Miller Boat Line expects its new ferry to the Erie Islands to be delivered next fall, christened Mary Ann Market after the matriarch of the family business.
Fraser Shipyards of Superior, Wisconsin, will build the new drive-on, drive-off passenger/vehicle ferry. It will be 140 feet long, 38.5 feet wide ferry and will accommodate 26 standard sized vehicles or 600 passengers. Among the features: enhanced propulsion and maneuverability, a main deck ADA-accessible passenger cabin and restroom, and a 20 percent increase in cargo capacity over Miller’s current largest vessel.
“We look forward to welcoming the new M/V Mary Ann Market, it will be a proud and nostalgic moment to see her operate alongside the other island ferries,” the Market family said in a press release.
Miller is the only ferry to take cars to South Bass Island and operate early and late in the season. Miller’s four boats also make trips to Middle Bass Island. The company was founded in 1905 in Put-in-Bay as a water taxi, fishing charter and ice harvesting firm and evolved under owners Lee and Mary Miller. William E. Market (Bill) and his wife Mary Ann of Put-in-Bay purchased the Miller Boat Line in 1978 from Mary Miller.
The Markets chose to keep the name “Miller” in honor of the founding family and oversaw the construction of four new ferries: the M/V Islander (built 1983), M/V South Bass (built 1989),
M/V William Market (built 1993), and M/V Put-in-Bay (built 1997, lengthened 2010).
Today Miller Boat Line is owned and operated by Bill and Mary Ann’s children, Julene Market, Billy Market and Scott Market, and their children.
Want to know what to do on Put-in-Bay? Here’s a whole lot of ideas for family fun.