Originally Posted by CBinRI
It is all a matter of preferences, I suppose. One thing that can be said for the companionway system is that it is extremely safe, in that it is extremely unlikely to be flooded. I never found it to be a burden and it is part of what allows for such an ample aft cabin. I will concede that the dodger is small and does not offer as much protection from the helm as some other designs, but that is part of what gives it its unique and sleek Swan look. And I can stay dry by steering the boat by way of a handheld control for the autopilot that is located at the companionway. I assume the 44 has that feature as well.
Oh look, I've had mates who have owned various Swans over the years who have absolutely no complaints and I well appreciate the safety aspects of such an arrangement, its just that I know it would drive me crazy. The auto pilot remote is also a valid alternative to staying out in the cold.
I do have to admit that I am one of those who sails to get to a destination and is then likely to stay put for as long as possible. I think it changes your perspective on what features matter most.