Stevens Hylas 47 Line Sketch The Stevens 47 is a fast, three stateroom cruiser designed in 1981 by Rod Stephens of the legendary Sparkman and Stephens firm. The Stevens 47 is arguably the most well respected bluewater, three stateroom sailboat produced and is apparently highly prized on the brokerage market. Her soft motion in a seaway, swift 200 nautical mile per day passages, and luxurious accommodations are unrivaled by yachts of a comparable vintage.


It’s said the design was inspired by the Gulfstar 50 which was produced during the late 1970’s by Vince Lazzara, one of the pioneers of fiberglass construction. The boat builders and owners, Queen Long Marine of Taiwan, gave Sparkman and Stephens complete design freedom, hoping for a lucrative vessel to produce.

Although the design was aimed at the charter trade she was really much more. Bill Stevens, the Caribbean Charter king, immediately realized the vessel’s potential and purchased as many as he could for his British Virgin Islands charter fleet as well as lending his name to the vessel. All told, 138 boats were built, 56 under the Stevens name before Queen Long Marine rebranded under the Hylas 47 name, building a further 82 boats. Production ended in 1991 with the introduction of a modified 49-foot version, the Hylas 49, that is still being built today.

Configuration and Layout

The Stevens 47 has a modern raked bow for easy anchor clearance, slight sheer, and a “rocket ship” stern. The long keel is paired with a separate skeg-hung rudder arrangement that leads to a soft and balanced motion offshore. Her inboard mounted chainplates allow for ease of movement along the side decks as well as tight sheeting angles. She comes with a powerful cutter rig and the main mast is a bridge-clearing, Intracoastal-friendly 63 feet. Her beamy hull means plenty of room down below for her three-stateroom accommodations. Some Stevens 47’s had split berths aft though most feature a centerline queen. The interior is in fine light teak with fantastic joinery work.


The hull is solid hand laid fiberglass while the deck is balsa or Airex cored and joined with the traditional inner flange joint. A grid-like network of nine full length stringers, twelve transverse timbers, and a stainless steel I-beam to support the keel stepped mast stiffen the molded hull. The ballast is a lead insert of 14,500 pounds encapsulated in the fiberglass keel.

Under Sail

The 47′s greatest strength is her sailing capabilities. The performance of these Stevens is legendary. The hull shape and keel-rudder configuration make them surprisingly stiff and fast boats, well-balanced in any condition with a smooth motion offshore. They are known to reel off 200 nautical miles days with ease.


LOA: 46′ 10″
LWL: 37′ 9″
Beam: 14′ 3″
Draft: 6′ 0″
Displacement: 32,000 lbs.
Ballast: 14,500 lbs.
Sail Area: 1,051 sq. ft.

Designer: Rod Stephens
Year Introduced: 1981
Builder: Queen Long Marine Ltd. (Kaohsiung, Taiwan)

Also Known As: Hylas 47, Stevens 47, Sparkman & Stephens 47

Buyers Notes

While the Stevens and Hylas versions were both built to good standards at Queen Long Marine, the Stevens versions have beefier deck hardware from their commissioning at Bill Stevens’ North Carolina yard. These days any version has likely been seriously refitted and loaded with extra equipment. Watch for water damage to the veneer as the port lights can be prone to leaks.

Similar Boats

Gulfstar 50
Beneteau 51 Idylle
Tayana 47

Links, References and Further Reading

» Capria, Mary Ann and John Macevoy, Cruising World, Stevens Custom 47: Swift and Secure
» Jordan, Richard, Waves, Hylas 47: The Original Hylas
» Kretschmer, John, Used Boat Notebook, Stevens-Hylas 47


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7 thoughts on “Stevens Hylas 47”

  1. RUDY SILAS says:

    Interested. Would like to talk, get more information. Please call
    Rudy Silas

  2. José says:

    I woul like to contact “Patrick Alie” to discuss the Jeanneau 47 CC

    Bon soir
    Je veux contacter “Patrick Aler” pour exchangerdes informations sur le Jeanneau 47 CC


  3. Chris says:

    HYLAS 47 CUTTER It’s beamy, but the powerful cutter rig, low-deadrise hull, and
    elongated fin keel put it among the faster cruisers of its era. The hull’s sharp
    entry eliminates pounding in all but the heaviest weather, and its easy motion
    in a seaway is attributable in part to the fact that the weights of such major
    components as the engine, which is well forward under the cockpit, are centered
    well away from the ends. 
    HYLAS 47 CUTTER LAYOUT Belowdecks, the tone is set with teak: solid teak, teak
    veneer, and a very solid teak-and-holly sole. Passages to port and starboard of
    the companionway, each with just over 6 feet of headroom, connect the saloon to
    the large master stateroom and aft head. The galley occupies the port walkway;
    to starboard is a full, forward-facing nav station. The engine, beneath an ample
    “kitchen” counter under the cockpit well, is fully accessible on three
    sides.Four can dine comfortably around the saloon’s L-shaped table, six with the
    leaf extended. Above and outboard of each settee are pilot berths, a feature
    that makes the saloon narrow-not at all in the current vogue, but much safer for
    walking around when you’re in a seaway. Most owners have converted the berths
    into additional cruising storage. Forward of the saloon, the layout includes a
    head with shower to starboard, a stateroom with two bunk beds to port, and a
    forward stateroom with a large V-berth.Six hatches of various sizes, 14 opening
    portlights, and five closable dorade vents provide ventilation. Water tanks
    occupy the space under the saloon settees, but ample storage is provided under
    the pilot berths. Each stateroom has a hanging locker, and enough space is
    available that some can be used for adding equipment.

    1. Mark Wallner says:

      Ummm… Concentrating the weight in the center will lead to more pitching and less comfort in a seaway than distributing the weight fore and aft. A faster and dryer boat perhaps, but more pitching.
      I dunno about the actual distribution in the S&S 47 I chartered in Lauderdale about 2004, but it certainly did have a heavenly motion, combined with a lot of get-up-and go. (And one big-ass mainsail!) 7 knots seemed to be the “normal” speed almost regardless of conditions. I miss that boat! (The Vanessa Rose.)

    2. Paul Browning says:

      Concentrating the weight in the centre WILL NOT lead to more pitching at all. Can’t believe that in the 11 months since you posted it no one has picked you up on your assertion, which runs counter to every rule of trim and boat design I’ve ever heard.

  4. behan says:

    We’ve been cruising on our Stevens 47, TOTEM, since mid 2008. This has been a fantastic home and cruising boat for our family of five; we’re really pleased with the combination of accommodation and performance. Readers of the review who want to see a “real live” Stevens 47- come check out our blog! http://www.sv-totem.com.

  5. Patrick ALIE says:

    She is an excellent sailboat, i delivred one from tortola to new-york in may 1988, it had been a veritable pleasure to sail in any weather, we took 14 days,very safe and confortable when we found terrible waves(about 10 meters and more) in the middle of the océan, just behind cap hatteras…At that time we did not have any gps, sextant yes , what experience, i will never forget this trip!!! Another thing, long live the centre cockpit, anyway i am the owner of a jeanneau sun odyssey 47 CC…. Good sail evry body (excuse my english i am french from martinique…

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