Agree merit has nothing to do with age. But intelligent people have looked and thought about our tools- be they boats, guns, cars, or hammers. Not to acknowledge advances is cut yourself off from another source of wonder and enjoyment.
Paulo has a running thread which I read often with great enjoyment. But those boats don't meet my needs or aesethesics. I think some of current advances would actually decrease my enjoyment of my boat. However, There have clearly been advances in our undestanding of fluid dynamics, cad/cam programs and computer design have aided our N.A.s . Still think trick is to incorporate current knowledge tempered by real world experience. ....
I don't understand your point. In my thread I cover all sort of boats, including bluewater and voyage boats. Yes they are modern and represent the best there is on the market and that means the best sailboats available ever, depending for what they are designed for.
Regarding experience, most of the designers of the new generation (well, they are not young anymore
) were simultaneously sailors and I don't mean occasional sailors but circumnavigation and solo navigators that made transats, most of the time with boats designed by them. After that they kept sailing but most of all build many boast for others that were doing the same, accumulating experience all the time. Boats like the OVNI are being built over a previous circumnavigation experience and being improved for the last 30 years based in the experience fruit of countless circumnavigations (I know a guy that had done 3 on the same boat) and brought back by clients: Is this not experience enough?
Most shipyards in Europe have produced hundreds, some many thousands of boats, always learning with previous experience, always improving based on solid acquired knowledge: this is not experience enough?
I really don't understand what you mean. The edge technologies you talk about are only edge from a point of view 15 years old. Nobody uses new unproved technologies on cruising boats, they are tested first for many years in racing boats that circumnavigate and cross oceans with a solo sailors in conditions and during a period of time that surpass the live and demands of any cruising boat. Only then are they used on cruising boats and are used because they are better and more efficient materials, extensively tested.
The fact that the designers that use those materials on race boats are the same that years later, if they prove to be a better option, design cruising boats gives an added security in what regards safety from the design point of view: They know exactly what they are doing and are not using cruising boats has a testing ground. Just making better cruising boats based in experience acquired in racing boats with better materials and a more efficient design.