Miller boat line adds to its fleet, increasing accessibility

Published: Aug. 15, 2022 at 4:38 PM EDT
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CATAWBA ISLAND, Ohio (WTVG) - If you’re heading out to the islands to enjoy the weather, you might notice a new boat on the water.

The Miller Boat Line has added a new ferry to its fleet: the Mary Ann Market. It’s going to help them transport more people to the Lake Erie Islands -- and in a more comfortable and accessible way.

“We really wanted to create a nice passenger experience. And I think we got it,” said Jake Market, the Project Manager with the Miller Boat Line.

Jake grew up around the ferries of the miller boat line -- it’s his family’s business. He even drives the boat.

“It’s just in our blood,” Jake said.

He worked with a Seattle company to design the newest one.

“The passenger deck is about twice as big,” Jake said. We can get 250 people up here, compared to the other boats, it’s about 150 on the other boats. That helps us carry a better mix of people and vehicles.”

That’s not all that separates the new addition from the rest of the vessels.

“She also has ADA approved closed cabin on the lower deck, and there’s room for two wheelchairs,” said Julene Market, co-owner of the Miller Boat Line. “It’s climate controlled on the bottom.”

Julene Market tells 13abc the new vessel was named after her mother.

“She could be considered to be the matriarch of the Miller Boat Line Ferry Company,” Julene said. “We also have another vessel named after our father, the William Market. “It’s like having both of our parents on the ferry team, it’s pretty exciting,” Julene said.

The Miller Ferries carry 400,000 people between the Mainland and the islands each year. The new boat not only offers more space for passengers, but ensures that people keep moving.

“This is the only way for both passengers and vehicles to get to, not only Put-in-Bay, but the Middle Bass Island, We carry commercial freight, UPS, passengers, of course, tourists throughout the season,” said Julene Market.

“Having a fifth vessel to throw in the mix means we can more strategically plan to pull boats off the run and have work done to them and whatnot,” said Jake Market.

The Mary Ann Market doesn’t have her own schedule just yet, but you can see the schedule for the Miller Boat Line at the link here.

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