I can understand you having problems “freeing them when they grounded” and I am not disputing you did, but we had the complete opposite on several different occasions whilst tacking up a couple of rivers that we know we would go from one river bank to the other and when the speed started dropping or you could feel her aground we would tack and come straight off as she rounded up and set off on the next tack, much to the annoyance to the locals who were panicking thinking we were going aground.
We draw about 7ft heeled and 5ft upright.
We sometimes visit several marinas in our local area and if we were a traditionally keeled boat we wouldn’t be allowed in due to going aground.
As regard to speed we used to cruse with another family who at the time had a brand new Oyster 435, ok she was 5 ft shorter than us but comparing an modern designed boat to one that at the time was nearly 60 Years old the oyster would point slightly better and was slightly faster but not by a huge amount. On some occasions when it was blowing hard we would be faster than them (probably due to the water line length).
I have increased the light air sailing speed by including a big cruising chute and has helped thing along a lot.
We don’t find the boat roll’s too much, in fact with a enough way on she rolls a couple of times but due to the extra keel area and wetted surface she seems to dampen the roll.
My father has just completed a trip on a modern fibre glass boat, and he said I wish I was on our boat as it was so uncomfortable due to the slamming up forward.
It’s all a compromise between economy and perfection, and everyone wants different things out of there boat…… as said before I wouldn’t of thought there would be much benefit of having a bilge keel boat in Florida, due to the lack of tidal range.