Using a Historic Boat To See The Lake Erie Islands

A historic old tugboat, converted into a luxurious cruise
boat is the latest addition to the attractions of South Bass Island in Lake

Scott and Susan Market, part of the Miller Ferry Boat  family, that provide Transportation from the
mainland to the islands, have purchased the 73-year old Tugboat that was
originally designed for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Since the Markets
have bought the 38-foot boat, they have added some modern amenities, but also
have taken the external look of the craft back to its appearance nearly 75
years ago.

The Markets say that there was a need for a more private,
smaller, upscale cruise boat that would let visitors enjoy a less-crowded way
to see the Islands. Both afternoon cruises of the Bay and a popular sunset
cruise where you can see a world-famous Lake Erie sunset are available for 65
dollars per person.  Snacks, soft drinks,
water and ice are included in the price of the cruise.  “It’s a romantic way to celebrate an anniversary
or it’s a really unique place to hold a small wedding.” Says Susan Market, who
doubles as the one-person crew on the “Restless.”  “If you don’t own a boat, this is an
inexpensive way to have the privacy of your own boat and crew for an afternoon
or evening.”

The Markets named the tugboat “Restless”.  The tug was originally ordered, prior to
World War II , by the Corps of Engineers as a prototype tug to be used for
moving barges and carrying crews to other boats.  However the Corps decided not to go with the
prototype and so it was put up for sale.
A man in Milwaukee purchased the boat and added a main salon, bathrooms
and sleeping quarters.  The craft
eventually ended up in Traverse City, Michigan where further restoration was
done to the boat. This year the Markets heard that the tug was again for sale
and so it found a new home at Put-in-Bay on Lake Erie.

The Markets who just a few weeks ago started offering public
cruises on the boat, says the converted tug can carry up to six passengers.  It is a beautiful way to see the islands
surrounding South Bass Harbor and Captain Scott Market, a fifth-generation
islander, offers commentary about each of the passing islands as well as an
insider view of living on Lake Erie.

The rides on the “Restless” are by reservation only.  You can contact them at the Miller Marina on
Put-in-Bay.  Phone 419-285-5902 or visit
their website at

…You can read the rest of this story in the Saturday, July
23rd edition of the Plain Dealer or on their website,


My thanks this week to the good folks at the Willard, Ohio Public Library who came out to hear me speak on the hottest night of the year.  Perhaps it was the air-conditioning that brought out the capacity crowd.  In any event, it was great meeting so many folks from Huron County and trading stories about our travels around Ohio.

On Wednesday, July 27th, I will be speaking at the Ashland, Ohio, Public Library at 224 Claremont Avenue in Ashland.  The event starts at 7PM.  It is open to the public.  I hope to see you there.




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2 Responses to Using a Historic Boat To See The Lake Erie Islands

  1. Pig! says:

    A good while back you did a piece on a restaurant which I believe was East of Cleveland, possibly the Mentor or Willoughby area where the employees would belittle and pick on the customers sarcastically. Can you tell me the name and location?

    Many thanks

  2. Neil says:

    Sorry to be so long answering this but we wanted to check our records. We cannot find any story in our files of a restaurant you described. I find it hard to believe that a restaurant would long survive if employees were allowed to belittle customers. If you can be more specific about the story perhaps we can try again.
    Neil Zurcher

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