About The S/V TEVAI - an abbreviated history

TEVAI is hull number 22 ( PKE 440330780) – of sixty-six Lafitte 44’s built. It is believed that 63 are still sailing and the other 3 have been lost. She was built at the well-respected Chung Hwa Yard in Kaohsiung Taiwan. TEVAI and sister ships were brought to the USA for the installation of Sparcraft rigs and other outfitting. Hull #22 was built without teak decks. I do not know the complete history. She was originally named Rainbow Rider. It is believed that she was originally sailed in the Caribbean and then spent many years in southern California where she was mostly day sailed. 

In the late 1990’s she was named Teva, purchased in California and shipped over land to the Atlantic coast of the USA, The new owner sailed her mostly in Florida and the Bahamas.  During 1999 and 2000 she was refitted at the Palmer Johnson Yard in Savannah, Georgia. After that she appears to have had light use mostly in Florida. We purchased Teva in Cape Canaveral Florida in July. 2005. To indicate the light use she had up to that time- the original Lehman/Peugeot 60hp auxiliary had only 1650 hours use. The engine was replaced, not because of its condition, but because availability of spare parts was becoming an issue.

We overland shipped the renamed TEVAI to then homeport of Cleveland, Ohio. In Tahitian, TEVAI, can mean source water or springtime water. In 2005 and 2006 she was cruised in the Great Lakes of Erie, Huron and Superior, made a transit of the Soo Locks and visited Isle Royale and the Georgian Bay.

During the each winter of 2005-6 and 06-07 her rig was she was removed and she was stored inside, heated. Somewhat in excess of $100,000 was lavished to prepare her for a planned 2 year sabbatical trip. She was prepared and equipped to do the World Arc leaving St Lucia in February 2014. We were signed up for that event and for reasons not related to the ability of the boat- withdrew.

Complete records for the 2005-2007 refit are available but highlights include new Yanmar 4JH3TE, 75 HP engine, new Kubota DC generator driving 225 AMP Balmar, new electronics, radar, new rigging, water tanks, deck paint, canvas –the list goes on and on .

TEVAI left Cleveland, Ohio September, 2007, transited the Welland Canal, Hudson River and participated in the 2007 Caribbean 1500.  Transit time from Norfolk VA to Tortola was approx. 8.5 days. TEVAI then cruised the island chain and with us onboard, spent the Hurricane season in Grenada.

In 2008 and 2009 we sailed north from Grenada thru the Grenadines,  Windards, Leewards, the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, the DR, Turks and Caicos, Bahamas and returned to Cleveland in July 2009.  TEVAI was derigged, properly preserved and pickled and stored under dust cover in a boatyard building at Riverfront Yacht Services in Cleveland, Ohio. The plan was to go sailing again – and frankly we had the boat rigged and ready and didn’t want to part with her. She was in the storage building from July 2007 and came out in May 2013. 

She departed Cleveland in August 2013 and arrived in Virgin Gorda November, 2013.  This was the year the Salty Dog had some bad publicity and a few casualties. The trip was rough – but really not that bad. Prior to leaving in 2013 she received all new Sunbrella Dodger, Bimini and enclosure, new gel batteries, and the Mast was painted Awlgrip Oyster White. AIS was added and the Propane system was rebuilt. Since 2013 TEVAI has cruised the Caribbean Islands from Trinidad to St Thomas. TEVAI has been maintained with an open check book. She has been hauled and stored in Chaguaramas, Trinidad for Hurricane seasons 2014 thru 2017. In Trinidad she is stored under cover and is air conditioned to avoid mold and odors due to the heat. Read the spec sheet which is part of this posting but since 2014 TEVAI has received new Hull and deck AwlGrip (actually Awlcraft 2000 which is easier to repair) paint, new galley, fully varnished interior, new Force 10 stove/oven, New Seafrost air/water cooled refrig and freezer (2 units), new Echo Tec Water maker, 525 Watt solar array with individual Victron conrollers, New Corian counter tops in galley and both heads and constant preventative maintenance, new solar panel and solar controller array.

So when there are 1000’s of boats for sale- why even consider this vessel?  The answer finds its foundation on three pillars. #1 The Lafitte 44 is one of the best and toughest offshore sailing boats ever built and this Lafitte is a head turner #2 What is for sale is not just a piece of equipment but a fully maintained package, with operating manuals with all spare parts and equipment necessary to go to go around the world now. She would only need that charts for west of the Panama Canal this boat is completely dialed in.  We have nothing to hide regarding our use of this boat. The many of the details have can be found on our blog site http://www.sailblogs.com/member/svtevai/. If you have ever considered cruising – come start in the Caribbean. A few articles about Tevai and our adventures  have been published in Cruising World and Ocean Navigator. 

#3 The third reason is that I am in love with this boat and I want the new owner to both enjoy her and understand the operation. This is more of an offer for adoption, rather than an offer to sell. Whether you have experience or not, a cruising boat is a complex piece of equipment. To use it effectively you need to both now the vessel and its systems- but also it idiosyncrasies. I have a 100 ton license and have more than 100,000 miles experience. Depending on your specific needs and desires I can be available to or assist in operational training, and /or delivery anywhere in the world. The boat was just surveyed. There are no known or discovered major issues. All boats have minor issues. I will be glad to disclose those minor issues I know of and fix those than  we can find. 

When my wife and I shopped for this boat, we were amazed at how many people lied to us about the condition and capabilities of their boats.  Boats are in a continuous state of change. As I write this everything on Tevai  as it should.  If something needs fixing when you contact me I will give you an honest statement of what needs repair or adjustment; if anything bring your toothbrush and go sailing. Tevai is ready to go. 

We sail and live on this vessel 7-8 months per year. We sail our kids and grandkids off shore. If something needs to be fixed or repaired it is fixed or repaired, not ignored.  If you are interested and want to do some due diligence before you look, I can provide copies of major receipts, proof of work being performed, a list of names service providers to evidence work performed, identity of past offshore crew and personal references.

I have owned at least one boat since 1962 and funded my college and graduate school by rebuilding yachts and then selling them to pay tuition. We why sell TEVAI now?  Several reasons: 1. I can’t do this forever 2. we could spend more time with kids, grand kids and doing other types of travel. This is not a fire sale. If the boat doesn’t sell we will keep sailing and keep up the maintenance and betterment.

For the season of 2018-2019 TEVAI will be sailing, generally between Trinidad and Barbuda. Depending on Hurricane damage reports we might sail to St Barth. She is available for inspection and sea trial in the Caribbean at a time and place we can agree on. Start your adventure in the West Indies.  Enjoy the trade winds. Then stay and enjoy or push on thru the Panama Canal.  

Thanks for looking.

Capt. Tim Bittel