Mailboats of the Bahamas
A humble fleet of cast-off merchant boats continues to serve over 50 remote communities in the Bahamas archipelago. This first-of-its-kind book traces the story of over 200 vessels and their owners and mariners through hurricanes and politics to deliver church pews, screws, soda, thread, animals, produce, and more.
Mailboat ownership has been one of the few areas where the black Bahamian majority’s entrepreneurs could to go toe to toe against the hegemony of the white minority – and win. This traces the growth of ship-owning dynasties from tiny communities like Pirates Wells. Many boats were purchased in Europe and later sold in Latin America. Others were built in the islands, and many of them became wrecks and reefs. This study adds 20 years to the inception date for mail service. The author is well known to owners and captains: he is from the Bahamas, ridden mailboats for nearly 40 years, has been a captain since 1993, operated over 100 small to mid-sized vessels, earned degrees in maritime law and marine affairs, and has written three other books based on Bahamian maritime history. Richly illustrated with 150 photographs, etchings, and charts.