Building Boats and Friendships


A Van Dam custom boat is unique in appearance, design, feel and experience. Whether you’ve spent weeks, months, or even years flipping through magazines, searching the Internet or just watching boats whiz by, you are finally making your dreams come true by contacting Van Dam, ready to make your boat a reality. From the moment you walk thru the doors at Van Dam, you are treated with the highest level of service. This is the way you should feel when investing in your dream, that and the excitement of knowing your dream boat is becoming a reality. Even before signing on the dotted line, you are assured you and your dream will be taken care of.

Throughout the entire process, start to finish, you are included in every detail. Design conversations are just that, conversations among friends. Every staff member at the Van Dam shop takes the golden rule to heart: “ Treat others as you wish to be treated.” Why can’t every purchase be this way?! You never miss a beat in the build process, from meetings around the custom-made wooden conference table and discussions as the crew stands the frames, to the actual roll over of your boat; you are kept in the loop with each new development. And whether near or far, you are sent pictures illustrating each step in the process.Catnip_3008.3.25.16

“I think the best part of owning my Van Dam was being involved in the design – and after watching it being built, knowing I had the best.” – Greg Fisher (Chiara)

When building a home, you can run into issues such as changes you are told you need to make, or changes you want that cannot be made, and overcharges can cost a fortune. At Van Dam their specialty care and patience helps prevent these headaches (and Scan35heartaches). Receiving weekly communication can ease your mind while awaiting the final product. You are able to zoom in on each new advancement in the project.

From the very beginning, Steve knew how to treat those trusting in him to build their dream. Reflecting on his time with the Van Dam’s, Steve Hansen, the first owner of Silvan, (one of the very first Van Dam builds), recalls, “While minimal, my involvement in the building process gave me a feeling of participation. My family spent summer vacations in Charlevoix and the boat was being build just north of nearby Harbor Springs. I would spend part of the day ordering desired hardware from Steve’s catalogs, or crouching in the hull deciding with Steve, where or how big furniture elements should be.” This business transaction aSilvan18nd demonstration of trust resulted in a life-long friendship. Hansen still pops into the shop from time to time to see the most current projects.

It is important to the Van Dam crew that you, the owner, are happy with every aspect of your boat. As our president (Ben Van Dam) stated in a previous blog: “Striving for perfection is an on-going goal for Van Dam.” We continue to do this not only with our boats, but in our relationships as well, from customer-builder relationships, to workplace relationships. Having happy people from all ends of the spectrum is what makes Van Dam a successful business. Doing what we love to do and making people happy, that is a dream come true!


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