338’ Père Marquette Ferry

Between 1897 and 1947, the Pere Marquette operated a total of 13 ferries on Lake Michigan, running between Ludington, Mich. and Milwaukee, Manitowoc and Kewaunee, Wis.  Many of these ferries were similar in design: this model captures the features of most of them. They were steamers with dual engines, capable of 14 knots and able to handle winter storms on Lake Michigan. In the 1920s they began carrying automobiles as well as freight.

 

According to Pere Marquettes Lake Michigan Car Ferries (http://www.carferries.com/pmfleet/) “These ships were then an efficient means of bypassing the congested rail yards in Chicago.  They plied routes varying between 60 and 97 miles in length, and were often plagued by violent storms and heavy ice.  Given the fact that most of the cross-lake runs were made at speeds of 12 to 14 miles per hour, a remarkable volume of freight was carried.  In those fifty years the Pere Marquette car ferries made well over 160,000 lake crossings and transported roughly 4.5 million railroad cars loaded with over 75 million tons of freight. . .  They also carried approximately 1.6 million passengers and after the mid-1920’s, about 380,000 automobiles.”

 

Lifeboats and skylights are resin castings. Railings and stairways are photo-etched brass, with railings made to a scale 1.5” diameter. All other structures and details above the main deck are 3D printed.

Dimension are 25.5” (647 mm) in length; 4.2” (107 mm) in beam; and approx. 7.5” (190 mm) in height

The car deck is covered which presents some modeling challenges. I’ve modeled three of the four tracks, leaving one track off for automobiles. If you order a completed model, you must specify what code and brand of track. Main houses can be made to lift off in case of derailments; this is an extra cost option.

The kit is $450. A completed model with tracks is $1250 plus the cost of track; the lift-off option is $125 extra. Shipping and insurance are additional. Payments are preferred through PayPal to peterknolan@gmail.com; other arrangements can be made.