Totem, our floating home

Totem is a Stevens 47, designed for comfortable bluewater cruising by Sparkman & Stephens. Built in Taiwan’s Queen Long yard in 1982, she is a safe, seakindly home for our family. Around 60 of the Stevens 47s have been built, and many more of essentially the same design as Hylas 47 and 49s.

Totem sailboat sailing Baja Sea of Cortez mountains

Totem in the Sea of Cortez: photo credit to Jesse from sv Frances Lee

From our first cruising boat, a classic Hallberg Rassy, we learned that center cockpits were a great way to keep our growing family a safe distance from an unexpected leap in the water. We liked how the layout provided an aft suite for parents with some breathing room from a children’s zone at the forward end, where two cabins forward gave a few options for dividing our junior crew through growing years. And of course, the “classic plastic” cruising boats were best on our budget. The living spaces are generous, and an open pass-through behind the companionway helps keep the main cabin feeling airy.

Sailing into Opunohu Bay, Moorea

Sailing into Opunohu Bay, Moorea. Thanks to sv Capaz for this photo!

There were several Stevens 47s on the market, but none nearby. Introductions to a family living on their Stevens in Seattle gave us a tour of Windarra, and we were sold! After looking at several, we purchased ours in Alameda, and Jamie brought her back to Bainbridge Island. Then named “Don’t Look Back,” she’s also been Menagerie, and Sirius, and possibly a few other names we didn’t find in the paperwork. We know she did a Pacific lap, and like quite a few other Stevens 47s, we suspect a circumnavigation. Who knows? We’ll write the next chapter.

There are a few Stevens/Hylas 47s we’ve met “out there”: if you know others, we would love to add to this list- please get in touch!

S&S line drawing stevens 47

We manage an active Stevens/Hylas 47 Owners group on Facebook and would love to hear from other owners of this great S&S design.

Other Stevens 47 links:

Hylas Yacht Owners Association forum
The Sparkman & Stephens blog
Blue Water Boats review
Cruising World review
Jordan Yachts review
North American Sailor article
John Kretschmer’s review

The basic stats:
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



sailing double reefed dinghy

Double reefed under blue skies: reaching in the trades between New Caledonia and Australia

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