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ABOUT DEAN'S SHIPPING CO.

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ERNEST DEAN

FOUNDER

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ERNEST DEAN BIO

The late, Captain Ernest Alexander Dean was born on May 23, 1915 in the quaint settlement of Sandy Point, Abaco, Bahamas. As the eldest son of a fishing smack captain, Ernest’s introduction to the sea came very early on in life. At the tender age of 9, he went to live in Cay Sal, where he was tutored under a lighthouse keeper, and learned the skills of lighthouse operation. At age 14, he became a fisherman on his father’s first boat, the Champion, where he learned the value of often excruciatingly hard work and began to hone his own business sense. Finally, at 17, he was charged with the responsibility of running the Champion, and thus began his lifelong career as a boat Captain. Even at such an early age, Captain Dean recognized the value of experience and consistent self improvement. His unquenchable thirst for knowledge helped to shape him into an adept and intuitive captain, who was well respected by men even decades his senior.
This insatiable desire for knowledge of his craft, led to his first experience in boat building in 1942, when he assisted his father in building the Salome, right along the shoreline of Sandy Point. Several years later, he would put this experience to good use in building his very own boat, the first Captain Dean. His attention to detail and philosophy of building a boat “the way it should be built” led to him journeying into the pine forest to hand select, gather, and transport the wood himself. He took immense pride in the fact that he built this boat with his own two hands. This painstaking labor of love led to the launch of the Captain Dean in 1949, and although it was not the first boat that Captain Ernest Dean owned, it would serve as a monument to the dedicated and skilled Captain that he was.
In 1951, Captain Dean’s boating experience would steer him on a new course. Inspired by his wife, Eula’s vision, as well as their own need for provisions for their young children, he ventured into providing a regular mail boat service for their small community. With his signature persistence and tenacity, he was able to garner the government contract to begin a mail boat service into Sandy Point and Mores Island. Eventually, this run expanded to include Bullock’s Harbour and Sweeting’s Cay as well. Captain Dean’s ingenuity would serve to revolutionize these growing island communities; as they now had reliable access to not only their mail, but also the supplies and food items that they had so desperately lacked up to this point. In addition to this, it provided members of the community with the means to travel as passengers back and forth to Nassau as the need would arise.
A notable trait of Captain Dean’s career was his constant need to evolve. Over the course of his lifetime, and with every new ship, he was continuously innovating. This was especially evident in the introduction of the Captain Dean V in 1979; the first steel hull boat in all of The Bahamas that was built and designed specifically for the mail service. As a pioneer in the mail boat industry, and patriarch of his family, Captain Dean’s commitment to excellence and service has left an indelible impression on those who came in contact with or worked alongside him. He instilled the ideals of a strong work ethic and initiative into his children; and today his legacy is carried on through his sons, who continue to usher in a new wave of shipping and fishing in The Bahamas; all while maintaining Captain Dean’s core values of hard work, integrity, and community mindedness.

© 2009 - 2018 Dean's Shipping Co. Ltd.
All Rights Reserved.

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ERNEST DEAN JR.

OWNER

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ERNEST DEAN JR. BIO

Ernest Dean Jr. was born on February 27, 1962 as the last child to Captain Ernest and Mrs. Eula Dean. Birthed into a family of seafarers, it was only natural that he too would be drawn to the call of the sea. His introduction to life on the boat came at the age of 8, onboard the Captain Dean IV, where he spent summers working alongside his father and learning the tools of the trade. Throughout Ernest’s teen years, his father’s no-nonsense approach to business, and relentless drive often meant grueling hours of work - requiring him to keep up with the arduous and physically intensive demands of operating the mail service. However, it was these formative years that would equip him with the endurance and know-how to eventually delve into his own business endeavors in the years to come.

At age 19, Ernest became a Captain onboard his father’s prized Lady Eula, proving himself a worthy and esteemed Captain in his own right. Much like his father, his desire for personal growth led him to branch out on his own, and he transitioned into the fishing industry at the age of 23, with a career and series of fishing boats that spanned the course of 15 years.

However, Ernest’s deeply engrained ambition, paired with his desire to continue his father’s legacy, led him back to the mail boat service as Captain of his father’s boat, the Champion II. In 1999, motivated by the evolving needs of the people of Abaco and the Berry Islands, he designed and built his first mail boat, in part ownership with his father. This ship would be called the Captain Gurth Dean, to honor the life of his late brother (now owned and operated by his brother, John Dean). It was at this time that Dean’s Shipping Company Limited was established; built on Ernest’s love of family and desire to carry on the Dean’s legacy of shipping into future generations.

True to the character of his namesake, Ernest developed a need to evolve and improve upon his vision of the mail boat service. Therefore, in 2002, in what can be described as his own labour of love, he designed and built his first self-owned mail boat, aptly named the Legacy. The arrival of the Legacy marked the introduction of the first Roll On/Roll Off style mail boat to North Abaco, revolutionizing shipping in the area. It’s significantly larger size (160 x 36 feet), along with its 30 passenger beds, provided a more efficient service to the ever improving communities of North Abaco. Over the span of the last 14 years, Ernest has proudly continued in the tradition of his father by providing mail boat service on a consistent, weekly basis. As a native Abaconian, he feels a great sense of pride and satisfaction in being able to supply the needs of his people; and it is this pride that constantly propels him to strive for more.

In most recent years, Ernest’s industrious outlook on shipping in The Bahamas has led him to redefine Dean’s Shipping Company once again. October 2016 marks the launch of his newest vessel, the Champion III, a 180 x 60 ft. general cargo and aggregate ship; also designed in roll on/roll off fashion. Like his father and grandfather before him, Captain Ernest Dean Jr. looks toward the future of shipping throughout the Bahamas with an air of optimism and boundless opportunity. In his continuous quest for knowledge and self improvement he aims to carry on the timeless tradition of the mail boat service, while enhancing its function for future generations of Bahamians.

© 2009 - 2018 Dean's Shipping Co. Ltd.
All Rights Reserved.

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OUR FLEET

  •  M/V Legacy

    M/V Legacy

M/V Legacy

2002 | MAILBOAT
160ft X 36ft | 30 Beds | Secured Cargo Hole
7-40ft Containers Roll On

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  •  M/V Champion III

    M/V Champion III

M/V Champion III

2009 | CHARTER VESSEL
180ft X 60ft | 1200 Cargo Tons | Shallow Draft
18-40ft Containers Roll On

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OUR OPERATION

Dean's Shipping Company is owned and operated by Ernest Dean Jr. and Family. The Dean name is synonymous with shipping throughout The Bahamas, with more than 70 years experience in freight hauling. The M/V Champion III, is locally owned and operated, and licensed for aggregate services and for inter-island transport within The Bahamas. Dean’s Shipping Co. Ltd. has been overseeing the mailboat services for Marsh Harbour, North Abaco, and the surrounding keys for the last 18 years using our famous vessel - The Legacy. In addition to aggregate services, we offer affordable charter services to Florida and the Northern Caribbean.

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© 2009 - 2018 Dean's Shipping Co. Ltd.
All Rights Reserved

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