Yes, it was indeed the Viniloc we sailed last summer.
What made the main difference for us is that the 10.50 dit not give us the required standing headroom, my sons and myself being quite tall (over 1m90). We also felt the boat was a bit crowded with the four of us, especially if we want to cruise for longer periods of time.
As stated in this thread before, the sailing is just exhilarating once you can bear down a little, but we sometimes felt we would have done even better with less load.
The 12.50 is of course much bigger, especially inside, and it will certainly be a bit more forgiving when loading 4 or more adults and all the gear for a longer cruise.
We did not sail the 12.50 since it was due for the boat show in La Rochelle. But everything we heard and read seems to confirm that she is just as easy to sail as the 10.50. Which means: very easy.
For single or short handed sailing we think the cockpit of the 12.50 may be better. The steering position is more forward, so you can hide behind the full size hood. We also feel the position of the winches is more ergonomic and better within reach of the helmsman.
But let there be no doubt, we are very enthousiastic about the 10.50 and if it were not for the extra (head-) room, we would certainly have saved ourselves the extra cost for the 12.50.
The directional stability when motoring is even better with the keel up than down, also at very low speed. Turning is the problem and the foil in horizontal position is also much less efficient to whitstand windage on this very lightweight hull. We hope the heavier 12.50 will do al little better, but since this might be wishful thinking we added a bow thruster on the option list.
Onder other hand, the 10.50 can be fenced off almost like a dinghy!
In port, I think none of these fast, easily planing cruisers with twin rudders are all quite challenging. But do they sail fast!
Thanks for the feedback Eric. I also prefer the layout of the 12.50 in the cockpit (with the exception of the hale-bas rigging) but having been on a 10.50, it's manageable enough alone in my opinion. I've sailed a 8.50 and am looking at a fall rental of the Viniloc boat to give the 10.50 a spin.
Good point on the weight of the 10.50 and the windage issue with the keel up. My "lake" boat is an Open 5.00 and on a much smaller scale I know exactly what you mean, it can be trying in strong crosswinds and tight berths!!
I'm sure you will be counting the days to April 2012. The 12.50 is a beautiful boat and I'm envious!