M/V Captain Dean II, built 1963 4th of Capt. Ernest Dean’s mailboats to Abaco

M/V Captain Dean II at dock

Source: “Island Captain, The Autobiography of Mail Boat Captain Ernest Dean of Sandy Point, Abaco, Bahamas,” with Gary W. Woodcock, White Sound Press, Decatur Illinois, 1997 p.106


DIMENSIONS: 60′ on keel, 14′ beam, 5′ draft, framing of 4X4 native wood and 2-inch planking, “powered by two big six-cylinder Perkins diesels.” Capacity 12 passengers.
CONSTRUCTION: built in Dundas Town (Marsh Harbour) Abaco by Johny Albury and Walter Archer. It had a main deck, a top deck and the pilot house. 
EARLY CAREER: Nassau to Bullock’s Harbour Berry Islands, Sandy Point Abaco, Hard Bargain, Mores Island, and Sweetings Cay Grand Bahama
BAHAMAS CAREER: Nassau to Bullock’s Harbour Berry Islands, Sandy Point Abaco, Hard Bargain, Mores Island, and Sweetings Cay Grand Bahama
CAPTAINS: Capt. Ernest Alexander Dean and his sons James, Marcus & John
FATE: burned and sank between Abaco and Berry Islands in 1968
OWNERS: Captain Ernest A. Dean, Sandy Point Abaco

From the book “Island Captain” (White Sound Press, 1997), Capt. Dean writes:

When “…the shipyard sent word to me that she was in the water… I went up there with Captain Sherman Archer [Sherwin] on the Anita Queen [see entry on the mailboat Arena] and we towed the hull down to Nassau to be finished at the Maura’s Lumber Yard dock…

….My sons James, Marcus and John all worked on her from time to time, learning how to run a boat. I had them in the engine room, as deckhands, and even as cooks. James was my mate the night she caught fire and sank at sea in 1968.”

There follows an exciting narrative of the loss of the Captain Dean II mid-ocean between Berry Islands and Abaco, due to a smoke-stack fire, the abandoning of the ship by 12 adults and 2 children (Paul Pinder being only 2 years old). Two lifeboats on which only one motor functioned motored upwind for Hole-in-the-Wall Light until they ran out of gas then they drifted down on the Berry Islands. It was too rough to land on Whale Cay so they fetched up on Bird Cay to leeward, were taken to Chubb Cay and flown to Nassau where insurance officials interrogated the tired and burnt captain. (I highly recommend readers purchase the book to read the account first-hand).

“The insurance paid off and I immediately ordered Captain Dean III from a shipyard in St. Augustine.” closes Capt. Dean.

Source: “Island Captain,” pages 59-62