S/V Autogo served Marsh Harbour and Abaco with mail in early 1950s under Capt. Charles Sawyer

This image from the Fe. 15, 2004 edition of the “Abaconian” shows an artist painting a commissioned portrait of the “Autogo” – Thanks to Dave Gale and Chad Sawyer it might be possible to track down an image of the painting on it’s own, but this photo gives an idea of the vessel. The caption to the photo is:

“Well known Bahamian artist Chan Pratt had a dramatic display of paintings at the Art
Festival held at Abaco Beach Resort on the first week end of February. He is especially
known for his realistic paintings of flowering trees. He is shown here working on a
commissioned painting of the M/V Autogo, one of the freight boats owned by the late

Charles Sawyer.” 

Source: http://ufdcimages.uflib.ufl.edu/UF/00/09/37/13/00348/02-15-2004.pdf


DIMENSIONS: 75 foot long motor vessel
CONSTRUCTION: official # 191575
EARLY CAREER: freight and passengers Nassau, Miami to Marsh Harbour Abaco
BAHAMAS CAREER: freight and passengers on a per-trip basis Nassau – Abaco
CAPTAINS: Capt. Charles W. Sawyer
FATE: retired from service about 1952 due to lack of profitability
OWNERS: Captain Charles Sawyer, Marsh Harbour, Abaco

Author Dave Gale wrote via email that: “The M/V “Autogo”, owned by Captain Charles Sawyer of MH [Marsh Harbour] brought all (very few!) of our belongings to HT from Miami in 1954. I recall he said, “She was not a mail!” meaning she did not have a mail contract. I tend, as you do, to call all the inter-island freighters “mailboats” because of the catchy name but he was always correcting me about whether or not a certain freighter had a mail contract with the Gov. Captain Charles was big around here in those days….”

Capt. Ernest Dean in his book “Island Captain”, page 50, Chapter 6, writes:

“There was another man, Charles Sawyer from Marsh Harbour, who started to carry the mail on a regular basis. He had a small boat called Ought to Go. But like Reuben he only got paid by the trip too and said that he couldn’t make enough money at it to make it worthwhile. So he backed out.”

Mr. Kendal Butler researched and found “Charles Wilson Sawyer (1918-2001) of Marsh Harbour who built one motorized fishing boat, sloops and dinghies.”

The dimensions of the vessel come from a snippet in the “Abaco Journal”, Voices from the Past column by Margo Albury, Spring 2010, Volume 18, in which she describes the Autogo carrying everything from D8 Tractors to nuts and bolts and everything in between. 

Source: http://issuu.com/abacojournal/docs/ajigspring2010