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Put-in-Bay, South Bass Island, Ohio Miller Ferries to Put-in-Bay and Middle Bass Island, Ohio, has contracted with Fraser Shipyards of Superior, Wisconsin, to build a new drive-on, drive-off passenger/vehicle ferry for delivery in fall 2019. The new ferry will be delivered from Lake Superior to Lake Erie and her new home port of Put-in-Bay, Ohio. The vessel will be christened Mary Ann Market in honor of the family matriarch and the company’s late owner (1935-2010).
The new 140 foot long, 38.5 foot wide ferry will accommodate 26 standard sized vehicles or 600 passengers and will join Miller’s present fleet of four passenger/vehicle ferries. Miller Ferries operate between the peninsula of Catawba to Put-in-Bay (South Bass Island) and also to Middle Bass Island, Ohio; two of Ohio’s popular Lake Erie resort islands. The M/V (Motor Vessel) Mary Ann Market will feature enhanced propulsion and maneuverability, a main deck ADA accessible passenger cabin and restroom, and a 20% increase in cargo capacity over Miller’s largest vessel.
The vessel will be built in modules and assembled at Fraser Shipyards beginning fall 2018 and throughout 2019. Miller Boat Line President Billy Market states, “We chose Fraser due to their enduring high quality, integrity, value, and with consideration of recommendations from industry professionals, including marine surveyors, lake captains, and engineers.”
About Miller Boat Line
The Miller Boat Livery was founded in 1905 in the island harbor of Put-in-Bay as a water taxi, fishing charter and ice harvesting company. The company evolved under owners Lee and Mary Miller during the late 1940’s, ’50’s and ’60’s into a ferry boat line with a fleet of four passenger/vehicle ferries. 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. Bill Market 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). These newer, larger vessels were designed to accommodate more passengers, carry longer and taller construction-type vehicles, as well as increased speed to maintain a more frequent trip schedule. During the 1980’s and ’90’s the older vessels were sold to other Great Lakes ferry companies.
Today Miller Boat Line is owned and operated by Bill and Mary Ann’s children, Julene Market, Billy Market and Scott Market. Billy and Scott Market’s children work within the company. The family states, “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.”
More company history, ferry, and island information can be found at MillerFerry.com.
About Fraser Shipyards
From dry docking to making floating repairs around Lake Superior, Fraser Shipyards has built and repaired vessels for nearly 120 years. Fraser Shipyards, Superior, Wisconsin, is the last major, independent shipyard on the American side of the Great Lakes. A 60 acre facility provides building and repair berths, a joiner shop and mold loft, machine and fabricating shops, two dry docks, lay-up and fit-out berths. For more Fraser Shipyard information see FraserShipyards.com.