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

  • Less than 16 would be considered under-powered;
  • 16 to 20 would indicate reasonably good performance;
  • Over 20 suggests relatively high performance.

2. Ballast/Displacement Ratio: 45.3

  • Under 40: less stiff, less powerful
  • Over 40: stiffer, more powerful

3. Displacement/Length Ratio: 266

  • Under 100: Ultralight
  • 100 to 200: Light
  • 200 to 275: Moderate
  • 275 to 350: Heavy
  • Over 350: Ultraheavy

4. Comfort Ratio: 35.5

  • Under 20 indicates a lightweight racing boat
  • 20 to 30 indicates a coastal cruiser
  • 30 to 40 indicates a moderate offshore cruising boat
  • 40 to 50 indicates a heavy offshore boat
  • Over 50 indicates an extremely heavy offshore boat

5. Capsize Screening Formula: 1.8

  • Under 2.0 (the lower the better): Better suited for ocean passages
  • Over 2.0: Less suited for ocean passages

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. 

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