M/V Betty K (II, built 1944) only served the Bahamas for a short time, ended in Columbia

There appear to be three “Betty K” ships in this photo from the Kelly / Betty K website, and there is no certainty that the original Betty K is among them. However the vintage of the cars seems late 1940s to early 1950s and it is possible their original ship, built 1938, is among them. In any event the image depicts the early Betty K fleet at their terminus in Nassau, the Kelly Lumber Yard.
Source: http://www.bettyk.com/about-us.shtml

MAILBOAT NAME: M/V Betty K (II, 1944 built)
PAST NAMES: none – see below for numerous future names
DIMENSIONS: 579 tons, capacity 750 tons in summer
CONSTRUCTION: by United Concrete Pipe Co, Los Angeles CA, official # 5043588YEAR BUILT: 1944 – delivered 30 November 1943, yard # 104

EARLY CAREER: Florida to Nassau and possibly Abaco
BAHAMAS CAREER: Miami FL-Nassau run 1944-
CAPTAINS: not known
FATE:  sailing as the “Lady K” in Columbia, South America, 1984-1991 – Broken up on March 31st 1991 according to grosstonnage.com.
OWNERS: Originally Mr. C Trevor Kelly (now the firm is the Betty K Line).
From 1944 to 1989 she was named Betty K and flagged to and traded in the Bahamas.
From 1980 to 1984 she was named FP 391 – not sure where she traded, flagged
In 1984 she was the Sea Princess
In  1991 at the time of scrapping she was the Lady K in Columbia
Note: It may be that she only served in the Bahamas 1944 and was sold to FP 391 – reverting updates as they are known.
From the website of the Betty K Line, summer 2014:
“Betty K has been serving The Bahamas since 1920 and has grown to be full service shipping company operating between Miami – Nassau, and Nassau – Abaco.
Betty K named after the daughter of the founder, The Late Mr. C. Trevor Kelly. A Fully owned Bahamian company was born out of an idea from the owner who saw the need to purchase a boat to take care of their personal needs.
The boat then, nicknamed the “Potato and Onion” boat would transport lumber for the Kelly families, has now grown to be one of the largest carrier serving The Bahamas, operating between Miami – Nassau and Nassau – Abaco. Betty K also operates two vessels BK VI and BKVII.”
Historian and author Kevin Griffin kindly provided the following:


“Of Nassau’s freight services, the Ena Steamship Line provided a basic year-round passenger and summer mail service to and from Miami. Although the Windsors did not use it, the Duchess wrote a letter to her aunt in July noting that there were “shortages due to too few ships.” By September, she was writing that “the two little boats are gasping for breath – leaping back and forth between Miami and here – and things are difficult to have.”

Of “the two little boats,” the 116-ton Ena K, built in 1927, could carry a dozen passengers and that January carried 15-year old Sidney Poitier to Miami to live with his older brother. A round trip in the Ena K cost $17.50, compared to $24.50 in the New Northland before the war. In the spring of 1942 the Ena K celebrated her 1,000th crossing to Miami. The other was the 164-ton Betty K, built in 1938. The “motor boats,” as the Duchess called them, offered sailings every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday in each direction between Nassau and Miami. Before the war, they had sailed from Miami at Noon and from Nassau at 2 pm but now they moved back and forth as cargo offered.

The vessels were named after the two daughters of Trevor Kelly, owner of the Kelly Lumber Company, who had started the service in 1920. The Miami agents were Saunders & Mader, who had also represented the Queen of Nassau and a number of other small ships in this service, and Nassau agents were Albury & Company. More than eighty years later, Betty K Agencies Ltd of Nassau would introduce the sixth and seventh ships of that name, the 1,457-ton Betty K VI in 2004 and 2,028-ton Betty K VII in 2006.”


Source: Mr. Griffin’s kind post on the “Ena K” entry in this blog, June 2014