There are some great comments from boat builders and architects at the BoatDesign.net BBS. There is a suggestion that the deck of the Ethan Allen was raised as part of its conversion to a tourist vessel, or sometime thereafter. If so, raising the deck would have again raised the center of gravity and affected the boat's stability. Here is what one boat designer says:
If she were my boat, this is what I would have done once I decided to raise the deck:
1) Added the estimated ballast, turning my 9.5 ton boat (again, my guess) into an 11 ton boat. That way I could also make up for the imbalance of seating too. The ballast, probably 19 cuft of concrete, would be tabbed to the hull so it could not shift. The tabbing would be strong enough to withstand a 90 deg. roll.
2) Bolted the seats to the deck, so they could not shift. This would also be strong enough to withstand a 90 deg. roll.
3) Added strong 'arms' to the ends of the seats, so the passengers could not slide out of them. Also strong enough to withstand a 90 deg. roll.
4) Put cribbing under the seats to hold in place one life jacket for every seat 'place' , so that they would be in easy reach of the passengers.
Bob also notes that "I think the State of New York needs to be sued as well. After all, they are paid to look after our interests, not just kowtow to their special interest 'campaign contributers'."