Thanks, that is what I understand from others who have made that trip, like many things in life it is all in the timing.
At 2 tons, you don't want to be adjusting the keel a lot.
The keel lift line is on a two speed winch on the cabin top, but I suspect it takes some cranking to raise it. I have only seen it in the full down position, where it fills the slot.
I understand that the elliptically shaped keel fills the slot again at the half extended position with a depth of about 3'6". This is the position I will use to get into our creek in NC, under adverse wind tide conditions (such as they have been recently). In the fully retracted position the boat nearly planes downwind with full sail, that should be fun.
I considered two insurance companies, BoatUS (naturally) and USAA (ex military). I will probably go with the USAA, the rates are about the same, but the area coverage is greater with USAA and I use them for home owners insurance and I am happy with their service (I have heard good things about BoatUS as well). I did join BoatUS and may buy their unlimited towing insurance as towing costs have gone out of sight. However, USAA has additional towing coverage that may be more economical, I have not finished the comparisons yet.