M/V Clermont, converted crawfish boat served Bimini and Abaco 1956-1962, sank off Hole-in-the-Wall Light

PAST NAMES: not known
DIMENSIONS: 112 feet overall, twin General Motors diesel engines
CONSTRUCTION: built of wood in Nassau, NP for the fishing industry
YEAR BUILT: c.1950s
EARLY CAREER: chartered by Capt. Ernest Dean of Abaco c.1956-1962
BAHAMAS CAREER: served Sandy Point & Mores Island Abaco & Bullock’s Harbour Bimini from Nassau between roughly 1956 and 1962
CAPTAINS: Capt. Ernest Alexander Dean
FATE: sank off Hole-in-the-Wall Light, Great Abaco, 1962
OWNERS: a crawfish distributing firm in Nassau, and chartered by Captain Ernest Alexander Dean, Sandy Point Abaco

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

Clermont “was owned by the company that I bought crawfish for and they gave her to me to use because I could haul more crawfish than with the other boats. She was big, old, wooden, and leaky, with two old GM engines that were breaking down all the time. I ran her in the mail service at the same time that I was buying crawfish. This didn’t make any difference to the government so long as I kept my schedule and made weekly trips witkh the mail. Whatever I did within that time didn’t matter. 

Although she was a big boat I carried a crew of only about five men. It wasn’t like now with refrigeration where you can freeze the meat. Then you carried the whole crawfish, live. Since the Clermont didn’t have live wells and she didn’t have refigeration, we had to pack the crawfish on ice. We came back out of Nassau with enough ice to get to the outer islands and back again.

In 1962 we came out of Nassau…. it blew pretty hard making for very heavy seas. In the rolling and pitching of the boat, Clermont’s seams opened up so bad that the pumps couldn’t handle the amount of water coming in. I knew she was going down so I ordered abandon ship. the crew that what the boat was like, so I didn’t have to say the order twice. …We launched the two dinghies and three of us took to each boat. One dinghy had a little motor and towed the other to shore. I had the mailbags with me. The Clermont sank. …No wreckage. Nothing floating. Nothing. Gone.”

Source: “Island Captain,” pp. 55-56