Boats Made in Holland: A Michigan Tradition

The new book by Geoffrey Reynolds, Boats Made in Holland:  A Michigan Tradition, will be published and available for purchase by The History Press on May 7, 2018. This is Reynolds’ first book after many years of research and publishing of articles on the subject.

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.

The book is available at Holland, Michigan book sellers like the Holland Museum, Reader’s World, The Tine Ceiling, Holland Ace Hardware, Hope-Geneva Bookstore, and Barnes and Noble as well as online at

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