CD, I respect your opinions but having hired wing keel Catalinas on the Gippsland Lakes, I would seriously dispute that statement on this basis:
If you run aground - in shallow water - in a wing-keeled yacht, especially if it's a muddy bottom and you can't motor out immediately, you are basically stranded until someone comes along to tow you out. If it happens to be a tidal area, there's a good chance you'll damage the keel in the process. If you have a fin keel, you can pull yourself off quite safely using the usual methods.
I would never recommend anyone get a wing-keeled yacht for gunkholing in shallow water.
I have run aground more times than most people have sailed. The water down here is very thin. I can only go in/out at half+ tide.
What you say is true. The wing is harder to get off because you can use more contemporary methods for getting off with a fin. Believe me, I know. However, unless you run aground really hard, you can usually back off with the wing. On a fin, I have had it stuck in the mud and backing off did not work like on teh wing. However, hiking out, pulling the mast over via tender, using your anchor, or any other number of tricks does work that are not as beneficical on a wing because seh sets flat on the bottom.
The bottom line is that you will be able to get more places in a wing that you simply cannot in a fin. FOr example, the C400 (my boat) draws 5'4 (theoretically). With that, I can get in/out at half tide as mentioned earlier. With a fin, you draw 7. You ain't getting in or out anywhere down here.
There is absoluetely nothing wrong with gunkholing with a wing. In fact, I find few other benefits of it. I have done it for years and years. You simply learn to slow down and be prepared to back off or go in when it is flooding. Because if you had a fin down here, you wouldn't be able to get to the slip, much less leave it. You don't have a choice.
As far as purchasing a different boat (cat) as mentioned by Cool - no thanks. I do not mean to stir up negatives on cats, but I am not a big fan of many of them. I enjoy monohulls, gunkholing, and 'shallow water', and the wing allows me to do that.
Believe me, shallow water sailing and running aground is something I know a LOT about.