Bill grew up in Barrington, Rhode Island, and was on the water starting at the age of three. His father, Bill Shaw Sr., (Chief Naval Architect and General Manager of Pearson Yachts), taught Bill to sail; and nurtured his love for boats and the sea. As a youth, his summers were spent cruising with his family and racing with his dad on a variety of Pearson designs.
Bill also did a fair amount of one design dinghy racing as a youth and throughout high school. These opportunities created a wonderful and fortunate experience for Bill, and were instrumental in directing his chosen career path.
After high school Bill entered the Massachusetts Maritime Academy as a mid-shipman and graduated in 1986, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Marine Transportation and a USCG Third Officers license. After graduation, a nineteen year career followed as a deck officer on US flagged oil tankers. From 1986 onwards, Bill rose through the ranks and attained his Master’s license in 1997. From 1997 he continued to sail deep sea until coming ashore in 2005. In association with his service as a ship’s officer, Bill has also performed numerous yacht deliveries, operated ship docking tugs, and served as captain of an ocean going tug and barge unit.
Once ashore, Bill has continued to work as a Marine Technical Consultant representing major oil companies on their chartered ships. He works closely with vessel chartering managers, cargo brokers, and ship’s personnel as well as screening oil tankers for chartering purposes and regulatory compliance.
Bill holds a USCG license for Master – Oceans – Any Gross Tons and Federal first class pilotage for the waters of the Cape Cod canal, Buzzards Bay, New Bedford Harbor, Narragansett Bay, Block Island sound, Long Island sound, New Haven Harbor, Bridgeport Harbor, and the East River from the Throgs Neck bridge to the Battery.
As a broker, Bill is able to impart his vast knowledge and in-depth experience to his clients; but takes greatest pleasure from the direct contact with customers, exploring their prerequisites, offering advice and assisting with the purchase or sale of a boat.
Sailing continues to be his passion and he is most at home on the water. The family shares a 1974 Pearson 39 named KATAMA that he regularly cruises and races with his wife, two step daughters, siblings and friends.
The son of a Naval Academy grad and submarine captain, Ham had the ocean in his genes from the beginning.
As a youngster, he became a successful sailor at the Edgartown Yacht Club on Martha’s Vineyard, first in Widgeons and then in the Shields fleet. Through the years, he’s competed in countless one-design regattas, from 110’s to J-24’s and his favorite fleet, the Wianno Seniors, where some of the most feverish competition is always expected. Big-boat regattas have always been on Ham’s schedule and his experience includes successful bids aboard everything from Swans to Beneteaus to Concordias. Time on the Vineyard also provided the prime environment to hone the skills for his other pastime, fishing. It wasn’t rare to find Ham driving the beach to prowl for Stripers at midnight or setting out in his Whaler before sunrise to drift Wasque Shoals or Devil’s Bridge.
Ham’s experience competing also translated to his work. During his formative years and throughout college, he spent every summer at various New England boatyards, running private yachts for some of Newport’s more noted residents and completing numerous near-coastal and offshore deliveries.
After spending the better part of two decades as a Vice President and Senior Financial Advisor at Merrill Lynch/Bank of America, Ham decided it was time to make his passion his business and pursued yacht brokerage full-time. His experience with several of New England’s premier yacht sales organizations gave him the tools he needed to join Bill as the New England Yacht Partners. His in-depth knowledge of both power- and sailboaters’ needs gives our clients a comfort level that their best interests are his first priority. Whether as a buyer’s or seller’s representative, Ham brings a lifetime of experience to every client relationship.
A graduate of Connecticut College, Ham now lives with his wife and two children in Barrington, RI. When he’s not at work tending to his clients’ needs, if you don’t catch him on the Barrington Yacht Club race circle, you’ll probably find him casting for stripers on Narragansett Bay or up north in Vermont, where he and his family spend time skiing and snowboarding at Sugarbush.