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 them.
Jeff Hammond, Co-Founder and President

Jeff is a well-known figure in marine publishing with more than 46 years in the field. He founded Power & Motoryacht magazine after serving as publisher of Boating, chief editor of MotorBoating & Sailing, offshore racing editor of Yachting. 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 which he had built new to his specificications. He has boated all over the world in both power and sail boats, and had the pleasure of sailing to Bermuda years ago in a hurricane, which gave him a healthy respect for the sea. It was his vision in 1999 that created BoatTEST.com which was the first website in boating to stream video, as well as to give in-depth information that consumers need to know before buying a new boat. jeff@boattest.com
Capt. Steve Larivee, Director of Testing

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. For the last 10 years Capt. Steve has tested boats from 10' to 100' for BoatTEST.com and today probably has tested more current recreational powerboats than anyone on the planet. During the summer Capt. Steve usually takes a busman’s holiday to operate high-speed ferries from Cape Cod to Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard. He created the first and only Boating Video course that we know of which was serialized in BoatTEST.com for over 5 years.
Eric Colby, Test Captain

Eric Colby has spent the entirety of his 29-year career writing exclusively about the marine industry. He was the Senior Technical Editor at Boating Magazine and is a former Editor In Chief at Powerboat Magazine. Eric has won numerous awards in the Boating Writers International Annual Writing Contest and is a graduate of the Westlawn School of Yacht Design. A former offshore racer, Eric holds the “unofficial” title of fastest journalist on the water having run 172 mph in the 36’ Skater, Flight Club, at the 1000 Islands Poker Run in 2008.
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. Greg Thornton

Capt. Greg Thornton, has over 25 years of experience commanding both sail and powerboats in North America and abroad. He is a veteran boatyard electrical and mechanical technician and is currently working his ABYC Marine Systems Certification. He holds a 100 Ton USCG Master’s license.
Capt. 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.
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. Rachel@boattest.com
Justine 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 anyone else. jhammond@boattest.com
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.
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, Cameraman/Editor

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.
Dan Carney , Editor/Cameraman

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
Dave Kimelman, Cameraman

Dave's been 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.