Holland’s boat building tradition took root in the 1840s, as Dutch immigrants crafted flatboats and watercraft for residents. Just a century later, the city’s commercial boat building industry flourished.The innovation of fiberglass reinforced plastic changed the traditional structure of boats, revamped the industry and recreated the blueprint for U.S. pleasure boats following World War II. The Roamer Boat Company’s masterfully welded sheet steel cabin cruisers led to the 1955 purchase by the Chris-Craft Corporation to create the Roamer Boat Corporation. Local craftsmen, like the Jesiek brothers, found the transition from furniture building to boat building seamless. But with the success of larger manufacturers, smaller boat shops declined. Geoffrey Reynolds explores the story of Holland’s unique legacy of maritime craftsmanship.
Boats Made in Holland: A Michigan Tradition is available at:
The book is available for online purchase from The History Press.