The Catalina Flyer, which ferries passengers between Newport Beach and Santa Catalina Island, has managed to avoid a long-term service disruption, which grew out of a mandatory state environmental law that required that it replace the engines on its catamarans.

The company announced that the 500-seat boat will be replaced by a smaller vessel on Sept. 20, and that the boat will not have to disrupt service for a number of months, as initially anticipated.

"The new boat is much smaller, so reservations become very important," an announcement on the company's website says. "There will be some days when we might turn away passengers without reservations."

Because of the small quarters, no bicycles or coolers will be allowed on board the new boat.

The Flyer competes with the Catalina Express, which operates from Long Beach, San Pedro and Dana Point.

Due to a relatively new environmental law, the 500-passenger catamaran must replace a pair of engines, something owners plan to do between now and the beginning of next year.

— Tom Ragan