You know it's going to be an interesting show when event organizers talk about mounted guns and cannons.
No, this isn't some weapons expo coming into town (or to the bay, for that matter).
It's the second annual Wooden Boat Festival in Newport Harbor, and among the draws will be a World War II-era air-sea rescue boat — as ready to fight as it was more than 60 years ago.
Organizers said they have more room on the water and more dry-dock exhibits this year. While boats won't be for sale, wooden-hull enthusiasts say there will be plenty of nautical history there to make it worth the price of admission.
"What do you think is prettier, a hunk of plastic or a piece of finely varnished wood?" asked Stephen Kincaid, commodore of the Wooden Hull Yacht Club, which is essentially a group of wooden boat owners. "Wooden boats sail with a soul. They don't bounce across the water like a ping pong ball. They cut through the water."
Among other draws will be the Irving Johnson, an unmistakable tall ship that reaches rises nearly 90 feet high. Price of admission includes a ride to the Irving Johnson and a tour.
It's that sort of craftsmanship that stokes the enthusiasts' passion.
"A wooden boat was built and not manufactured," Kincaid said. "Every piece was cut, fitted, screwed and bolted. It wasn't just fiber glass chopped and put into a mold and voila, you have a boat."
The gathering is sort of like a classic car show — only on the water.
"We're basically the only ones left taking care of them," he added.
For folks looking for the latest in today's sailing though, there's the Lido Yacht Expo, Sept. 23 to Sept. 26 at Lido Marina Village.
If You Go
What: The 2010 Wooden Boat Festival
Where: American Legion Yacht Club, 215 E. 15th St. in Newport Beach
Parking: A shuttle is available from Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian, 520 Superior Ave., Newport Beach
When: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Oct. 2
Price: $10 general admission with children 8 and younger free
Information: http://www.thewoodenboatfestival.com or (949) 673-5002