My next door dock neighbour has a Nonsuch 36 that he is talking about selling. This may not be a "small cat boat" but it is in very good condition. I helped him rig it this spring. For such a "simple" rig it wasn't as easy as I thought it would be to get set up. Many years ago I sailed on a Nonsuch 30 a few times which was surprisingly quick. One thing I remember about that boat was jibing in big wind could put the fear of god into you. When it really picked up a chicken jibe was a good idea.
Nonsuch's can be scary. I've posted before about that long boom catching waves - not good. Yes, a jibe in wind is an "Event." But the chicken jibe isn't so great because the boat can get stuck in irons and it is really difficult to get it out. Irons might be the best way to heave to on that boat! You could roast a turkey before you escape. We almost drifted down on a sandbar in that scenario. Ugly.
i'm thinking more of a 17-20 ft trailerable cat to replace my little 16 ft trailerable chesapeake light craft 'skerry': which is a 2 - person gaff rig sail/row boat, that doesn't hold enough people for an afternoon daysail. i missed a beautiful loaded marshall 19 at the marshall yard---but it was 37K, a little too rich for a beer - and -social- security budget. the nonsuch hinterhoeller 20 is a nice little cat, but the talk of nonsuch's jibing difficulties is off- putting. so i'm still looking..... and thanks for your thoughts .
There are a lot of opinions in forums, but I would want more than that for such an important decision. Maybe talk to some of the MANY Nonsuch owners, in person or in their forum(s), about their actual experiences, to see how that matches up with your personal experiences and preferences.