Starting out with Tehani-li

After a tearful farewell to my faithful steed, Galileo, we flew out to Malaysia and moved on board our new home, “Tehani-li,” a 1988 Tayana 52. We decided to keep her original name for two simple reasons one; it sounds good and two; it is bad luck to change the name of a boat (besides we couldn’t come up with anything better). The nautical tradition is a long one and superstition still plays a big part today.

No sailor would consider starting a voyage on a Friday, some won’t allow bananas on board (bananas? yep, true) and others say whistling brings the wind – particularly if you are a Finn (!). We bought Tehani from the original owner who had her built at Ta Yang Shipyard in Kaohsiung, Taiwan in 1988.

He told us the name is Hawaiian, or more accurately Polynesian, and means, “little girl,” or “little miss.” When choosing a name for a boat you have to be careful and pick something that is easy to say over the radio and doesn’t sound too stupid. When cruising you use the radio sometimes daily to talk to other ships or marinas.

Some nice names on paper don’t come across so well on the radio, ie, “Cygnus” (sickness), “Refuge” (refuse), or “Breaking Wind,” which speaks for itself. Other boats have very memorable names that you don’t forget like “Soggy Paws,” or “Virgo’s Child,” or how about “Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride”???

We had Tehani delivered from Phuket, Thailand to Langkawi, Malaysia as her Thai “boat visa” was about to expire. Thailand only allows boats 6 months (now 12) to stay in the Kingdom while Malaysia, like AVIS, #2 and trying harder, gives you years.

Tehani was at Rebak Marina which is on a small tropical island off the small tropical island of Langkawi, off the tropical Malaysian mainland. Weather is hot, hot, hot and very sticky for half of the year, during the SW Monsoon. However, unlike Galileo, Tehani has air-con! We bless the memory of William Carrier every day.

The next couple of months are spent getting to know Tehani and ordering boat equipment, spares and parts from the US and Singapore as Langkawi is a duty-free port. Once we get the stuff many hot hours are spent installing it. We can get stuff shipped in with no customs hassle (well, very little).

And another bonus, Langkawi boasts the cheapest beer in Asia. A case (24 cold ones) of Tiger Beer, the local SE Asian favorite costs just over US$6! For those who like quality, Victoria Bitter (VB) is obtainable for twice that price – cheaper than what it costs in Australia from whence it comes I’m told by knowledgeable beer-drinking Aussies (repetitive, I know). Wine and booze is also cheap but Ariel doesn’t drink more than a capful and go all silly while Derek is happy with his “Vitamin B.”

Here is a sample list of equipment ordered and delivered:

  Monitor Windvane

  PUR 160E Watermaker

  Raytheon Radar

  Icom 710 HF Radio (yanked off Galileo)

  Avon 4 Man Liferaft (also yanked off Galileo)

  190 AH Hehr High Output Alternator

  Propane Solenoid, Sniffer and Hoses

  10 Six Volt Trojan Batteries (heavy stuff, each one weighs
60 pounds)

  Heart Interface Inverter/Charger (2 of these, the first one
never worked)

  All kinds of spare pumps and repair kits

  2 AK-47s with Laser Sights

  Some Band-aids

Just as we are getting ready to head back up to Thailand Ariel puts her foot down. News Flash: She won’t go. Not unless we get an electric toilet. Now we had discussed this before and Derek had hoped (prayed) that she didn’t really mean it. Most boats, including ours, have “marine toilets” which have a pump on the side.

You pump and pump and pump to get water in and other stuff out. This is uncool and “Not on,” I am informed. So we order the $700 shitter and wait for it to arrive.