We did spend a bit of time looking around all the Beneteaus. As we still have a little bit of a racer in us we were interested in the firsts....my wife and I both have a bit of history with the old .7's so were interested in how the new range faired....
I guess the new 'modern' cabin on the firsts was almost a little too modern for us, more trendy apartment than sailboat. I have heard more than a couple of people suggest also that the Farr designed .7's probably also still sail better than their newer siblings.
On the Oceanis range I tend to agree with TD, we was fairly underwhelmed. The Oceanis 58 was of some interest, maybe just because it was far more boat than we could ever hope to have, but also the large aft boarding/swim platform is impressive and does make a bit of sense at anchor.
The Bavarias I liked a lot more than I every have, and yeah the wife was particularly taken with the Bavarias....
Another worthy mention goes to the Jarkan 36, an Australian yacht that lacked alot of flair and glamour, but it was very interesting chatting with the builder about the differences in build technique compared to a say Beneteau...it was a boat I would be happy to own and live on.
The highlight of the Marina for us though I guess was both 'Ellas Pink Lady' Jessica Watson's S&S 34 and also 'La Barca' a Jarkan 10.5 sailed around the world with a family of 4 onboard.
We spent alot of time this year listening to talks from a range of sailor folk, and listening and talking to the La Barca clan for us was particularly a real treat. Hearing that normal people can in modest boats go off and pursue their cruising dreams helped reassure the both of us that we weren't completely nuts.
'Life is either a daring adventure or nothing' - Helen Keller