Some brief comments on the Contessa 32 since it has come up. Yes in effect the keel is in between, it has a skeg hung rudder and overhangs. It is an excellent sea boat, and sails well. It likes a bit of heel and can throw up a bit of spray which is easily overcome by a couple of strakes or rubbing rail on the bow.
It is relatively narrow so is less fast downwind than one with the beam carried aft but is more stable. The downside is less internal volume so one sure would not be trying to fit 6 in more like 2 or 3 max on a passage. However that is true for most boats of that length, particularly when you think of storage extra sails etc.
Being relatively narrow plus having easily accessible handholds makes it safer in a seaway versus being tossed from side to side.
It might be said to be a bit harder to dock than a fin keel but with a bit of practice it is not difficult.
A number of factors interact in choosing a boat, money, comfort, crew numbers, prevailing weather, ease of handling, intended use. Personally I rank the security of having a good sea boat highly. Sure it has to sail well but speed for a non-racer is not the dominant factor.
I Thank you for the insight. Regards, Lou