Despite talk of a double-dip recession lingering and the economy grinding along, the annual luxury-fest known as the Lido Yacht Expo will be anchoring in Newport Harbor in a few short weeks.
"Life is all about choices," said Duncan McIntosh, organizer of the annual event, which is marking its 32nd year. "If you're into boating, you'll sacrifice in some other areas to afford it."
The boat show brings in the well-to-do from all over Southern California who are looking to add a new vessel to the fleet or replace an aging one. But there's plenty to amaze a young man or woman with aspirations of one day owning a yacht.
Organizers expect to have about 200 boats from 30 to about 100 feet, with the average-sized yacht between 45 and 50 feet. Some can cost millions, while others are only in the tens of thousands of dollars, officials said.
The hook for boat owners looking for an upgrade has been in improved technology. No longer does a captain have to look at multiple monitors, each assigned a single purpose.
"The electronics and navigation equipment is all integrated," McIntosh said. "You have one to three screens on a big boat with all kinds of things that feed into them, not dedicated screens for all of them."
McIntosh said boat owners were surprisingly active during the spring show, called the Newport Boat Show. That's typically the larger yacht exhibit, but he hopes the buying momentum carries into the show later this month.
"It's been conspicuous consumption in past years. Maybe some of that is backing off this year," he said. "(The economy) hasn't let up for a year or two. We keep putting one foot in front of the other."
IF YOU GO
What: 32nd Lido Yacht Expo
Where: Lido Marina Village, 3424 Via Oporto in Newport Beach
When: Noon to 7 p.m. Sept. 23; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sept. 24-25, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sept. 26.
Cost: $12 for adults, free for children 12 and younger
More information: http://www.lidoyachtexpo.com or call (949) 757-5959