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A Solution for the Crowded Waters of Newport Bay

Newport Beach city councilmember Marshall Duffield has a new plan to ease congestion on Newport Bay: The Ocean Loop.

The Ocean Loop is a planned system of electromagnetic rails installed on the bottom of the harbor that will allow vessels with a corresponding magnetic hull strip to travel along the rail’s predetermined route. The plan was conceived with the help of Elon Musk, and is loosely based on his Hyperloop technology. Rental boats, as well as private vessels, will be able to use the system.

Newport Bay map
The redesigned Newport Beach Ocean Loop will increase both capacity and safety for Southern California boaters.

Boats traveling on the loop will be able to detach from the set route at popular spots (see graphic), such as the Winery, the Cannery, the Fun Zone and rental facilities. Tourists and locals alike will be able to cruise the bay, free to drink and sightsee, unencumbered by the responsibility of driving.

The new system will run at 4 mph, slightly under the maximum 5-mph limit in the bay. A light scheme, similar to land-based traffic lights, will be installed in congested areas to avoid collisions near the Balboa ferry, the charter boat docks and the entrance to the Rhine Channel.

A source close to the entrepreneurs reports their only disappointment was eliminating plans to run the loop around the Newport entrance buoy, due to unpredictable weather outside the harbor. Inspired by the Finding Nemo submarine ride while visiting Disneyland with his grandchildren, councilmember Duffield contacted Musk and explained his plan. Musk enthusiastically embraced the challenge; shortly after their first meeting, he and Duffield got to work.

Leveraging past projects, the technology was surprisingly easy to develop. Both men tapped their extensive networks to expedite the approval process. The plan garnered the enthusiastic support of the Coastal Commission, the Army Corps of Engineers, the US Coast Guard and city planners. The Coast Guard, in particular, is excited by the idea, and is reportedly planning a feasibility study to see if other harbors can utilize the technology.

The “Fully Operating Ocean Loop,” as it has been named, will take about three years and $210 million to construct. The city will supply the rails and sell the electromagnetic strips to those who wish to take advantage of this new attraction. Costs are expected to be recouped by sales of the strips and a transponder that is similar to a FasTrak pass. Both will be available starting April 1, 2021.

Yeah . . . April Fools again! This story was also completely fabricated. 


  1. Pat McIntosh 4 years ago

    You did it to me again! but for less time than last year. Thanks for the uplifting moment.

  2. Dave Mosby 4 years ago

    Thanks for the uplifting humorous jab . . . now about the Delta!?

  3. Roger Briggs 4 years ago

    I think this is great, as the skipper as well as the whole crew will be able to throw down many cold ones while being on the magnetic grid (would be great for the xmas parade as well). I am assuming, that of course, the skipper will be able to push the “home” button and the underlying vessel will then detour to said vessel’s slip automatically, arriving just about the time the skipper and crew pass out.

  4. Gus van Driel 4 years ago

    Great and creative effort by Lat38’s editors! Well done.

  5. Rick 4 years ago

    Fully Operational Ocean Loop – F-O-O-L

  6. Leslie 4 years ago

    You didn’t get me for even a second…but good for a laugh…
    BTW..why would you even need a captain with this system?

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Maritime Learning
As we shelter in place and catch up on our reading, studying, streaming and viewing, it occurs to us that it is like we are having a second winter season.