Banana boat (ship)

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For other uses, see Banana boat.

A banana boat is a ship that carries bananas as a primary cargo, or is otherwise engaged in the banana trade. As the main produce of the West indies was bananas they were also used as a form of cheap transportation and the English cricket team that toured the West Indies in 1959–1960 used banana boats to travel across the Atlantic and between the islands. They were better known for bringing West Indian immigrants to Great Britain, and to say that someone 'came off a banana boat' was a derogatory phase used by those who objected to their arrival. It fell out of use in the 1980s as by then most of the British African-Caribbean community had been born in the UK. Modern banana boats tend to be reefer ships or other refrigerated ships that carry cooled bananas on one leg of a voyage, then general cargo on the return leg.