Taylor family dynasty: 12 mailboats they have owned from Mayaguana and Nassau since the 1930s

Captain Eddins Bruce Taylor, who wish his brothers Elvin and Limos control the Taylor Corporation, which through the subsidiary Pirate’s Well Investments (named after the port in Mayaguana Island where the family hailed from), own and operate 6 vessels currently, and have owned a dozen mail boats since the 1920’s. 
In April 2015 the Taylors (Captain Eddins and Elvin) graciously permitted me two interviews – one at their headquarters of The Mail Boat on Horseshoe Drive, the other at Potter’s Cay where they have several ticket offices in trailers. Here is the summary of those conversations, as well as the photos I took of Capt. Eddins as well as various family vessels they have owned over the years:
1) Their grandfather Capt. Fed Black owned a sailing mailboatd named S/V Nonesuch, which is described as a 50-foot schooner, or having two masts. More on this vessel later, but suffice to say I found records of her, she was built in 1880 in the Turks & Caicos, was 21 tons, and though she went through several owners (William Henry Edgecombe, Andros, James R. C. Young, Nassau, Benjamin W. Roberts, Abaco), by 1935 she was in the name of Mrs. Mary Jane Black of Mayaguana – doubtless a relative of Capt. Fed. She was Official Number 91662. 
This gives the Black and Taylor families impressive lineage for the history of mailboats in the Bahamas and gives credibility to their belief that their holdings represent the largest fleet of mailboats in the archipelago. The others are listed below, sprinkled with photos. 
2) M/V Cape Hatteras, Captain and owner Nathaniel Bruce Taylor, served Mayaguana and all the Bahamas. Built in the 1950s of wood, 56′ feet long, 671 General Motors engine, sold in 1968 to an owner in Spanish Wells Eleuthera who used her for fishing. Retained the same name.
3) M/V Marcella I, built in 1969, wood, 90′, burned in Salt Pond, Long Island in 1986/7, captained by Eddins and Nathaniel Taylor
4) M/V Miranda, 180′ steel vessel, Captains Bob Garroway from St. Vincent (he has since returned there) and Capt. Eddins Taylor, was on the route from Miami to the Turks & Caicos and Long Island. From 1976 to 1992/3 owned by the Taylors. Then sold to Haiti. She was built in the Netherlands and her first name was “Gold” something. Built around 1966/1968. Believed to be still trading. 
5) M/V Marcella III, ex-M/V Jade, built in Hamburg around 1967/68, bought by the Taylors in 1981 from Germany, delivered by a European crew. Still in operation. Captains Nathaniel and Eddins Taylor. 
6) M/V Marcella II, steel, Captain Eddins Taylor, 170′, first steel vessel owned by black-Bahamian mailboat owners, damaged in a storm, insurance paid, became an artificial reef off Nassau in 1987/8.
7) M/V Lady Rosalind built 1979 by Bollinger shipyards, Louisiana, US Gulf, Captain Limos Taylor. Purchased by the Taylors in 1987. Struck a rock and damaged beyond repair in 1997 / 1998. 
8) M/V Lady Mathilda, Captain Nigel Davis, 110′ extended by 20′ to 130′, twin screw, built in Lockport Louisiana by Russell Portier (Chauvin LA). Has served the southeastern Bahamas for 20 or so years. Was purchased by the Taylor family in 1998. Still trading.
9) M/V Trans Cargo II, built in Egypt and purchased by the Taylors in 1998. Delivered to the Bahamas by an Egyptian crew. Skippered by Captain David Hyde of the Honduras / Roatan. The Taylor’s nephew rode along with the delivery crew. Built 1987, steel, twin screw. 226′ long (long for a Bahamian mailboat), 60′ wide. Carried aggregate and sand to Bimini for a recent construction project there, from Freeport, Grand Bahama. Ro/Ro. Purchased to carry fuel for the BEC / Bahamas Electricity Corporation, but another party beat them out for the contract shortly thereafter. Still trading. 
10) M/V Lady Rosalind I, purchased 2002 by the Taylors, still trading. Bought from a company in Texas. 170′ steel hull, built in 1987. Captain Willie Wilson. 
11) M/V Lady Rosalind II, purchased by the Taylors in 2006 / 2007. Built 1967 (or 1985?), 391 gross tons. Captain Gifford Johnson. Built to a custom design in Houma Louisiana, 180′ long by 40′ wide. IMO 7200386. Flagged, like all of the Taylor vessels, to Nassau, NP Bahamas. 
12) M/V Fiesta Mail, built 2002 in Tianjin, China. Captain Limos Taylor, serves Freeport and Fort Lauderdale from Nassau. An ultra-modern vessel custom built for the trade. Brings the Taylor family to almost 100 years of service in the Bahamas (from at least the 1930s and S/V Nonesuch to 2015). 
Patriarch of the family, Captain Nathaniel Bruce Taylor, after whom Capt. Eddins Bruce Taylor was named partially.  He lived from 1917 to June 2001.                                                 

This is a woodcut image of the S/V Dart, the first recognized inter-island mailboat in the Bahamas. The photo and captions hang in the office of Mr. Elvin Taylor at the headquarters of The Mail Boat Company in Nassau. She was originally a 35-foot fast pilot boat taking pilots to ships over the Nassau Harbour Bar, however she was lengthened amidships twice in her career. Able to make the trip to Harbour island in the fast time of 8 hours she is said to have won in a number of regattas in the Bahamas. She was apparently lost in one of the hurricanes to hit the islands (date unknown). In Harbour Island she was known to tie up at Harris’ Wharf, which was then at the foot of Pine Street, before the Government Dock was built. There is an entry on the Dart on this blog from July 14, 2013 and several references to her in the book “The Harbour Island Story,” by Anne & Jim Lawlor.
This boat, S/V Dart, was never owned by the Taylor or Black families, but the image comes from the collection of Mr. Elvin Taylor and illustrates his appreciation for Mailboat history, which the author shares. 


 The M/V Lady Mathilda aground on Hogsty Reef, southern Bahamas, having been steered off course at night, probably due to currents. The men were able to work the ship off the reef.

Photo courtesy of Captain Eddins Taylor.


M/V OMS Maverick, built 1987, which became the Taylor/Pirates Well-owned M/V Lady Rosalind I

Photo courtesy of Captain Eddins Taylor.

M/V Lady Rosalind II being built in Portier Shipyard in Chauvin, Lousiana in 2006. 
Photo courtesy of Captain Eddins Taylor.

The German freighter M/V Jade with her German skipper and owner (to the left) and her new Bahamian owner and skipper, Captain Eddins Bruce Taylor to the right, in c.1981. She was built in c.1967/68 in the Hamburg Germany area and became M/V Marcella II which still trades in Bahamas.

Photo courtesy of Captain Eddins Taylor as well as the website www.mailboatbahamas.com.

 M/V Marcella III, formerly M/V Jade, loaded with lumber and a car at the Prince George Dock, Nassau, probably in the mid to late 1980s.

Photo courtesy of Captain Eddins Taylor.

M/V Marcella I, built of wood in Saint Augustine, Florida in 1969. She was 90′ long and could carry cargo and passengers. Her Captains were Capt. Nathaniel Bruce Taylor and Capt. Eddins Bruce Taylor, his son. She carried mail, cargo and passengers to Mayaguana as well as to North Andros. She was replaced by the M/V Lady Rosalind I after she burned to the water line at Salt Pond, Long Island area in late 1986 / early 1987 time-frame. Note the derrick for working cargo on the small bow.

Photo courtesy of Captain Eddins Taylor.