I also looked at Southerly's for the conditions I have at my home port, but the price deterred me. I have only had "Heron" for 5 years, the previous owners kept her in excellent condition, I am trying to do the same. I was very lucky to find her when I did (I have hull #5).
I only have hearsay evidence that one of the 7 Clearwater boats has circumnavigated the globe, as such I believe they are seaworthy. My concern is what happens to that swing keel during a knockdown. I believe there is a mechanism to lock the keel in the down position built into the keel cabinet, but I have not investigated it as I have only be a coastal cruiser. My boat has a hydraulic system that prevents the keel from dropping rapidly unintentionally. The details in design and mechanisms evolved as they built these 7 boats, but the basic design is the same. Barrett Holby told me that the boat was designed to sail with the keel in any position, it was just a matter of how much leeway you could tolerate. I agree with Fallard in that my boat seems to find its groove at about 20 degrees of heel. I don't have a video, but I do have a nice picture taken during the Leukemia Regatta in NC last year.
I understand there may be another Clearwater 35 for sale in the Northeast, somewhat distressed due to a winter storm, for those that might be interested.