A couple quick notes here, first of all, I certainly agree with Mitempo's point about the desirability to have a diverse collection of boats available to suit the diverse range of tastes out there. In my own case, I have enjoyed owning and sailing a very wide range of boats, and in particular have enjoyed seeing their virtues and liabilities. Although I currently own and lean towards modern performance sailing craft, I certainly enjoyed owning and sailing my 1949 wooden Folkboat or my 1939 Stadel Cutter which was based on the 1800's era pilot schooner George Steers.
I want to clarify that I do think that there are venues for which a bilge keel boat makes sense but based on my experience with bilge keels. It is only because of the venues in which I sail, and my tastes in how i sail that I can't imagine a circumstance in which a bilge keel boat would make sense.
With regards to HelloSailors comments about the Scheel Keel, although the Scheel Keel as originally patented by Henry Scheels is comparatively rare today, the basic principles of the Scheel Keel design concept (a bulb keel whose shape is opimized to minimize drag, increase endplate effect while lowering the vertical center of gravity of the boat) is widely used today in everything from basic production cruisers to grand prix race boats.
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Curmudgeon at Large- and rhinestone in the rough, sailing my Farr 11.6 on the Chesapeake Bay and part-time purveyor of marine supplies