M/V Champion II, Nassau – Bullocks Harbour, Berry Islands – Mores Island -Sandy Point Abaco from 1987

M/V Champion II, owned by Capt. Ernest Dean of Sandy Point Abaco, leaving that port, Jan. 1992

Photo: Author’s photo/collection

PAST NAMES: none – named after the fishing vessel skippered by Capt. Ernest Dean’s father, Capt. James Alexander Dean, 1889-1966 (p. 104 of “Island Captain”, by Ernest Dean)
DIMENSIONS: 75′ long, 22′ wide, 6′ deep, 22 tons (it must be more than that), double deck, refrigeration compartments and a dry hold, twin GM diesel engines, capacity for 18 passengers in three compartments on main deck, IMO # 8811261
YEAR BUILT: 1986/87 (Capt. Ernest Dean who commissioned her said launched Dec. 1986)
BUILDER: Saint Augustine Marine (aka St. Augustine Trawlers), St. Augustine, Florida, USA

EARLY CAREER: Nassau, Bullocks Harbour, Berry Islands, Hard Bargain Mores Island Abaco, Sandy Point, Abaco, back to Nassau
CAPTAINS: Capt. Ernest Alexander Dean
FATE: still trading as of Aug. 2012, however listed as “dead ship” on www.grosstonnage.com
NOTES: On pages 72 and 73 of his book “Island Captain: The Autobiography of Mail Boat Captain Ernest Dean of Sandy Point, Abaco, Bahamas,” by Capt. Ernest Alexander Dean with Gary W. Woodcock (White Sound Press, Decatur Illinois, 1997), Capt. Dean writes:
“At seventy-five feet Champion II is smaller than my other boats were. One of the reasons that I went smaller was that these boats run to the United States for freight from time to time. If you operate a larger ship in the States it has to have a load-line mark on the side of the hull. You can only load cargo until the load line touches the water and then it has to be the right trim fore and aft and side to side. With shallow-water boats that’s not always easy to do. These are U.S. government regulations not Bahamian regulations. So seventy-five feet was the longest I could build without being burdened with a load-line mark.”

Unloading a station wagon from the Champion II in its home port of Sandy Point Abaco, Jan., 1992
Photo: Author’s photo/collection