Swing keel or fixed is my primary issue. I'm a novice sailor and willl sail of Runaway bay on the Gold Coast with occassional trips to Moreton Bay. The bottom is changing with lots of sandbars and mudflats abd I expect that a swing keel may be better for me. I'll also be sailing it solo reasonable often.
I very much welcome advice about the keel and any general advice would also be much welcomes.
I sail in the areas you've mentioned and have often found fromunder sand. I have a swing keel which has got me out of trouble every time.
I think for racing a drop keel is better but I wouldn't have my boat any other way!
I have a Mk4 which I use for cruising. I find the performance and simplicity of the rig to be excellent. When buying I was trying to get a very good Mk3 and just could not find a suitable yacht so I compromised with the Mk4.
I do suggest getting the Mk3 with its swing keel because they would be so much easier to sail where running aground is a possibility.
Things I like the most about the RL, the engine in the well, the ability to sail in winds from 2 to 20 knots without sail changes and the ability to tow easily.
Make sure you have a good trailer under the yacht, the trailer is an important part of the value for money formula.