The Stephens 47 Sailboat
Specs & Key Performance Indicators

The Stephens 47, a centre-cockpit cutter, was designed by Sparkman & Stephens and built in Taiwan by Queen Long Marine. She was later produced by Hylas Yachts in the USA where she was known as the Hylas 47.

'Mehalah', a Stephens 
47 sailboat moored in the Helford River, Cornwall, UK.A Stephens 47

Published Specification for the Stephens 47

Underwater Configuration: Fin keel & skeg-hung rudder

Hull Material: GRP (Fibreglass)

Length Overall: 46'10" (14.3m)

Waterline Length: 37'9" (11.5m)

Beam: 14'3" (4.3m)

Draft: 6'0" (1.8m)

Rig Type: Cutter

Displacement: 32,000lb (14,515kg)

Designer: Sparkman & Stephens

Builder: Queen Long (Taiwan)

Year First Built: 1981

Year Last Built: 1986

Number Built: 56

Owners Association: Sparkman & Stephens Association

Published Design Ratios for the Stephens 47

1. Sail Area/Displacement Ratio: 16.8

2. Ballast/Displacement Ratio: 45.3

3. Displacement/Length Ratio: 266

4. Comfort Ratio: 35.5

5. Capsize Screening Formula: 1.8

read more about these Key Performance Indicators...

Summary Analysis of the Design Ratios for the Stephens 47

1. A Sail Area/Displacement Ratio of 16.8 suggests that the Stephens 47 will, in the right conditions, approach her maximum hull speed readily and satisfy the sailing performance expectations of most cruising sailors.

2. A Ballast/Displacement Ratio of 45.3 means that the Stephens 47 will stand up well to her canvas in a blow, helping her to power through the waves.

3. A Displacement/Length Ratio of 266, tells us the Stephens 47 is a moderate displacement cruiser, which means she'll carry all your cruising gear without it having a dramatic effect on her performance. Most of today's sailboats intended for offshore cruising fall into this displacement category.

4. Ted Brewer's Comfort Ratio of 35.5 suggests that crew comfort of a Stephens 47 in a seaway is similar to what you would associate with the motion of a moderate bluewater cruising boat - a predictable and acceptable motion for most seasoned sailors.

5. The Capsize Screening Formula (CSF) of 1.8 tells us that a Stephens 47 would be a safer choice of sailboat for an ocean passage than one with a CSF of more than 2.0. 

Any Questions?

What other versions of the Stephens 47 were built?

The Stephens 47 was originally designed by Sparkman & Stephens in 1981 and built by Queen Long Marine in Taiwan. It was sold under the Stevens name until 1986, when Queen Long Marine rebranded it as the Hylas 47. The Hylas 47 was produced until 1991, when it was replaced by a modified 49-foot version, the Hylas 49.

What is the accommodation like in the Stephens 47?

The Stephens 47 has a three-stateroom layout, with a large master stateroom aft with a centerline queen berth and an ensuite head. Forward of the saloon, there is a head with shower to starboard, a stateroom with two bunk beds to port, and a forward stateroom with a large V-berth. The saloon has an L-shaped table that can seat six, and two pilot berths above the settees. The galley is located in the port walkway, and the nav station is to starboard.

What, if any, alternative accommodation layout versions are available for the Stephens 47?

Some Stephens 47s had split berths aft instead of a centerline queen. Some owners have also converted the pilot berths in the saloon into additional storage space.

What sail plan and rigging options are available for the Stephens 47?

The Stephens 47 has a powerful cutter rig. The main mast is 63 feet tall, which allows for bridge clearance in the Intracoastal Waterway. The sail area is 97.7 m², which gives a sail area/displacement ratio of 16.8. The boat can perform well in light and heavy winds, and has a flexible sail plan for different conditions.

What is the Stephens 47 like to sail?

The Stephens 47 is a fast, comfortable, and seaworthy cruiser that can make swift passages of 200 nautical miles per day. The boat has a sharp entry that eliminates pounding in all but the heaviest weather, and an easy motion in a seaway due to its low-deadrise hull and weight distribution. The boat can turn around in about twice its length under power in forward, but tends to back into the wind in reverse at low speed.

What is the average cost of a secondhand Stephens 47?

According to Sailboat Guide, the average asking price for a used Stephens 47 in 2020 was $199,000 USD.

Is this boatbuilder still in business?

Queen Long Marine, the builder of the Stephens 47, is still in business as Hylas Yachts USA. They produce high-quality cruising yachts ranging from 42 to 70 feet.

What other sailboats have been created by this designer?

Sparkman & Stephens, the designer of the Stephens 47, is one of the most renowned naval architecture firms in the world. They have designed hundreds of sailboats, including famous racing yachts such as Dorade, Stormy Weather, Finisterre, Bolero, Columbia, Intrepid, Courageous, Freedom, and Australia II; as well as cruising yachts such as Swan, Tartan, Morris Yachts, Hinckley Yachts, and Oyster Yachts.

The above answers were drafted by using GPT-4 (OpenAI’s large-scale language-generation model) as a research assistant to develop source material; to the best of our knowledge, we believe them to be accurate.

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