Moving around on deck, & doing sail handling, etc. is a LOT easier. As is "tuning" the position of your deck gear
. Such as finding a spot to build a chainlocker which ISN'T in the bow, & thus Bad Juju for the boat's handling. Or having room on deck for your "toys".
They're honestly my preference.
The downsides can be
; Visibility & Lighting
. As, unless you get something like an Ericson
39, or a Sundeer, with windows built into the cabin
sides, then you have to go on deck in order to see anything.
And that's hard on some folks, especially those with weak stomachs.
Albeit, adding your own/more hull
windows is an option. But you've gotta' keep up on the maintenance
on their seals
. Plus, they add a touch of drag. Though nothing worth fretting over, unless you're match racing
But with a few deck hatches, & a couple of prisims or deadlights set into the deck, the lighting
is actually quite good down below. And yeah, they feel pretty spacious as compared to boats with coach houses of the same size.
I LOVE those older Swans, & have done some Incredible racing
, cruising, & deliveries in them. And would snap a good one up in a heartbeat.
You might want to look at ones which have had several taller masts added, as the S&S era Swans were heavy for the amount of sail area which they had. And much of their light weather
performance depends overly, on jibs which overlap heavily.
Like I prefer to sail at windspeed, or 2/3 of it all the way down to 5kts or less. And my rule
of thumb to be able to do that is to shoot ffor an SADR of 25, with your light air canvas
... meaning, the upwind type.
Which, even on a heavy Swan, is doable, with a roachy main & a Code 0. And or a detachable sprit, for a light air jib
that you have a sailmaker
sew a Kevlar/Vectran/Spectra luff rope
or tape into/onto. It's a simple job to do/have done to a light #1.
The only drawback on some of those Swans, is the companionway
. As basically there isn't one. There's pretty much just a sliding hatch
set into the deck, with a grab bar on either side of it.
Which can make entry/egress in heavy weather
a much more physical chore. And require a lot more upper body strength & balance.
Plus, it's a good bit harder to seal the hatch
completely. Be it via coamings & the hatch's build in rails. Or, via a dodger
. Which can be tough, to impossible to rig on such boats. And best, you can do something akin to a pram hood
, or a solid version of same.
Though Ann T. & Jim Cate came up with a good hard dodger
on their flush decker, so it's possible. And I've got a few links & tips if you get to that point & get stuck/want more info.
Thus, protection for the helmsman is a bit tougher to come by. But you can sit under the pram hood
& steer with the AP remote
. When she really needs "a hand on the wheel" in the bad stuff. Though they're enough of a dream to helm
when it's like that, that often, you wind
up reveling in it... for a while anyway, depending on the Sea temp.
: IMO, if the boat's solid, & the price
fits, snag one. They'll always be classics... for a reason. And they handle weather with aplomb. Especially as compared to 90%+ of everything else.
PS: Check out what she has for standing rigging
, as the bill for new rod on one can be pretty stiff. If it's out of date/been sailed hard.