Chesapeake Area Professional Captains Association


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We are a professional organization for Coast Guard-licensed captains who operate primarily on the Chesapeake Bay and the East Coast of the United States.

Although our captains' licenses range from small passenger vessels to oceangoing ships, the bulk of our members operate boats of 100 tons or less—such as tourboats, water-taxis, towboats, and charterboats. Some also work as instructors and delivery captains for transporting recreational boats between ports.


CAPCA meetings are canceled through November. There is no meeting in December.  Let's hope we can resume in early 2021!  Watch the website for updates.



Continuing Education

Captain Pete Chambliss

USCG 50-ton Master 

E-mail Pete


I have been around boats all my life. My first boat ride was on my grandfather's 28-foot sloop in Round Bay on the Severn River, not far from where my wife, Janie, and I live now. I have held my Coast Guard captain's license for more than 25 years, but I never really used it until eight years ago, when I started operating water-taxis for Watermark in Annapolis. I currently have a 50-ton master's license for inland waters, with an endorsement for auxiliary sail.

I bought my first boat, a Morgan 34 named Dreamchaser, at the first U.S. Sailboat Show. Not having the money to buy a finished boat, I boat a kit from Morgan Yachts, and it has turned out to be a never-ending project. I still have the Morgan today, and she is known for two unique features: First, she does not have any portholes, and, second, she has won fame as "The Angel" in the Eastport Yacht Club Lights Parade held every December. 

My biggest challenge—or should we say adventure?—came a few years ago when we prepared our catamaran, Dream Weave, a 43-foot-long Fountaine Pajot with a 23-foot beam, for a trip to Annapolis after having leased her as a charter-boat in the Caribbean for five years. The challenge was that we were starting out on 1,500-mile trip with almost nothing on board—life-raft, blankets, pots, pans, silverware, etc.—so our first stopover naturally was at St. Thomas for a three-day provisioning spree. Equipment was plentiful there, and the prices were much cheaper.

The trip was an exercise in contrasts—at once exciting and boring, challenging, and a super learning experience. We blew out the spinnaker three days out of St. Thomas, and the clew on the jib tore out when we were 60 miles off Beaufort, North Carolina, in 40-knot winds and heavy seas. Our tension abated almost instantly, however, when we passed the Chesapeake Bay bridge-tunnel and were safely back in Mother Chesapeake.

I took on the assignment as CAPCA's continuing education director because I enjoy putting together an instructional program of this size and makeup. And I'm open to suggestions for other classes that we might want to consider.


CAPCA meeting

Join us at our monthly meetings where you can meet our captains, find out more about CAPCA, and hear interesting guest speakers.

Click here for meeting details.

MMC shadowWhy earn a captain's license?

  • use your boat to carry passengers for hire
  • enjoy a discount on marine insurance for your boat
  • required for many full- or part-time maritime jobs
  • acquire a comprehensive knowledge of navigation and rules of the road

Click here to read a description of the process for earning a captain's license.

carrick bendCAPCA Speakers Bureau

Need a speaker for your yacht club or professional organization? Ask one of our Coast Guard-licensed captains.

    After you submit the form, our speaker’s bureau coordinator will get back to you soon.

Our members have a wealth of experience—on the water and in classrooms—that gives them the knowledge and background to provide guest-speaker presentations on a host of maritime-related topics, from seamanship and navigation to radio operation and basic first aid for boaters. Let us know a topic that interests you, and we’ll take it from there.

CAPCA provides this as a public service to the maritime community. There's no speaking fee or charge.

carrick bend