• Experienced Wooden Boat Builder

    Van Dam Custom Boats
    Job Description




    The crew at Van Dam consists of some of the most highly skilled wooden boat builders in the industry as well as young, keen people working through the company’s own apprenticeship program.  We are a creative, hardworking and happy bunch on a quest to build the finest wooden boats in the world. With a constant pursuit for perfection and the highest standards, Van Dam is renowned for the beautiful artwork of its boat building.


    By joining our team, you will be working on some of the most exciting and finest wooden boat building projects in the world with a small, dedicated team that has built a larger variety of wooden boats than anyone in North America.  It is a place where your contribution matters!  We have an expansive shop with state-of-the-art equipment and a culture that supports the people and the mission.  Our backlog stretches into 2023 with people around the world waiting for their chance to build their dream with this team.  Growth potential and training in the areas of project leadership, build management and technical knowledge is available, and it is expected that you will want to participate and take an active role in your growth. 



    Van Dam Custom Boats, one of the world’s premier wooden boat builders, is seeking a talented, energetic, and motivated addition to the team.  As an experienced member of our team, you will be expected to be fluent in all aspects of cold molded construction, from building frames and stringers, to laminating hull skins and exterior planking, to the different types of joinery commonly used in boat building to fairing surfaces without the need to add filler.  A thorough understanding of the structural challenges and concerns when working with wood and an attention to detail are expected.  Furthermore, the ability to shift from hull construction into interior construction and detailed woodworking for both painted and varnished surfaces will be expected.  Experience with electrical systems installation, mechanical systems installation and engine and drivetrain installation is desired.  Basic experience with composites is also desired.  In this role you will most typically be a part of an entire build project working on everything from the hull construction thru interior construction, helping in the metal and paint departments, and doing the final assembly.  You will also be occasionally bounced around as projects come in with smaller work lists that just need to be accomplished.  Day to day, you will report directly to one of the project managers, but you will also have oversight and consistent direct involvement with the president of the company.  You will be expected to bring good energy, enthusiasm and tenacity every day.  Active participation in everything from developing solutions for day-to-day challenges to the financials of the business and our monthly meetings is important and expected.  Compensation is commensurate with experience.


    Duties and Responsibilities

    • Live our fundamentals

    • Consistently perform high quality work in areas including but not limited to:

      • Hull and deck structural components

      • Laminating skins

      • Hull planking for bright finished hullsides and decks

      • Fairing surfaces

      • Cabinetry

      • Fine woodworking

    • Meet timelines set forth by the Project Manager or bring up issues early if not able to meet the timeline.

    • Learn our way first, then bring the benefit of your experience

    • Execute on tasks with little or no guidance (After proper instruction)

    • Be your own quality control and bring issues to the Project Manager when you see them 

    • Bring energy and enthusiasm

    • Be a contributing member of the team, able to take on multiple aspects of projects

    • Constantly improve your abilities

    • Take responsibility for your experience here

    • Willingness to work regular overtime (at 1.5x hourly wage)


    Requirements and Qualifications

    • Minimum 6 years’ experience building wooden boats

    • Significant experience and comfort with cold molding

    • ABYC familiarity (certifications desired)

    • Electrical and mechanical experience desired



    Located in beautiful Boyne City, Michigan on the shores of Lake Charlevoix, you will find four seasons of adventure. Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy boating and fishing on our many inland lakes and rivers as well as on the Great Lakes. Every snow activity imaginable is available at our three area ski resorts while biking, hiking, and camping are right in our back yard. We have great schools, reasonably priced housing, fabulous restaurants, a vibrant farm market, plus much more for people that value community and nature. 



    This position is offered as full-time, year-round employment. Applicants must have at least six years of cold molded boat building and woodworking experience. Any experience with related trades such as metalworking, finishing and mechanical systems are a plus.  We offer a comprehensive benefit package (check it out here) and generous compensation for proven experience.  And in case you missed them, we live our cultural fundamentals everyday – you can review them HERE.  We are on a mission!  Come join us!


    Please submit your letter of interest, portfolio of experiences, and references on our website at http://vandamboats.com/careers. 


    Contact Information

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