About Us

The Sonny-S is an iconic and historical part of Middle Bass Island. In 1948, Middle Bass resident Charles Schneider commissioned J.W. Nolan and Sons of Erie, Pennsylvania to build the steel vessel to replace his older wooden commercial fishing boats. Since being launched in 1948, the Sonny-S has called Middle Bass her home port.

Sonny-S illuminated by the sunset's glow.

Off and on for over thirty years (between 1948 and 1981) the Sonny-S served as a commercial fishing vessel in the Ohiowaters of Lake Erie. The crew mainly fished for perch. In 1961, the Sonny-S took on a new role as a passenger ferry. The 50.5' vessel began providing visitors passage between Middle Bass and downtown Put-in-Bay. The early 1980's brought retirement from commercial fishing, and transporting passengers between the two communities became her sole duty. Today, the third and fourth generation descendants of Charles Schneider carry on the legacy. The Sonny-S continues to offer seasonal passenger ferry service between Middle Bass and Put-in-Bay.

View of Sonny-S from an elevated position.

A 228 hp Detroit Diesel 671N powers the Sonny-S and generates a familiar sound for the people of the islands. The Sonny-S is USCG inspected, and all of her captains are licensed by the USCG.

Over the years, the Sonny-S has witnessed a tremendous amount of island history. We are glad that you are now a part of our wonderful island tradition!