Miller Boat Line’s M/V Mary Ann Market Arrives at Put-in-Bay
Miller Boat Line’s new 140-ft ferryboat, the M/V Mary Ann Market, arrived on Put-in-Bay on Sunday, July 10th, 2022. The vessel is named in tribute to Mary Ann Market, who passed away in 2010. She and her late husband, Bill, purchased the ferry line from Mary Miller in 1978. The added ferry will help meet growth demands of carrying larger vehicles and transporting more than 450,000 passengers annually. “We set out in 2017 to design a boat that was quiet, extremely reliable and was able to accommodate a mixture of passengers and trucks and standard automobiles as best as we could given the size constraints of our docks and the shallowness of the western basin of Lake Erie,” Capt. Jake Market said.
Expected to be completed nearly two years ago, the construction process hit snags like supply and construction issues, rising steel prices, the Covid-19 pandemic, cost overruns, and technical issues. But all’s well that ends well when the “Queen of the Miller Fleet” finally arrived to her home port at Miller Boat Line, Put-in-Bay.
Built at the Fraser Shipyards in Superior, Wisconsin, the Mary Ann left Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, where it was being modified and headed to Put-in-Bay on Friday, July 8th. On board for the 44-hour voyage were two Miller Boat Line captains, David Bianchi and Jake Market, along with Captain Joseph McWilliams, and deck hands/engineers Mike Dolan and Todd Slezak who transport boats through the Great Lakes.
Upon arrival in the island area two days later, they passed north of Rattlesnake Island and did a run by North Bass Island where Mary Ann DeVore Market grew up. The crew brought her briefly into Put-in-Bay Harbor before heading to the Lime Kiln Dock.
The new ferry is 140 feet long and 38.5 feet wide and has a 7-foot draft. Able to transport 600 passengers and 28 vehicles, she is the fifth and largest ferry in the Miller Ferry fleet. The $7 million, all-steel, drive-on, drive-off ferry has three EPA Tier 3 compliant 803-horsepower Caterpillar C18s engines, which give her a faster top speed and make her more maneuverable in heavier winds and seas than the older ferries in the Miller fleet. There’s an ADA-designed cabin on the main deck for passengers unable to climb stairs to the upper deck. With the pilothouse on the third deck, there’s more room for passengers on the second deck, plus there are large forward and side-facing windows to allow wide vistas from the cabin. The passenger spaces and pilot house are both heated and air conditioned. Among other features are broad stairwells, audio/visual messaging, quiet ride, ADA restrooms, and easily sanitized surfaces.
One of the things the MAM has is an Automatic Identification System (AIS) which allows for marine tracking to view her exact location. You can download an app on your smartphone and search MARY ANN MARKET or MMSI: 368207180. The MAM also has a beautifully crafted chart table top with an inlaid map of the islands.
The ferry will go into service in August, after the final Coast Guard stamp of approval from the Federal level. An official christening ceremony is scheduled for September 25th. Look for more details in the September issue of the Put-in-Bay Gazette.
New Put-in-Bay Sign
The lakefront lawn at South Bass Island State Park was crowded on Thursday evening, June 30th, as the sun went down. The crowd was there for the unveiling of an amazing addition to our island, the new script Put-in-Bay logo sign. After a brief introduction, the Put-in-Bay Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau’s new sign overlooking Lake Erie was unveiled by project spearhead Sara Booker and the other members of the Put-in-Bay Community Sign sign committee.
Situated in a picturesque spot with a wide view of the water, the sign displays the island village’s name in the signature font designed and used by the tourism bureau. It immediately became a popular destination for visitors looking for a photo op—just like the popular script signs dotted across the city of Cleveland.
The Put-in-Bay logo sign offers a selfie opportunity for families, reunions, weddings and friends to take pictures of themselves with the sign,” Wendy Chambers, executive director of the Put-in-Bay Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau, said in a statement. “This sign will become iconic for the island community, the state park sunsets and to the visitors coming to the island.”
The community raised funds for the new sign through donations and the sale of bricks to be installed at a later date around the base of the sign. The community sign is a part of the new brand that the Chamber of Commerce launched last year, “An Every Day Island Getaway.” The brand encourages families and empty nesters to come to the island during the week.
Putinbay.com is proud to present this Put-in-Bay Gazette article from the August 2022 issue.
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