In 1972, when chartering was just beginning in The Caribbean, Ed sailed from England to Tortola to become one of the early managers for The Moorings. He started his own bareboat charter company two years later which eventually had a staff of over 50, operating a fleet of 55 yachts. He was involved in many different sides of the industry, including customizing charter yacht designs with Charlie Morgan, teaching sailing to ASA bareboat standard, working as a charter captain, and virtually everything in between.
In 1982 he moved to Maine with his wife Barbara and started Ed Hamilton & Co., the yacht charter brokerage. In the years that followed, Ed Hamilton & Co became the largest and most respected yacht charter brokerage in the industry, selling more yacht charter vacations than any independent broker worldwide.
In the 36 years he has been in the charter industry, Ed Hamilton has worked in every part of the business; from owning and running a major bareboat company in Tortola, to designing, skippering and maintaining charter yachts of all sizes. Ed and his wife Barbara used this experience to start Ed Hamilton & Co. which rapidly grew to be the biggest Caribbean charter brokerage in North America in the late ’80s and has now grown to include booking charters in destinations all around the world.
This success came via a unique approach to brokering charters. With his background in bareboats, Ed was keenly aware that customers always had the choice to book directly, so it was important to provide more information and better service than the bareboat companies’ own agents. Because Ed Hamilton & Co. isn’t tied to any one company, they can give an independent opinion on how boats and companies compare.
Impartiality became the company’s mantra, and Ed used the same philosophy when booking crewed yachts. Unlike most brokers who simply link to websites designed and written by the yachts themselves, we write many of our own descriptions of both crews and yachts. When we send you a selection of yachts based on your criteria, we’ve taken the time to consider your requirements carefully, and you can rest assured you’re getting unbiased advice from brokers who have personally visited the yachts and interviewed the crews.
As the company grew, Ed & Barbara selected a team who not only shared their approach to matching customers to the right yacht but arguably have more experience than any other team in yacht chartering today. In late 2007, Ed hired Steve McCrea as General Manager who ultimately purchased the company from Ed & Barbara when they retired in 2010.
Steve has been in the yacht charter industry for over 20 years and is very well known and well respected by Bareboat Operators, Crewed Yacht Managers and Crews around the globe. He grew up sailing the waters of the Penobscot Bay in Maine and began his career in the yacht charter industry as a salesperson with Sun Yacht Charters where he quickly moved into management. He oversaw the rebranding of Sun Yacht into Stardust and subsequently moved to Annapolis to manage the merger of Stardust into Sunsail. In short time, he was appointed General Manager of Sunsail USA before he came back to Maine several years later to become General Manager and ultimately President and Owner of Ed Hamilton & Co.
Being the biggest is only part of the story. The reputation we enjoy in the charter industry comes from the experience of our staff and their dedication to carefully handling every individual request. While we are best known for our knowledge of the Caribbean, our team has met crews, toured yachts, bareboat bases and sailed cruising grounds from Tonga to Turkey. We offer crewed and bareboat charters worldwide.
We look forward to helping you plan a vacation of a lifetime.