(redirected from ferryman)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to ferryman: Charon


A specially constructed vessel to bring passengers and property across rivers and other bodies of water from one shoreline to another, making contact with a thoroughfare at each terminus. The landing place for a boat. A right or privilege to maintain a vessel upon a body of water in order to transport people and their vehicles across it in exchange for payment of a reasonable toll. Technically a ferry is considered a continuation of a highway from one side of the body of water that it passes over to the other.

The privilege of handling a ferry is called a franchise. A ferry franchise is a permit from the state to a specifically named individual giving that person the authority to operate a ferry. It is a general prerequisite to the lawful establishment of a public ferry. The operator of a ferry is not relieved of the duty to obtain a franchise by formation of a company, since the franchise becomes a contract between the owner and the state.

Usually the grant of a ferry franchise implicitly gives the recipient the power to collect tolls. Ferriage is the fare that the ferry operator may charge. The unauthorized establishment of another ferry within competing distance of an already existing one constitutes an infringement of the ferry franchise, even in the absence of physical interference.

A ferry franchise can be terminated either by expiration of its term or by revocation by the licensing authorities. It is generally subject to renewal, for which the original owner is usually given a preference.

A public ferry is for use by the public at large, whereas a private ferry is operated solely for the benefit of its proprietor.

The state has intrinsic authority to regulate and control ferries that operate within its borders. It may exercise such power by law or by contract with the operator. The state may regulate the transportation of dangerous articles, the nature and frequency of service, and the location of terminals. In addition, it may impose a license fee or tax on the operation of ferries within its boundaries.


a legal right to charge for transporting passengers by boat. See REGALIA MINORA.
References in periodicals archive ?
Pay the Ferryman Porter is jet-black in colour with a dark-red hue and pours with a beige head.
Neville Shallcross, chairman of the Saltney Local History Group, said: "The last ferryman was Bob Manifold and I remember as a boy how he used to take us kids out on the ferryboat when the Dee bore was running and we'd ride the wave down the river.
Ofa Fainga'anuku has been on a long journey since his days as a ferryman in Sydney, taking in four months in Glasgow before arriving at Worcester
LinesOfBattleransixthin the Coventry Stakes behind DawnApproachbutitisThe Ferryman who catches the eye.
Both reflect the ancient Greek belief in a journey to the afterlife, complete with a trial, a river and a ferryman.
From the opening The Banks Of The Roses and The Ferryman, the band performed a wonderful catalogue of tunes, from reels and drinking songs to the occasional ballad.
Charon," for example, deals not with a ferryman taking the newly dead across the River Styx but with a bus driver who wants to change routes and go someplace new.
killing first the Quaker ferryman (who is drunk, and never awakes until
James Ferryman, a scientist at Britain's Reading University who is working on a flight security product, quoted by Reuters, August 11
As a ferryman, the narrator takes others with him on his quest for Nissim.
The ferryman Josip Poje sees it when he takes people and cargo across the water.