pipedream... We looked at the 44 when it first came out as it was quite attractive price-wise and we were looking for a center cockpit. We ended up not getting one because:
1. The headroom was really low and I could not stand up in the main salon. (6'4")
2. The shoal draft model we were loooking at had the rudder tip hanging lower than the keel...completely unnacceptable. (This may have changed in later versions and is not an issue with deep keel model.
Other than that...the boat was appealing as a roomy coastal cruiser. Many were used in the charter trade....so be careful if you are looking at used ones that they aren't "ab"used ones!
Other mid-40's "affordable" CC boats include: Whitby/Brewer42, Irwin 43/44, Peterson44, Catalina/Morgan440, Morgan43/44, older Hylas44's, Pearson 422.