Ferry operator Riverside Marine will run services to Station Pier.
A new commuter and tourist ferry service running from Wyndham Harbour in Werribee South to Station Pier is likely to be running by 2015 with an operator locked in and the plan to be included in the state government's upcoming transport strategy.
But the service is unlikely to have a big impact on the heavily congested West Gate Bridge, with the boat trip across the bay to begin small.
The company Port Phillip Ferries has been registered and negotiations with Queensland ferry operator Riverside Marine are being finalised to deliver the new service.
The ferry service is being organised by Lyons Capital, which is behind the Wyndham Harbour development at Werribee South.
Greg Miller of Lyons Capital said there initially would be two ferries connecting to Station Pier, with a return ticket to cost about $22.
''Travelling at about 25 knots you could get into Station Pier in around 40 minutes,'' he said.
''We believe it is viable. There is a large component of the service being linked to both tourism and down the track a strong catchment of commuters,'' Mr Miller said. He hoped the ferries could eventually come into Docklands if speed limits were adjusted on the Yarra River.
He said if the speed limit was not increased ''we are more than happy to go to Station Pier because connecting to the 109 tram … that still is very viable,'' he said.
Mr Miller said Port Phillip Bay was ''an obvious source of transportation'' and they hoped to be in operation by Australia Day 2015.
''At this stage our modelling is having two ferries operating in both the morning and the afternoon doing the commuting to and fro, starting at Wyndham Harbour going to Station Pier,'' he said.
Mr Miller said a 226-passenger, 25-metre vessel had been chosen for the route that would include television and free Wi-Fi and was chosen to reduce the likelihood of sea sickness in the bay.
''Riverside call it the V-factor, the vomit factor. What you will find with a 25-metre hull is while there may be some movement, because it is sitting up proud out of the water and it is a twin-hulled Supercat, it will just glide through,'' he said.
Mr Miller said tourists would be a key market for the new service. ''We're looking at a partnership with the Werribee Open Range Zoo,'' he said.
He said the zoo was aiming to double its visitor numbers in coming years and ''something like the ferry is intrinsically linked to underpinning that growth''.
Mr Miller said the ferry service would be self-funded with no subsidy from government.
He said they were planning bigger ferries capable of carrying 400 passengers when the service was expanded.
The RACV's Brian Negus said it was sensible to begin with ferry services that integrated tourists and commuters.
He said the ferry service would face challenges, including a long journey time to the CBD if forced to dock at Station Pier and competition from the Regional Rail project that will expand services in the west.
But he added: ''This is probably a good way to start.''