Beyond the Camera with A.J. Hammer

A.J. Hammer lives life in the public eye, but when he needs to hit reset, he goes to sea.

A.J. Hammer
A.J. Hammer at the helm.

Yachtsmen always find the bright side. Just ask TV personality A.J. Hammer. After departing Key West, Florida, his vessel was blasted by a microburst and 40- to 60-knot winds. Trudging through the tempest, he ducked his yacht into a nearby port, which turned out to be Little Palm Island and its five-star resort.

“A happy accident,” Hammer says, chuckling. What he loves about cruising, he says, is that “it’s different every day.”

As a child, Hammer was mesmerized by the water on family vacations. The yachting seed took root. His TV career blossomed, and his cruising pursuits increased. He started with a 21-foot bowrider, even running 90 nautical miles down the Hudson River until a deluge beset him. Hiding under a tarp with a beer, he decided it was time to move up, eventually to a 47-footer.

He’s traveled the Eastern Seaboard extensively and is looking for his next vessel. The yachtsman recently crewed on a friend’s 75-foot Hatteras and says he is a Jack Hargrave fan. Something around 65 feet would be about right. Could Hammer’s Hatt be next?

A.J. Hammer
We interviewed the interviewer A.J. Hammer.

DAY DRIFTING

Q: Do you have a favorite cruising destination?
A: On the encouragement of friends, we cruised to Menemsha, Massachusetts. I went there for two to three days and stayed for 10. There was just something about the sunsets, fresh fish off the boat and good vibes all around.

Q: What's one of your memorable voyaging moments?
A: Coming into Coinjock, North Carolina, on Halloween (my birthday) with an 8-foot-tall inflatable Grim Reaper on the foredeck of my friend's Hatteras motoryacht.

A.J. Hammer
“Life-changing” is how A.J. Hammer describes the first East Coast cruise he took on board his 47-foot sedan bridge.