Miller Boat Line adding new ferry next year

Vessel named to honor family matriarch Mary Ann Market

Submitted by MILLER BOAT LINE

PUT-IN-BAY – Miller Ferries to Put-in-Bay and Middle Bass Island has contracted with Fraser Shipyards of Superior, Wis., 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. 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; 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 percent 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.

“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,” said Billy Market, Miller Boat Line president.

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 1940s, ’50s and ’60s 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 1980s and ’90s 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, with Billy and Scott Market’s children working within the company.

“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,” said Market.

More company history, ferry, and island information can be found at millerferry.com.