The obvious technological advance is the canting keel
... not that the technology is particularly new - the idea has been around for a while, but the kinks seem to be getting ironed out, and now it is no longer only the premier racing boats (Super-maxis & Volvo
70' RTW) that have canting keels - many smaller racing yachts are turning up - even 40 footers. As a result, many of the exisiting fleet of racing yachts are suddenly off the pace... formerly quick boats that have been gun boats in their local fleets are getting their butts kicked by canting keel
boats. Other technological advances that have had an impact include the newfound popularity of the prod (bowsprit), often retractible, that allows the use of very fast asymmetrical spinnakers. Carbon fibre spars and hulls are also no longer strictly for the top-end racers.
Whether as a direct result or not, a quick glance on yachthub.com reveals a plethora of quite well known 5-12 year old racing boats (Cadabarra 7, Secret Men's Business, Prowler, Mandrake, for example) that are for sale
, and quite cheap
too. It is my guess that their owners are looking to either upgrade to a boat that will be competetive in the open class fleets or, perhaps, get into a one design class (Farr 40 or Sydney
38, for example).
Anyway, as a result of this glut of relatively cheap
boats on the market, it seems logical to assume that those with, say 10-20 year old boats might consider "trading up" to one of these newer faster boats, in turn selling on their older boats... hence a "trickle-down" effect.
It is probablw that this trickle-down will have less impact on the cruising market than the racing market, but I'm confident that there will be some cross-over.