I don't believe my son (22 years old) raised the keel. A cam cleat holds the line in place and I was thinking that it allowed the line to slip a little and and that is how the keel possibly came up.
We were sailing close hauled under both sails and having a great time. We turned to a beam reach and this is when we dipped the rail. Still having a great time and in control. Before we reached the leeward shore is when we dropped the jib. Sailed 4-5 miles off wind and decided to re-raise the jib.
I was off wind and on the leeward side of the river giving me a false sense of calming conditions. If I understand it, thats what screwed me. I should have raised the storm jib instead and reefed the main. I am learning.
I still have my keel concerns. I am just not convinced it was all the way down. The rudder seemed to be acting as a pivot point. It just doesn't seem the boat should have been that uncontrollable. We couldn't do anything on wind. Next time out I am going to partially raise the keel and see what happens.
Thanks for the time and info.