheap boat to own so far, relatively speaking.
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Old 22-04-2022, 10:06   #81
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Re: Hunter, Catalina, Benneteau Debate

And snooze,........
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Old 22-04-2022, 10:57   #82
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Re: Hunter, Catalina, Benneteau Debate

I think a lot of the Hunter hate remains from the 1980s. Some of their construction was indeed horrible. As described, their more recent interiors are a step above the other production boats.
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Old 22-04-2022, 13:16   #83
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Re: Hunter, Catalina, Benneteau Debate

I have not read the entire thread but quite a bit with only one reference to Pearson. Are the models too old? Am I too old? I've had, Electra, 30, 35 and a 1972 P36 for the past 42 years. I admit to no real challenging sailing, except coming out of the Cape Cod Canal into Buzzards Bay in the afternoon (anyone whose tried this knows what I mean). However, my P36 had traveled to Bermuda a couple times and to Florida on the outside a couple times. I watch Captain Q compulsively and he mentions favorably many features that remind me of my boat. Dan and Kika on "UMA" have proven this Pearson (at least) is very offshore capable.

I wouldn't mind a comment or two on Pearson, which seems within the same general category as J, B, H & C. (Sabre not so much).

My criticisms of my boat are draft 6 feet. A foot too much freeboard. My compliments are wheel forward at the bridge deck. It sails fast enough. Simple single spreader rid. The interior is Formica with some wood details.

I watch the popular sailing vlogs. The Hunter 36 that Matt and Kristen are destroying looked like a good boat before they got their Home Depot hands on it. But I love them both for their personalities and entertainment value. The Cats don't appeal to me at all. RAN is out of my league. Atticus? I don't get it. Replacing all the standing rigging? Way to much fussing there without any indication what the outrageous cost must be. I guess its just a business expense and the money they must be making from their sailing videos suggests the rest of us have missed the boat unless we are broadcasting.

Pearson comments?
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Old 22-04-2022, 13:35   #84
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Re: Hunter, Catalina, Benneteau Debate

Now, I'm not a racer. At least of sailboats, raced bikes in the desert, figured it was more fun to unload in the rocks at 50 than fall in the water at 8.


That said, I've cruised from the south of Mexico to the South Pacific, to Alaska and even did the Great Loop for a couple of years. All in Catalina sailboats: a 22, a 25 and a 36. I've trailered them, trucked them and even sailed them. So here goes.


The Catalinas we owned could win a local race if you knew what you were doing. In the 22 we may not of been first, but we were up front. For the 25 we were outsailed by a Cal 25 around Anacapa Island; we were happy to get second. And on the 36, we left Puerto Vallarta with a Peterson 40 for the Marquesas. He beat us there by one day out of 25. And remember, a Catalina 36 came in 2nd in the Transpac Cruising class, beat only by a larger schooner. My opinion is that Catalinas are great sailers; they will take a beating and keep going. But they're not sold as a racing boat



Next, the customer service is great, as mentioned above. When you had a warranty claim or problem, you called the factory and ended up talking to Frank Butler who wanted to know about your problem and got it fixed.


Finally, Catalinas are well built. I'm a mechanical engineer though not a navel one. When I would look at our boat and compare it with another boat, the Catalina was well built, not necessarily better but built as well. And remember Catalina was a cheap boat. One example is that the life lines on the 36 were 24" high and the stanchions were through bolted to the deck. Another was the lead keel, which saved our rear when we hit a reef in the Bahamas. On our trip to the South Pacific, we had NO boat related failures. It was a rough crossing and the boat came through with no structural problems.


Now just as a side comment. Jerry Douglas claimed he designed the 36. I assumed that was the whole boat; he didn't say. I do know Sharon Day did a lot of the interiors. I wish them well, now that Frank has died, Jerry has retired and Sharon is running the company, it will be interesting to see what happens to Catalina.


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Old 22-04-2022, 13:41   #85
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Re: Hunter, Catalina, Benneteau Debate

"Home Depot hands".... Ha! One of the guys I go out and sail with has a Pearson 32. I haven't looked inside at all, but its an attractive boat that seems pretty good under sail.
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Old 22-04-2022, 13:52   #86
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Re: Hunter, Catalina, Benneteau Debate

Seems the old out of production call the leaders production boats like it’s a bad thing. Kinda funny
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Old 22-04-2022, 13:59   #87
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Re: Hunter, Catalina, Benneteau Debate

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So the point here, the only point is the objective recklessness of Group B build quality over the last 25 years. Yup, they put the same bits on them from the same third party sources. However, to the best of my knowledge only Group B lags their iron keels directly to the bottom of their ďletís see how thin we can make thisĒ hulls with bolts that turn into piles of corrosion when immersed in salt water. Group B doesnít tab their bulkheads. The interiors are straight from an IKEA warehouse having a clearance sale! Itís a boat built to get you to BUY it, not a boat built to LAST. As to the grounding issue that was brought up a few posts back; if youíre crossing oceans - or hell - crossing bays on a boat that canít survive a grounding or canít be properly repaired when it does hit the bottom (and everyone eventually hits the bottom) then how can we claim itís a well built? It isnít. Do Hunters have a more sporty motion in a chop? Some do, yes but the way will take an absolute thrashing and continue on. Group B you get one chance and one only. A good friend of mine and fellow delivery skipper just got pulled off of one in the Gulf Stream off South Carolina because the hull liner let go of the hull!! Yup, great boats 🤣🤣🤣
I find it odd that "group B" boats are so close to destruction that you only get "one chance", yet in the 2021 ARC there are something like 18 "group B" boats that finished yet not one "group H" boat? https://www.worldcruising.com/arc/ar...ntentries.aspx

As far as iron keels go, they provide ballast just like lead. Lead keels also use iron j-bolts to connect the keel to the boat, and those bolts rust just like those on iron keels. Only difference is iron keels can be easily fixed by replacing the bolts and/or adding helicoils...lead keels need to be melted down in a factory setting. Further, lead is soft and can deform and bend/cant much easier that iron. Isn't it funny that a cracking hull/keel joint is also known as a "Catalina smile", boats that use lead keels?

While "group B" boats have "thin keels", they can be thinner because of the vacuum layup vs hand laid fiberglass. I can't think of how weak a cored hull would be with core rot: https://iopscience.iop.org/article/1.../1130/1/012018

"Group B" boats don't need to tab to bulkheads because the grid is the structure, blulkheads are are literally like non-load bearing walls in your house. The new "Group B" boats now allow you to add or remove walls as you see fit.

Internal fit/finish is a preference, but has no bearing on how seaworthy a vessel is. Its funny how "IKEA" furniture is sometimes used in a disparaging manner, yet folks fail to realize that IKEA is the largest furniture company in the world....most companies don't get to #1 by accident. They are doing something right.

I find it odd that the OP somehow thinks his spade rudder is sufficient when everybody knows if you go more than 10 miles off shore with one it will break off instantly....every boat needs at least a skeg hung rudder, if not a full keel.
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Old 22-04-2022, 16:00   #88
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Re: Hunter, Catalina, Benneteau Debate

Ikea markets trendy, disposable furniture to women and the short sighted. People who tried to use ikea products daily learned how temporary the stuff is. A shocking amount of people don't care that a product doesn't last that long. New homes aren't really built to the hundred year standard that they used to be either. Look at a lot of modern products and you find planed obsolescence or planned breakage time to be part of the buisness model. Consider this when looking at new boats. Sure, one of these boats will last a long time under optimum or tenacious care, but it looks like they are building most to last 30 years. Some builders still make incredible boats designed to outlive their owners, but that has a price premium. I want an Alubat Cigale 16 myself...
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Old 22-04-2022, 23:28   #89
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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.
I agree. I am not a millionaire, so I bought a 2005 Beneteau Oceanis 423 - the only halfway decent thing that I could afford at the time some 8 years ago. So far she has not let me down, for many thousands of nautical miles and weathering two gales. Yes, some things are suboptimally designed, the furniture of poor quality - but she sails surprisingly well, has plenty of space, and survived bad weather without significant problems, hard to ask for more at that price point.
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Old 23-04-2022, 09:06   #90
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Re: Hunter, Catalina, Benneteau Debate

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During the best years of Hunter's production (2003 to 2007) the larger cruising boats had tabbed bulkheads. Deep bilges. Kevlar in the load areas. Lead keels attached with oversized J bolts and backers.
It goes back further than that. My 2001 H410 has those things and the model started in 1999.

I have had my H410 for 12 years, with the last 5.5 being full time on the boat. Have never had a hull/deck/keel/rubber problem. Just the normal pump and electrical things that wear out.

I do note that these these have a lot different tone that they did when I first joined CF. Production boat bashing is mostly a forum sport.
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