Wooden Boat Building Process


1. Discovery

What is your vision of the perfect boat?

Together we discover your dreams, ambitions and needs in your custom boat

Van Dam’s mission is to design and build the world’s finest wooden boats—period. For us, the pursuit of boating perfection means innovation using classic materials and cutting edge boat design. Our team consists of a select group of highly skilled boat designers and wood craftsmen, and the boat building process begins with initial client interviews. We'll uncover your dreams and build them into in reality.

Do you want to wine and dine on a custom wooden yacht, or blast down the lake in a powerful wood speed boat? Will you be living aboard your wooden vessel, or just taking a long weekend on the wood boat of your dreams? Our process begins with in-depth discovery to find the answers that will shape your future wooden boat. We will build a custom boat that fits your lifestyle and brings out the piece of you deep inside, that can only be released by the serenity of clear blue water - whether it is a lake or an ocean, at full speed or leisurely pace.


2. Design

Your custom wood boat is created using the latest in boat design technology.

Wooden boats have navigated the world's waterways for most of recorded history. In recent times, boat design improvements, innovations, and technical advancements have enhanced the development of the power boat and created the high standards of reliability and ease of operation that we enjoy today.

Van Dam has drawn on that well of knowledge and added to it the latest technical advancements in computer aided design to design its custom wooden boats. State-of-the-art 3D models also allow us to make accurate speed and power predictions and specify the correct engines for your required speed. 3D models also allow us to precisely check clearance and design layouts before boat construction begins, so you can preview your finished custom wooden boat before any lumber is milled.

All these capabilities are found “in house” at Van Dam Custom Boats, ensuring smooth translation from boat design to boat building.


3. Construction

Our mentality is simple: Do it right the first time! We don't cut corners, we don't skimp on details, and we don’t make decisions that compromise the integrity of our wood boats.

Master boat craftsmen transform the computer model into a dynamic work of art.

Since 1977, Van Dam has been successfully building custom wood boats with epoxy, employing various methods to maximize the strength and minimize the weakness of wood. In the right hands, wood is an excellent boat building material, and Van Dam has the right hands. Quality and superior craftsmanship are our highest priority, and our custom wooden boats will last for generations with proper love and care.

Learn more about our Construction Process


4. Delivery

Everything culminates into this moment you receive your custom boat - we strive to make it special.

Every meticulously crafted custom wood boat undergoes extensive sea trials and system testing prior to delivery, ensuring flawless execution for your maiden voyage. Even seemingly minor details, such as latches, drawers, faucets…each and every item gets checked. Only after this process is finalized and personally approved by Steve Van Dam will your custom wood boat or yacht be delivered.

At Van Dam, "delivery" means much more than just handing over keys—we spend as much time with you as you need to feel prepared; operating the boat, reviewing details, explaining how systems work, all so you feel at home in your new custom wood boat. Have questions down the line? Call us—we're always excited to chat with our friends. Local or international, we can deliver worldwide.

If you prefer to pick up your custom boat direct from our workshop, you can come in and experience the Van Dam shop and to talk with our team of boat builders and boat designers. Moral of the story - We cater to YOUR needs.