Lifting Keel Yachts
I have one, a Beneteau 323. The inlet to our dock crosses a sandbar, and it gives us far more freedom than we could have otherwise had. While the boat may be slightly less stiff than the normal keel model, the reasonably beamy hull gives good stability. With the keel down I draw 7 feet and it does help reduce leeway. But I often will sail without lowering the keel and we do fine. I have had the boat for 6 seasons and am absolutely delighted with it. We have had no special maintenance concerns. An added bonus is that the lifting keel uses twin rudders, which I find to be wonderful, giving a very smooth tracking, and never being overmatched when we heel, since the leeward rudder bites deeper. I understand it is designed to be able to stand on the keel and rudders if at a mooring that dries out, though I have never tried it.