Totem, our floating home

The 47′ sailboat Totem is our magic carpet for family adventures while sailing around the world. She’s a Stevens 47, designed for comfortable bluewater cruising by Sparkman & Stephens. Built in Taiwan’s Queen Long yard in 1982, she has provided us a safe, seakindly home for over a decade. A circumnavigation recently completed, we’re coastal cruising in Pacific Mexico while making plans to sail back to the South Pacific… subscribe to follow along on our adventures!


How do you choose a boat? From our first cruising boat, a classic Hallberg Rassy, we learned a lot. We realized we wanted better performance, for one. We also determined that center cockpit design kept our smaller children further from an unexpected tumble into 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.

Around 60 of the Stevens 47s have been built, and many more of essentially the same design as Hylas 47 and 49s. We purchased ours in Alameda, California, in 2007. 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 (if you know, get in touch!).


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.

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



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

Salty Insta