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2024 Newport Beach Wooden Boat Festival Celebrates “The Art & Craft of the Wooden Boat”

NEWPORT BEACH— Set against the picturesque backdrop of Newport Harbor, the eighth annual Newport Beach Wooden Boat Festival is poised to celebrate the timeless allure of wooden boats with its theme “The Art & Craft of the Wooden Boat.” Scheduled for June 7-8, the festival promises attendees an immersive experience in the world of wooden boat craftsmanship and artistic expression. Tickets to the event range from $15- $175 depending on the package.

This year’s festival invites visitors to explore the intricate artistry and craftsmanship exemplified by the magnificent watercraft. From the fine woodworking techniques to the artistic details adorning each vessel, attendees will have the opportunity to witness firsthand the passion and dedication that goes into creating these floating works of art.

Along the shoreline near the Balboa Yacht Club, craftsmen will showcase their skills and the tools of their trade, offering insights into the meticulous care required to maintain these boats in pristine condition. The festival lineup promises a diverse array of activities and attractions for attendees of all ages. While most wooden boat entries come from Southern California, the event does have entries from Oregon, the San Francisco Bay/Sacramento Delta and San Diego.

“We expect to have up to 30 classic wooden boats in slips and displayed on the land,” said Stephen Paljieg, the Newport Beach Wooden Boat Festival chairman. ”Many of the boats have a rich, storied history, including Sovereign, an 85’ Broward Raised Pilothouse originally built in 1961 for the famous actress Judy Garland.  We have added additional docks in front of the Balboa Yacht Club to accommodate all the great boats attending.”

For those with a love of art, the festival will feature Plein Air Artists, painters who specialize in creating their artwork outdoors, directly in the natural environment, to capture the beauty of the boats against the backdrop of Newport Harbor. Attendees can observe as these artists bring the wooden vessels to life on canvas, highlighting their elegance and charm.

Additionally, guests can explore a model boat exhibit, for a glimpse into the intricate details of wooden boat construction. From hull designs to rigging techniques, the exhibit offers a fascinating insight into craftsmanship.

As the day unfolds, visitors can listen to guest speakers share their tales and experiences, offering unique perspectives on the world of wooden boats. From maritime historians to seasoned sailors, these speakers will provide fascinating insights into the history, artistry and allure of wooden boat culture.

The highlight of the festival will undoubtedly be the opportunity to step back in time and cruise aboard “America,” a replica of the iconic 139-foot yacht that left an indelible mark on sailing history. As attendees embark on this historic vessel for an hour-and-a-half cruise, they will have the chance to experience firsthand the elegance and grandeur of wooden boat sailing, evoking a sense of nostalgia for a bygone era.

The 2024 Newport Beach Wooden Boat Festival promises to be a celebration of the art and craft of wooden boats, honoring their rich heritage and timeless beauty.

“We hope that the general public and boat lovers alike will really enjoy this year’s festival celebrating the ‘Art & Craft of The Wooden Boat,’” said Paljieg. “We’ve re-imagined the festival and added a whole new set of exciting activities and exhibits to immerse attendees in the world of classic wooden boats and complement the works of floating art on the water. Come for the boats and stay for the day.”

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