My question about the boat being tender has more to do with wanting not to scare guests and crew (my wife primarily) than concern that a tender boat is somehow unsafe. I realize they’re not.
We’re on Lake Michigan. Although it’s called a “lake”, it’s large enough to behave like a sea. When it’s really snotty, we stay in. But even on good days, Lake Michigan’s depth tends to cause steep, close waves. Some call them “box shaped.” Our prior boats and charter vessels have taught us that everyone is happier on boats that feels a little heavier and doesn’t pound, or, as my wife puts it, “not corky.” It seems that translates to displacement/LWL of at least 200, a healthy combination of draft and ballast, and a not-altogether-scientific motion comfort of 24+. The 356 GL meets all those criteria, except for the unknown (to me) of the affect of the keel/ballast. The ballast is lighter than other boats in this class. But, from the responses here, it sounds like the draft and concentration of the weight at the bottom of the keel makes up for the relatively light ballast/displacement.