Fa’afaite was designed and built by Okeanos Foundation for the Sea.
It is a 72 foot Vaka Moana, double masted traditional Polynesian sailing canoe, outfitted with a solar powered propulsion system, built in 2009 in New Zealand’s Salthouse Boatyard.
Fa’afaite was one of the seven traditional Polynesian sailing canoes of the Te Mana o Te Moana (Spirit of the Ocean) fleet that sailed 2011-2012, visiting fifteen Pacific nations and reviving voyaging culture and advocating ocean conservation. The Te Mana o Te Moana voyage was sponsored entirely by Okeanos Foundation.
The vaka was crewed by Pacific islanders from eleven nations (Fiji, the Cook Islands, Samoa, French Polynesia, New Zealand, Tonga, Kiribati, Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu and Easter Island) and collectively they traversed 210,000 miles of open ocean, training hundreds of first time sailors along the way.
In 2012, Okeanos Foundation gifted Fa’afaite to the Fa’afaite – Tahiti Voyaging Society (Fa’afaite I the ao Ma’ohi).
Okeanos CEO Dieter Paulmann (right) with Tahiti Voyaging Society President Matahi Tutave (middle) and Tua Pittman (left) for contract signing in 2012