It's a fin keel.
Filling the tank up seemed weird too. But I can see it happening. The tanks are huge (>120 Gallon for both of them) and the pipe for venting, and cross-connecting between the port and starboard tanks are only 1/2"... If you get impatient, because they are so large, you tend to want to crank up the water flow pretty high.... The hose mostly covers up the filler tube, and voila, you are pressurizing the tank.
I thought the story wasn't particularly believable at the time, but the surveyor agreed that could be the case. In my personal experience, I can see how it could happen, and I do not doubt the veracity of the previous owner
I will try and find a photo of the traveler. Not sure if I have one... I will check
Yes, the stairs are steep. I've grown comfortable with them over time. The grab rails are in a good spot, and as long as you go down facing the stairs, it's not too bad. My 82 year old father has learned to navigate them.
I have learned over several boat purchases to not mess with much until you've spent a few years with it. The wisdom of previous owners generally takes a while to become apparent.
Some pictures here
Kyrie 36 Photos by djodenda | Photobucket
Also, I forgot to mention that I had cracked stanchion bases. A common problem with the boat and a pain to fix.
Feel free to PM me, if you want to chat by phone.