Newport Beach, CA, September 20, 2009 --(PR.com
)-- Visitors at the 31st annual Lido Yacht Expo in Newport Beach will have the opportunity to come aboard and tour Wild Goose, a 136-foot yacht once owned by John Wayne.
After exploring Wild Goose, showgoers can rest their feet for a while and watch classic John Wayne films, which will be screened continuously aboard the vessel throughout the duration of the show. Wild Goose will be open to all show visitors each day of the event until 3 p.m., with staff on hand to answer questions about the vessel.
Built in 1942 in Seattle, the wooden vessel was commissioned as a Navy minesweeper and spent time in the Aleutian Islands during World War II. In 1965, Wayne bought the vessel for $116,000 and turned it into his own private cruising yacht, adding a master stateroom, a children’s stateroom, a wet bar and a poker table. The overhead in most of the interior was raised by 6 to 8 inches, to accommodate The Duke’s 6-foot, 4-inch frame.
Wayne used Wild Goose for events, family vacations and poker games with celebrities including Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., and Bob Hope. He enjoyed cruising aboard the vessel to many West Coast destinations, including Alaska, Cabo San Lucas, British Columbia and Catalina Island, where he took his last voyage aboard the vessel in April 1979, two months before his death.
“Wild Goose has been an icon in Newport Harbor for nearly 50 years,” said Duncan McIntosh, producer of the Lido Yacht Expo.
Numerous sources have reported seeing The Duke’s ghostly image wandering the vessel. Lynn Hutchins, a Los Angeles attorney who purchased Wild Goose from Wayne in 1979, told the National Enquirer that he saw Wayne’s ghost twice and “felt his spirit nearby many times.”
Today, Wild Goose still cruises around Newport Beach as the flagship charter vessel for Hornblower Cruises. In 2007, members of Wayne’s family gathered aboard for a party to celebrate what would have been the Duke’s 100th birthday.
The 31st annual Lido Yacht Expo will take place at Lido Marina Village, located at Via Lido and Newport Boulevard in Newport Beach, one block south of Pacific Coast Highway. Show hours are: noon to 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 24 and Friday, Sept. 25; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 26; and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 27. Admission is $12 for adults and free for children 12 and younger. Free parking and continuous free shuttle service will be available.
The Lido Yacht Expo is produced by the Duncan McIntosh Co. Inc., publisher of The Log Newspaper, Boating World and Sea magazines, and producer of the Newport Boat Show.