Our Origin Story
In 1999 Jeff Hammond and partner Chris Kelly conceived BoatTEST as the first streaming video boat review website in the industry. Both men were boat owners, had extensive experience at boating magazines, so had a firm idea of the kind of information boat owners needed and wanted. They also clearly saw that the Internet and streaming on-demand video was the future, and magazines and scheduled broadcast were soon to become dinosaurs. Sadly, Chris died of cancer in 2017.
For more than 20 years, BoatTEST.com has been the pioneer of streaming boat reviews on the web since it first started in 2000. BoatTEST has become the most trusted source for third-party tests and reviews of new powerboats and engines. We provide the most thorough data and opinions so boaters can make informed decisions about their next boat purchase. With more than 3,500 videos — tests, reviews, factory tours and interviews — BoatTEST is the world's largest online resource for new boat research.
BoatTEST’s daily newsletter “On The Water” published over 2000 reports, reviews and videos during 2022, making possibly the largest purveyor boating information of all types in the country. This prodigious production of content has been thanks to it 15 Content Partners with boating household names such as Southern Boating, Waterway Guide, Canadian Yachting and many more. Bringing those 2000+ articles and videos to life are over 15 dedicated staffers – most of who are behind the scenes who you can meet on these pages. We thank them all for their hard work and dedication.
Capt. Shelley is passionate about living the boating lifestyle and has made a career out of it. In addition to being a USCG Licensed Captain, she holds a Florida Yacht Broker License as well. When not testing and inspecting boats for BoatTEST, she can be founding haunting boatyards looking for her next liveaboard vessel, which she says will most likely be a 55’ powerboat.
Capt. Trip has an impressive background as a firefighter, outboard engine mechanic, boat rigger, fiberglass repair and restoration expert, and kayak safety teacher. Most importantly, he brings an irrepressible sense of good cheer, a passionate love for boating, and an infectious enthusiasm for life to the BoatTEST team.
For the past 15 years he has also worked in the boat industry getting to know boats inside, working for some of the most popular brands on the market. When working with boat buyers he draws on a lifetime of boating experience to guide boat buyers to the most appropriate boats for their specific applications.
“I’m thrilled to be a part of the BoatTEST team after years of seeing its reviews,” Capt. Justin said. “Most of the boat buyers I work with are very familiar with Boat EST, and many cases it was influential in their buying decision.”
“My passion for the yachting industry runs deep, and my goal is to provide unparalleled insight and support to clients looking to embark on the journey of luxury day boating or motor yachting. Having specialized knowledge in top-tier marine equipment including Mercury, Yamaha, Suzuki and Honda outboard engines, as well as inboard and sterndrive engines both gas and diesel, I can offer guidance beyond the normal point-and-see video walkthroughs. Because I have used most of the equipment being put on modern powerboats, I know the advantages and disadvantages of most equipment and gear. I look forward to providing valuable suggestions to guide boat buyers towards the best choices for an excellent boating experience.”
In 2009, he was initiated into the New Zealand Boat Show’s Hall of Fame for his many contributions to the sport. For more than 50 years, Barry has tested hundreds of boats for boating magazines he either worked for or started and is thoroughly comfortable with all types from small runabouts to large luxury motoryachts. Nevertheless, his heart has always been with offshore powerboat racing, even though he nearly died in one during an accident years ago. Barry will be testing boats along the Pacific Rim for BoatTEST.
Keep an eye out for the new team at BoatTEST because they will be making videos and writing reports to help with your boat and equipment buying.
Capt. Ken is an accomplished writer, having received several BWI awards and the John Burroughs Association certificate of commendation for his children's book, "NATURE SPY," published by Macmillan. He resides with his family on the Shrewsbury River in Monmouth Beach, NJ, where he enjoys boating on his 24-foot Grady White Explorer.
An avid boater and sailor herself, she and her husband currently own a 43’ sailboat that they cruise regularly.
Jeff has owned a number of boats over his career ranging from a 15’ sailboat to a 92’ motoryacht, with fishing and cruising boats in between from 19’ to 55’. He has sailed, raced and cruised all over the world in both sail and powerboats. He has written three books on boating, including one on the America’s Cup. In 2020, he founded and created Sovereign Boat Club, a premium boat club that is affordable and exclusive. He currently lives in Newport, Rhode Island and is a member of the New York Yacht Club.