Boat Owner Reviews
A Van Dam boat owner is a member of an elite crowd. One that understands quality and what it takes to execute it. Once on the water, they know the extra effort was worth it and a more vibrant experience was gained. At Van Dam Custom Boats, we pride ourselves in helping people achieve their dreams and become members of our club. We welcome you to take a peek at what life is like as a member of the Van Dam custom wood boat club.
"This boat is a wonderful testament to the durability of Van Dam’s construction techniques and quality."
Star was launched in 1982 and I have owned her since 1996. Every time I climb inside I marvel at the wood working and the condition the boat is in. There are the normal bruises from years of use but the structure is as sound as the day it was built. Doors still fit perfectly, nothing moves or creaks while sailing, the bilge is clean enough to eat out of, and there is not crack in the hull. This boat is a wonderful testament to the durability of Van Dam’s construction techniques and quality. And yes, there is no doubt my next boat will be a Van Dam!
- Owner - Star
"Something unique… this is where Van Dam really excels."
I wanted something unique—unique to the point of being one of a kind (Is that redundant?), and this is where Van Dam really excels. With Van Dam, it is not just “Sure, we can do that!” but more like “let’s take a look at it (on the computer) and see how it looks, how it works, what are the implications…” While your quality is again “a given,” I think that the strength and importance of the interplay of your craftsmanship and technical resources is too easily overlooked.
Just take Jacqueline out, put her up on plane, trim her out, open her up, take your hands off the wheel and you will see what I mean.
Step bottom, custom engine, custom Arneson surface drive, custom ratio gear box, put them all together and few other builders would know where to begin, much less understand the complex interplay of the components. Oh yes, I forgot, let’s finish it off with a carbon fiber drive shaft.
I won’t take any more of your time up with this other than to point out that she came in on budget, on time—virtually unheard of in the world of custom (and I mean custom) boats. If you want a boat like your brother-in-law’s, don’t bother with Van Dam; but if you want something truly unique, take a trip to Boyne City.
- Chris Freihofer (Jacqueline)
"Our Van Dam is a creative masterpiece admired by all who see her."
We were looking for a custom designed boat to float on the St. Lawrence River. We found it at Van Dam. From the emergence of Luv-N- It to the finished product, we dealt with a dedicated group of professionals who attended to details, answered questions and gave us seasoned advice to help us on our "custom" journey.
Our Van Dam is a creative masterpiece admired by all who see her.
She is our custom boat come true
- Owner - Luv-N-It
"The most beautiful boat on the lake!"
I drove to Boyne City to visit the Van Dam shop because I was looking for a special boat that I would use and cherish for a lifetime. After visiting the shop and seeing their work, I knew that Steve and his team would produce a boat with the utmost attention to detail and with the best available technology. But more importantly, I felt they would listen to my needs and wants, but would not let me make a mistake. They gave me confidence every step of the way. It was a delightful process working with them.
The result was Nokomis. She is strong, fast, and well-balanced. She can corner like a jet ski at high speed when you want to make your guests smile. She attracts attention wherever my wife and I go.
She is the center of our social life on Geneva Lake.
From cocktail cruises to watching sailboat races to shuttling people to concerts on the lake, she handles it all. The surprise has been that the boat has needed remarkably little maintenance over the seven seasons on the water. She’s been back only once for a “buff and puff.” We keep her on a lift under a canopy with side curtains and she’s ready to go at a moment’s notice. It also doesn’t hurt that I get glowing comments about her at every boat show I take her to. She is a standout!
I'll never forget the day she was launched. An older gentleman stood and watched us unwrap Nokomis and set her up to be dropped in the water. When she was going in, the gentleman signaled my wife to come over and said, "You win!" To her confused look he added, "The most beautiful boat on the lake!" I know I feel that way still, and believe I always will.
- Charles L. Colman (Nokomis)
"Beautiful mix of art and engineering…"
Everything about working with the Van Dam organization was first-rate. I often tell people of their commitment to excellence and that they have that beautiful mix of art and engineering—of conceptual elegance mixed with the pragmatic know-how to effect it.
- JZ Morris (Patrician)
"Knowing I had the best."
- Greg Fisher (Chiara)
WOW’s on and off the water.
The best place to go with your idea for a dream boat is Van Dam Custom Boats. We were impressed as much with the total experience as we were with the end result. WOW’s on and off the water.
- Owner - Chocolate Chip3