Local News

April 27, 2009

New season, new owners for Ti Ferry


Fort Ti Ferry

TICONDEROGA — For those who want to learn how to run their own ferry, the Fort Ticonderoga Ferry across Lake Champlain is a good place to start.

That¹s what Michael and Alison Matot of Shoreham, Vt. figured when they bought the independent cable-ferry from David Floyd and Toby Leith and became successors to the Bullard family that owned it for decades before that.

"We decided it would be nice to serve the community," Mrs. Matot said Saturday as the ferry opened for the season. "We were so excited we didn't sleep last night."

The couple is handling the tasks on the ferry themselves, casting off and tying lines, collecting fees and parking cars and trucks on the ferry's 106-foot-long open deck.

Capt. John Porter is piloting the ferry, as he's done in years past, and the Matots hope to complete apprenticeships and get their own U.S. Coast Guard pilot's licenses someday.

The ferry itself is the Addie B, a diesel-powered tugboat with attached 94-ton steel barge. The barge is guided by two steel cables that lie submerged in the lake when the ferry isn't operating.

The ferry from Ticonderoga to Shoreham, Vt., can hold up to 18 cars, and a one-way trip takes about seven minutes. The ferry cuts an hour's drive to Middlebury, Vt., from Ticonderoga about in half.

The Matots didn't raise prices this year, so a one-way trip is still $8, and a round-trip ticket is $14.

"We wanted to keep it economical," Mr. Matot said. "We don't want to overprice the ferry."

Those who cross Lake Champlain on the Fort Ticonderoga Ferry are following a tradition that goes back to Colonial times, Mrs. Matot said.

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