Hello Sailor Girl
I have always sailed on wooden boats until recently - a degree in yacht and small craft design has left me with a fear of modern GRP..
Take it from me, the build standards on most production yachts these days are baaaaaaad! This has only ever been backed up by trips in modern production yachts - I have yet to be on one that has not had a serious shortcoming in build quality or a fundamental design error... I wouldn't trust a Reliant Robin on the motorway, similarly I wouldn't trust a Beneteau on the open ocean. Swans, HRs and the like are probably a different story, but I have never been lucky enough to try one!
However for our trip away I am looking to purchase a GRP boat - why? Well, we simply cannot afford a wooden yacht of the length and condition necessary!
We have avoided all newer yachts (natch) and gone for what turned out to be the first production GRP yacht - the Bounty II designed by Philip Rhodes and built in 1958.
The design is based on the race-winning R27 design by Rhodes, his famous 'evolution' design that he constantly worked on and improved from the late '40s to the early '60s. The hull (due to nobody having built one in GRP before) is built to wooden boat thicknesses, building in a strength 3-4 times that of the equivalent modern boat tolerances. It may not be the fastest in light airs, but it will be the last standing in extreme conditions.
Apart from wood and these early freak GRP boats, I would trust my life to anything by Van DeStadt - or any other steel/ally yacht built in Holland... and that's about it.