|The BoatTEST.com team is a group of highly trained
professionals, all of whom have years of experience
in their respective fields. These include writers,
editors, on-camera boating experts, field technicians,
cameramen, video editors, producers, and musicians...all
coming together to make the final content you
see here on BoatTEST.com. We hope you enjoy
their work as much as we enjoy working with
Hammond, Co-Founder and President
is a well-known figure in marine publishing
with more than 30 years in the field. He founded
Power & Motoryacht magazine
after serving as publisher of Boating,
chief editor of Motorboating and Sailing,
offshore racing editor of Yachting,
and managing editor of The Skipper
magazines. He founded Motorboat magazine in 1989,
and in 1990 started Motoryacht International,
which was published simultaneously in seven languages.
He has authored two books on yacht racing.
Over the years he has owned a number of powerboats,
from a 19’ outboard to a 90’ motoryacht.
||Lis Soltes, Integrated Content Manager
Lis is responsible for coordination and publication of all third party content and all builder content. With more than six years experience in online media management, Lis is also responsible for the production and distribution of the weekly BoatTEST.com electronic newsletter. Her background and training includes a degree in English, content management of global retail websites, and data management at Thomson.
||Capt. Steve Larivee, Senior Test Captain
Capt. Steve’s boating career started when he was spending time on the family boats while growing up on the coastline of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. During his teenage years he signed aboard a local deep sea fishing boat as mate. Within two years, he was promoted to senior mate. By 18 years of age, he started studying for his Captain’s exam and in 1980 he took his test at the Miami Regional Exam Center becoming one of the “youngest licensed Captain on the Eastern Seaboard”.Upon returning to Nantucket Sound, Capt. Steve would take over as Master of the same boat that he started his professional career on. Soon after, he would become owner of the company, taking part in its expansion with the purchase of a second deep sea fishing boat, and ultimately, a third boat for sightseeing.
As you might expect, throughout his professional career, Capt. Steve was among a diverse group of maritime professionals who had insights on nearly every topic of nautical life and would never hesitate to share their knowledge with him. After 25 years of working on the water, this wealth of information and insight became second nature, and formed the basis of the BoatTEST.com video boating course that has been written and produced by Capt. Steve.
||Capt. Robert Smith, Senior Test Captain
Capt. Rob is a lifelong boater who holds a USCG 100 Ton license and has tested over 1,000 boats, engines, and products over the last ten years. His experience allows him to see the differences in each new boat model that matters to our boaters. Prior to becoming a test captain, Rob worked for Mallinckrodt as a corporate trainer. Once he decided to pursue his true passion for boating, he joined the BoatTEST team as on-camera talent and boat test captain.
||Capt. John Wenz, Test Captain
John has a lifetime of boating experience, having grown up on Long Island Sound. He graduated from the New York Maritime College in 1980, and holds a USCG license as a deck officer on unlimited tonnage vessels, and holds a 200-Ton USCG Master’s License. He has been a professional captain since 1977, and has commanded sail and powerboats all over the world, including a stint as captain for a dinner cruise vessel in the busy harbor of New York City. He is particularly proud to have been tender captain for Dennis Conner’s successful Stars & Stripes America’s Cup team in 1987. John is an ABYC Standards-Accredited professional marine surveyor, and is a member of SAMS. He chairs a municipal government committee concerned with waterfront access, and sits on the board of state and regional marine trade organizations. John has been a member of the BoatTEST.com team of testing captains since 2002 and has tested over 100 boats during those years.
||Capt. Dan Armitage, Test Captain
Capt. Dan has been testing boats and writing reviews for over fifteen years for some of the best known boating magazines. His specialty is small fish boats and runabouts where he is one of the most experienced people test captains in the industry. Dan is also an original BoatTEST.com captains going back to the first days. Dan is an expert in analyzing the design and features of small trailer boats including all fishing rigs, pontoons, and bass boats.
Ron Svoboda, Test Captain
In his "other
life", Capt. Ron is actually an industrial
engineer with experience in both the maritime
and aerospace industries. He works with
us as an on-camera captain and field tester. Capt. Ron holds a USCG 100 Ton License.
||Steve Sylvia, Chief Video Editor
Steve Sylvia has been working with BoatTEST.com since opening up his post production company in Stamford in 2001.
Before that he spent years cutting spots in New York City with commercial editorial companies Boomtown, DJM and Shoot First.
He's done freelance work for HBO, A&E network, and Lifetime on promos as well as cable TV shows for ESPN and the History channel.
Corporate clients have included New York Life, Pitney Bowes and Volvo among others.
||George Grant, Project Manager
As the Project Manager, George is responsible for all logistical support of our on-water testing as well as all video production and on-line streaming of video. He also oversees the distribution and delivery of our video content throughout the entire BoatTEST network as well as to partner sites and social media portals. In addition to his degree in Communication -- Video Production, George’s experience encompasses several years behind the camera as an operator and director. He is an experienced editor working on projects such as short films and documentaries. George is also a boater, whose focus is tow boats with a passion for wakeboarding.
||Sunny Keth, Senior Consulting Programmer
Sunny is responsible for all site development and application development as well as integration with client based systems. Sunny's expertise is in design and functionality of global content delivery systems and user data management.
||Sambo Kong, Chief Programmer
Sambo is responsible for the daily operation of the global network as well as management of client support tools. Sambo ensures accurate delivery of our content to each member as well as all of the member functions and communications.
Rachel McLeggon, Online Content Assistant
Rachel’s role at BoatTEST is assisting with the content and editing. She builds model pages for each boat, assists with editing and proofing all Captain’s Reports and newsletters that are featured on BoatTEST.com. Rachel is also responsible for gathering and editing photos for all content. She is responsible for uploading boat model test results on model pages. She also provides BoatTEST’s content to dealers and distributors.
Rachel is from New Haven, CT. She graduated from Eastern Connecticut State University in 2012 with an English major and minor in writing.
Macdonald, Chief Financial Officer
Justine has been boating all of her life, starting out at six-months old nestled in a box
on the cabin sole of her parent’s 30’ sailboat crossing Block Island Sound. She began
sailing on her own at age 7 in an Optimist pram and single-handed across Long Island Sound
a year later. At 10 she discovered the joys of power boating and delighted in docking her
father’s twin-engine 30-foot flybridge fisherman at the local marina. At 12 she had her
own 19’ Grady-White with 150-hp engine and began a life of water sports and fishing.
She has cruised the east coast from Nova Scotia to the Grenadines in the Caribbean, and
has fished in the Caribbean, off the west coast of Mexico and Baja, Alaska and northern
Canada. She now owns a 22’ sportboat that she keeps in Norwalk, CT. Justine was
BoatTEST.com’s first employee in 2000 has the distinction of being here longer than
||Kurt Rotter, Senior Cameraman/Editor|
Kurt has spent more than 30 years creating a wide range of video productions. Specializing in boats and yachts, industrial, news, outdoors, medical, corporate, broadcast and web-based projects. Some of Kurt's clients include: Medtronic, Cargill Inc., General Mills, St. Jude Medical, Wells Fargo, The Langenfeld Foundation, Sight Creative, Fox Sports, SterileMed, ev3, Quest, 3M, Zenmation Multimedia, and BoatTEST.com.
He has covered the Winter Olympics, filmed many invasive surgeries, interviewed untold sports figures, politicians, musical superstars, top ranking foreign dignitaries, and corporate executives.
Kurt holds a degree in Video Communication and continues to take a wide variety of professional courses, in film making and the creative process.
Kurt grew up in a family steeped in traditions of outdoor activities, especially in the areas of sporting and all things boating and water related. His true passion lies in capturing (on film) any and all things outdoors.
||David Kaplan, Sr. Producer/Director
David has shot, produced, edited and directed content for ABC, NBC, CBS, ESPN, HBO Nickelodeon,
CNN, PBS, Discovery, A&E & History. He started his first TV production company at the age of 21
in Washington DC where he assisted with the launch of The Discovery Channel as well as providing edit
facilities for the launch of America's Most Wanted for FOX. His production and post-production
workflow experience have called for extensive worldwide travel for clients which include many of the
Fortune 500/100 as well as Gov't Agencies and Contractors. David has held Top Secret clearances
at the Pentagon for his work with the U.S. Army and Joint Chiefs of Staff. Most recently, David
oversaw the Quality Control Dept. for A&E and History Channel working with producers on shows such as
Storage Wars, American Pickers, Ice Road Truckers and Pawn Stars to name just a few.
A Graduate from Savannah College of Art & Design, Dan received a B.F.A. in Computer Graphics in 2001. Dan got his start in the industry as a camera operator/media specialist for Vision Media, a broadcast television and video production company located in CT. In 2005, Dan took a position as a senior video editor at Hi-Top Productions, a busy recording studio and video production house. In 2006, he left to continue building his own growing base of patronage. Dan founded Evolved Studio, his own production company specializing in a multitude of creative services including print, web and video. www.carneymedia.com
"Mr. Boston" Giglio, Cameraman
been involved in all technical aspects of
television production since graduation from
Boston University film school in 1986. As
a core member of ESPN's golf crew,
he's worked on nearly every show to be produced
at Nickelodeon Studios in Florida.
He also has numerous MTV and VH-1
concerts to his credit. He has been hit
with more than his fair share of seawater
blasts from jetboats, and his motto? "I
will let nothing stand in my way of getting
Kimelman, Cameraman and Director
onboard with us since our first video production
"GPS Navigation" in 1995. Dave's
been a camera operator, director and cinematographer
for 15 years. Along with his years of work
in the marine industry shooting for BoatTEST.com,
he is also highly regarded in the commercial,
music video and feature film arenas. His
music video credits include Rod Stewart
and U2, his commercial credits include
Snickers, Mercedes Benz, Coca-Cola, Ivory
Soap, Frito -Lay, Bacardi, Coors Light and
Carnival Cruise Lines. His feature film
credits include The Crew, TakeDown,
The Last Home Run and Curdled.