BOYNE CITY: Son of Van Dam Custom Boats founder named president

On Jan. 1, Ben Van Dam, the son of renowned boat builder Steve Van Dam, was appointed President of Van Dam Custom Boats in Boyne City.

Steve will stay actively involved with Van Dam Custom Boats in a supporting role for Ben and the rest of the talented crew as the business continues to grow, with his focus mainly on new business development.


Both, however, will be intent on maintaining the deep relationships they’ve created with their clients.

The company was founded by Steve in 1977, and has become known for building some of the finest wood boats produced in the world.

Ben started his “apprenticeship” as a small child, building his first boat with his father at age five.

He knew from the start that this was his chosen profession, and made the choices that would fulfill his dream.

After high school Ben earned an engineering degree in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering from the University of Michigan and worked part time in the test tank facility.

After graduating in 2005 Ben came back to the family business and developed into a project manager on several notable builds.

His woodworking skills coupled with systems knowledge and university training provide an exceptional background in order to propel the business into the future.

Ben intends to follow in the direction his father started, working toward developing innovative methods of building boats and creating a workplace that thrives on talent, with the collective goal of creating the finest wood boats in the world.

Van Dam Custom Boats is recognized as one of the premier wooden boat builders in the world; however, the company goes well beyond traditional building.

Their proprietary methods and in-house design capabilities create superior products, and their expertise has allowed them to build a wide variety of boat types; cruising and racing sailboats, power cruisers and runabouts, boats with classic proportions and boats that stretch the imagination.

The company also has full design services and a machine shop, including a CNC machining center, and fabricates the custom metal parts used in their boats.

Van Dam Custom Boats is currently building a 50 ft. power boat of its own design, a next-generation development of the famous Alpha Z from the design team at Michael Peters Yacht Design and a 30 ft. retro classic speed boat of its own design.


Steve Van Dam and his son Ben are pictured in this courtesy photo.
Steve Van Dam and his son Ben are pictured in this courtesy photo.