Actually your question about the stability of the shoal draft keel is a very good one. The boat has a displacement
of 1700 lbs. and ballast of 600 lbs. So it has a ballast/displacement ratio of .35 which, for a small boat is probably above average. But the ballast is not very deep (draft is only 2 feet) so the righting moment for the ballast is not very high. In other words the shoal draft detracts from the boats stability.. if the draft were 3 feet or more, the ballast would have a better righting moment and would add more the the boat's stability.
I really am kind of amazed that this boat was designed with such a shallow keel. My guess is that it will be a difficult boat to sell because of that. Having a shoal draft of two feet vs. three feet for this size boat gains you very little, but costs a lot in terms of upwind sailing ability.
As far as taking the boat offshore
as in The Gulf, in calm water.... I guess that would be ok, as long as you are certain the calm water will remain calm as long as you are out there, and you don't venture too far, and the engine
is reliable and you have plenty of fuel
. And I would be very leery of taking the boat out at all if the wind
is coming offshore, because of the boats limited ability to sail upwind.