At Van Dam we are known for the use of a modern construction method referred to as “cold molding” (in which the term cold actually refers to room temperature.) A room temperature cure epoxy adhesive is used to laminate many thin layers of wood planks, which will create the hull. Typically three layers of this planking are used in a hull.
Steve began his venture with cold molding (then a newer construction method) and the use of modern adhesives with his apprenticeship in Canada. Apprenticing under Vic Carpenter, Steve was introduced to the latest method of building wooden boats, which allowed Steve to sharpen his current skills and expand his knowledge base.
By using the many benefits of wood and epoxy adhesives, we are able to engineer all the structural members, joints, and skin. This creates a wooden boat that is strong, durable, and stable. Also, by constructing the boat in this fashion we are able to get maximum strength with minimum weight. The hulls are tough and resistant to damage and rot.
Planks are made thin enough to be able to bend and fit any shape without any steaming. Each plank (also called veneer) is flat and has even thickness throughout the piece. The width will depend on the curve needed for the hull. This lends a great flexibility in the hull’s shape.
Although there are several different methods for constructing a wooden boat, we find that this particular method gives us the strongest and most durable boat we can build. With regular maintenance and care, our boats can last a lifetime without any major overhaul.
A Van Dam is truly unique from the very beginning.