The Van Dam Boats Episode Of American Craftsman

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Screen Shot 2015-05-03 at 8.14.44 PMWith Flipping Ships running on the air now, its a nice reminder of how a different style approach to Woody Boating can be produced. Now to be fare to the Flipping Ships guys, they need to shoot an episode a week, The American Craftsman episode took Months if not longer. But well worth the work. The guys at Van Dam are the best and it shows.

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You see it all, from blueprints to out on the water.

This is an older episode by the way, but well worth seeing agian or for the first time. It takes 45 minutes which is about 43 minutes longer than any other video on Youtube!

15 replies
  1. Troy in ANE
    Troy in ANE says:

    Looks like a GREAT episode.

    Don’t have the 45 minutes to watch it right now, but I am sure I will find the time.

  2. Sean
    Sean says:

    “Pretty Pattie” is probably my favorite boat from Van Dam… but, it’s so Dam hard to choose 🙂

  3. Carla
    Carla says:

    Who doesn’t love every Van Dam boat ever built!!! In Northern Michigan, we are blessed to be in such close proximity to “where the magic happens” with Vam Dam Custom Boats. Don’t ask me to pick my favorite as I would ponder my answer the entire day! On a side note, you won’t ever meet nicer people in your life!

  4. Bill Hammond
    Bill Hammond says:

    I have watched this episode 2 or 3 times. I’m always impressed with the absolute dedication to quality at Van Dam Boats. And of course it doesn’t hurt that they’re exquisite as well!

    Also watched the AC(? maybe it was NW Craftsmen?) episode on Stan Craft Boats. I would love to see similar treatment of Mayea Boats & Hugh Saint Boats.

  5. Cobourg Kid
    Cobourg Kid says:

    I happened to find this wonderful Video a couple years ago and it still resonates in my mind. It actually steps you through the entire building process and even provides a little delivery drama. Definitely NOT contrived in any way ,you get the real goods here and van dam it’s good . Instead of watching some half baked flippin show take 45 minutes to watch this instead I swear you can almost smell the varnish and exhaust through the screen .I’m giving this one 10 paint brushes up!

  6. Kentucky Wonder
    Kentucky Wonder says:

    Anne and I walked into their shop unannounced a few years ago, late on a Friday afternoon, yet Steve and Michel took time to give us a full tour of the place and talked with us at length about the building process. Truly kind and professional at the same time. And what they are building right now would leave Chris Smith, Gar Wood, Herb Ditchburn, Earl Barnes and many other boat builders VERY impressed. Maybe even a little jealous. “Geronimo” is still the dream boat for us.

  7. Jimmy
    Jimmy says:

    Also many of you may have seen the commercial for craftsman around Christmas time featuring Van Dam Boats. Also a few years ago there was a Jeep commercial featuring a guy restoring a 17′ sportsman. One several years ago there was a Great lakes vacation commercial they were going down a road with water on both sides towing a Continental or Holiday and a guy skiing behind it.

  8. David
    David says:

    My family was in Boyne City a few years ago for an anniversary/reunion, and I called to see if we could have a tour. They welcomed us with open arms, and gave us the full tour. They were fully aware that we were not buyers, but were definitely connoisseurs of wooden boats and Van Dam’s fantastic craftsmanship.

    Their quality is second to none, and so is their hospitality.

    Thanks again Steve and Michel (and crew) for a memorable day. I would love to go back!

  9. floyd r turbo
    floyd r turbo says:

    Did Paul Harrison have anything to do with supplying the trailer for Sempre Avanti ?

  10. Chris B
    Chris B says:

    I have been lucky enough to visit the shop twice now and enjoy every minute. they are great people who do great work.

  11. Ianin
    Ianin says:

    The attention to detail from all planking construction from one log, book matched deck and side planks to polished clear coat finishes to custom made hardware and hi tech hull design utilizing step hulls; no two boats are a like; my favourite boat is Alpha Z. They are gracious hosts who strive for perfection and I think they have achieved this

  12. floyd r turbo
    floyd r turbo says:

    No question Van Dam shop is top shelf and what a great video. As we watched the trailer break down, my wife and son laughed and said, “Oh hell, we’ve done that” as they loaded “Sempre Avanti” on the flatbed. 6 yrs ago for a spring break project, my 15 yr old son had swapped out a problematic CC 283 V8 out of one ski boat into another. In order to clear the transom, the gantry lift could only go so far, so he removed the trailer wheels to get the boat low enough to clear the engine for removal. After getting it all back together and attending the boat show that weekend, my wife and daughter hauled the boat back 100 miles while we attended the after show cocktail party. My wife called 5 miles from home saying the trailer was swerving and the wheel was flopping around when I told her to pull over. All but one wheel lug had been sheared off (probably because they weren’t tightened when the engine was removed). That about as close as we’ll get to a Van Dam procedure.

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