Deva first appeared in Lloyds Register, 1914, owners NF Hall and JF Jellico. After the war she reappears belonging to Captain Bond, Liverpool and in 1926 was sold to the Earl of Derby. He lent her to the Royal Navy in the 1930s for the training of midshipmen on HMS Eaglet. From 1939 onwards, Deva was owned by 'mere commoners'.
Much of her original structure survived for the best part of a century, probably due to regular maintenance and use. She has pitch pine planking on oak frames.
Deva is an ex Royal Mersea Rivers Class, built 1912 by Crossfield of Arnside. The Rivers Class were Crossfields smallest prawners fitted out as open racing boats for the 'Liverpool gentlemen'. The Rivers Class differed from the working boats only in details of rig.The boom was longer and the sails were of cotton as opposed to tarred canvas, and they were rigged as sloops instead of cutter. Several of the class were built, possibly as many as 30, all named after rivers, Mersea was the first (and the fastest) followed by Deva, Thames, Styx, Severn etc. The Class was active up to about 1935, when it was disbanded. Several of the Class went to join their working sisters in the pursuit of shrimps and prawns in Liverpool Bay and off North Wales. Others have ended up as Bermudan rigged sloops.
Deva returned to racing for Tranmere Yacht Club in 1956. Her owner, Harry Williams of Rock Ferry, a shipwright, redecked her and added a cabin. Deva was very successful against modern competition. One of her more notable achievements was gaining third place in the local Isle of Man midnight race against a Nor`wester. Her owner locked his seasick crew below for 17 hours while he sailed the race single-handed, or so the locals say.
Shortly after this, Mr. Williams sold Deva to Mr. Wainwright and she was sunk in the River Mersea by a dredger. After repairs, she was sailed in the Mersea and on the North Wales coast, then through the canals via Wigan and Boston to Richmond. Her passage from Liverpool to Boston in eight days appears to be fastest recorded.
Since being in the south, Deva has had a jackyard topsail added, and many improvements have been made to her accommodation, In the 1970 OGA East Coast Race, she was the smallest of the five boats to complete the course, winning second prize in Class 2, and in 1971, she won the East Coast Old Gaffers Trophy, coming second overall to Four Sisters.
Re-decked with raised topsides by one plank, she was sold in 2008 from the estate of Jon Wainwright.
In 2019 Deva was purchased by Tom Curtis, an 18 year old boat builder who is restoring her with a view to sailing her in 2020.