Flint School e-Museum

History of the Flint School's Ships: TeVega & teQuest

Period TeVega / Etak / Vega / USS Juniata teQuest / Black Douglas / Aquarius


Walter Ladd writes a  48 page specifications document for Etak and she is built in Keil , Germany.  In 1930, Yachting magazine announced the new yacht with an artist's rendering.  In 1931, a German Journal documents Etak's design with Plans Macy Family remembers Etak in Letters  The Black Douglas is built in Bath Iron Works with a luxurious layout for the Roebling family.  In 1930, Yachting magazine announced the new yacht.  In November 1930, a Cooper-Bessmer Engine advertisement featured a picture of her at sea.  

U.S. Duty

The   USS Juanita (IX-77) is commissioned for Pacific Coastal duty and escapes heavy war-time alterations.   Ray Harder wrote a book and article about his year on board in the Navy. The Black Douglas (IX-55) is heavily altered and used for Pacific Coastal Duty and California Cooperative Oceanic Fisheries Investigations in the late 1940's. 

Pacific Use

The Vega sails to the South Pacific and has a de-masting calamity near Tahiti in 1951.  She changes hands again and becomes a South Pacific Touring Yacht and is named the TeVega by the islanders.  Around 1956?, without engines, she sails to England to get the Mirrlees installed. The Black Douglas is used for oceanic research.

Research & Rust

TeVega cruises the Windward Islands in the early 1960s.
Stanford University employs TeVega
for some now famous Oceanographic ecological studies in the Pacific. 
The Black Douglas is transferred to the Bureau of Fisheries, then runs replacement aircraft parts throughout the Bahamas and south.  Around 1967, her owners go bankrupt and leave her without maintenance at a private island as a floating power plant until 1972. 

Flint School

See The School Ships page for more photos from this period.

In 1969, the Stolls acquire her for the Flint School.  In 1972, the top-masts are restored for the first time since the 1951 disaster.  TeVega's hull looks great even in dry-dock as the cadets do the maintenance.  Since we were on board during this period we have good documentation with: portraits, above and below deck photos and engine room.

In 1972, the Stolls acquire the neglected Black Douglas.   The second Flint School ship is named teQuest and is partially restored back to the original sailing yacht.  Since we were on board during this period we have good documentation with: portraits, above and below deck photos, engine room diagrams (A, B & C), a ship's survey and even an MP3 recording of the Enterprise engine.


More cadets &  restoration

In 1981, the Flint School closes and TeVega is sold to a Dutch owner and leased by the Landmark School. They sail her to Leningrad, Russia Article 2, 3 & 4.  In 1989, Flint School Alumni lease her in NYC for a well attended evening reunion party.   Both ships enter dry-dock with the Flint School for the last time in 1981 at Vlaardingen, Holland. 
1982/3, teQuest is very privately bought and totally rebuilt as the luxury yacht Aquarius with the help of Jim Stoll.  Newspaper Photo

Restored Yachts

TeVega is bought by an Italian and painstakingly restored to her original glory and even enters sailing races. The Parmalat stockholders pay for the restoration. Aquarius sails the around the world as very private yacht.  The Skidway Institute honors it's benefactors, the Roeblings, with a commemorative design featuring the Black Douglas (teQuest).  A new model and photos are taken after the rebuild.
2000's In 2001, the owner sends some recent photos.  On March 7, 2003, Ron Jensen takes photos onboard and from afar of TeVega. In 2001/2, Aquarius is for sale  for $6-7M and is spotted in ports and calendars

Link to Schooner Man's for other recent news and recollections about  TeVega and teQuest

If you have a historical material or corrections to add, please email me.

Note: Any photo files (JPGs) with the prefix 'web' are low resolution versions of larger image files.