BY D’ARCY PATRICK EGAN
The Miller Ferry Line will swing back into action soon, carrying tourists, vehicles and goods to South Bass and Middle Bass islands, where islanders are anxiously awaiting the arrival of the new Queen of the Fleet, the M/V Mary Ann Market.
Jake Market, the head of operations for the Miller Ferry Line, said there’s plenty of work yet to do before the M/V Mary Anne Market sets sail for Ohio, but the builder, Fraser Shipyard in Superior, Wisc., is getting closer to its completion. Workers are below deck this week, installing the last of the steel grating, as well as wiring the electrical components, and making sure all systems are go for the sea trials yet to come.
Built in honor the late Market family matriarch, Mary Ann Market, the 140-footer will sport a different look than the other four Miller ferries. The top deck will stretch halfway down the sparkling blue-and-white boat, twice as far as on the other Miller ferries, to make for more comfortable accommodations for passengers and vehicles with an additional 20% more cargo space.
An upgraded propulsion system will give the larger M/V Mary Ann Market better maneuverability to handle Lake Erie’s often bumpy waters en route from Miller’s main docks on Catawba Island Point to South Bass and Middle Bass islands.