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Miller Boat Line introduces new vessel Mary Ann Market for Lake Erie ferry service

The new ferry is 140 feet long and can carry up to 600 passengers and 24-26 vehicles.

PUT-IN-BAY, Ohio — The first round of passengers crossed the waters of Lake Erie to South Bass Island on Friday aboard the newest ferry in the Miller Boat Line: the Mary Ann Market.

After getting final approval from the U.S. Coast Guard this week, the 140-foot vessel can carry 600 passengers, and about 24-26 vehicles at a time.

"We've been training the crews and as the season progresses we'll rotate more and more crews in and eventually the boat will be seamless with the rest of our fleet." Miller Boat Project Manager Line Jacob Market said.

And it has "better, more comfortable seating for passengers," including a specialized area for ADA-compliant seating for elderly people and passengers with disabilities.

Credit: Jon Monk
The 140-foot vessel can carry 600 passengers, and about 24-26 vehicles at a time.

Getting the boat up and running will help alleviate pressure on busy days, Market said.

"When the weather is like this, people just want to come to the islands," he said.

Miller Boat Line President Billy Market knew the third ferry in their fleet would also help cut down on the congestion of cars waiting to make the trip on busy weekends during peak tourism season.

And Billy also knew without question that he wanted to name the ship after his late mother.

"It's a huge huge honor for us," Billy said. "We owe so much to our parents, of course, and this is just one little tribute for her. And I know that she's upstairs smiling down on this day."

Credit: Jon Monk
Miller Boat Line crews will rotate on and off the new boat through the end of the current tourism season.

The Mary Ann Market will also play a large role in shipping over all of the concert equipment for the upcoming Bash on the Bay Country Music Fest on Aug. 24 and 25, where they hope to make about 102 to 104 trips.

Billy said from Aug. 24 at 5 a.m. to Aug. 25 at 9 p.m., "we're going to be running continuously for about 40 straight hours."

The Mary Ann Market will be in and out of service for the remainder of this tourism season but will be in full service next year.

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