Recently came across a boat that reduced the draft from 6'4" to 5'2" - I believe there were a few shoal draft versions of the boat actually made by the manufacturer in the 4'5" range but have read their performance suffered. How do folks feel about that sort of a structural modification? Bad news or worth considering?
Boats with bolt on keels can have the draft changed just by bolting on a different keel. Typically. the shallower keel has wings which are supposed to compensate somewhat for the bite and weight of the deeper draft keel. Apparently doesn't work all that well for windward performance. Mostly hear that shallow draft versions of the same hull don't go to weather as well as their deep keel sisters. Personally, doesn't make much difference to me, think windward performance is greatly over rated and largely driven by anal racer types.
As Opie said. But if there are no projectsheets comparing weights and motions and leeway/lift and someone just used a chainsaw, it could be miserable.
If you don't put wings on the bottom, you will have more leeway and less lift, that's inevitable. If you add more ballast or a bulb, you can still keep the boat upright, but that won't affect leeway. And what's acceptable becomes a personal decision.