Mackinac Island ferry is having a new vessel built

ONAWAY, Mich. (AP) — Shepler’s Mackinac Island Ferry is having another vessel constructed to take passengers to and from one of Michigan’s top tourist destinations.

The company says the $4 million ferry is being built by Moran Iron Works of Onaway. It’s scheduled to start operating in summer 2020.

The 210-passenger boat will be wheelchair accessible and have an aft deck for luggage, bikes and strollers. Instead of propellers, the vessel will have four jet drives intended to provide a quieter, smoother and faster trip.

Moran Iron Works previously built another ferry for Shepler’s, the 281-seat Miss Margy, which was launched in 2015.

The new ferry will be assembled over the next several months and taken by trailer to a deep-water port in Rogers City, then sailed to Shepler’s facility in Mackinaw City.