Miller Boat Lines adding new ferry to Erie islands

Miller Boat Line plans to launch a new car and passenger ferry in 2019. (Miller Boat Line)

Miller Boat Line is adding a $7 million passenger/vehicle ferry to the Lake Erie Islands.

The ferry will be about 140 feet long and carry up to 26 vehicles and 600 passengers.

“Special attention was given to design a vessel that enhances onboard passenger comfort and improve the loading and discharge times of both vehicles and passengers,” Miller wrote in a news release. “The new vessel will be more maneuverable than Miller’s current vessels, and better suited to handle large loads in inclement weather.”

Elliott Bay Design Group, with offices in Seattle and New Orleans, will build the ferry.

Traffic has been growing on Miller since the “Put-in-Bay” was built in 1997 and lengthened to 136 feet in 2010.

The family company, which was founded in 1905, runs ferries year-round as ice permits from Catawba Point to Put-in-Bay (South Bass Island) and Middle Bass Island.

The Jet Express is a separate passenger-only ferry line, which runs from downtown Port Clinton to downtown Put-in-Bay.

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