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 Zoom Meeting,  Monday, October 25, 2021, 1845.  Speaker: Captain Louis Novak, "Volunteer Opportunities for Licensed Captains." He's done some interesting things.

ZOOM Web browser link: please do not click on this link until the time of the meeting

CAPCA meetings are being recorded. CLICK HERE to view recordings of past Zoom meetings.

Zach Jasnoff

Continuing Education

Captain Zachary Jasnoff

USCG 25-ton Master 

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As a second generation American, I have always loved the sea stories my grandfather told be about his time spent on the Black Sea. We have always had a seafaring tradition in our family and growing up we have been on the water in mainly off the Atlantic Coast of New Jersey. As I turned toward my college years (1980s!), I enrolled in American University’s MBA program and moved to the Washington DC area. Immediately, I fell in love with the Chesapeake Bay – so strikingly different from the “down the shore” culture of New Jersey. 

My first boat was a small 19-ft. runabout, but it was enough to allow for exploration of all the Chesapeake has to offer. The small towns, the people, the culture, and the great seafood “hooked” me for life. As my career had me in many places, I always kept a fond spot in my heart for the Chesapeake. In 2010, I had the opportunity to settle in the Maryland area for good upon meeting my second wife, Sue. We set about purchasing our second boat, a 30-ft. cuddy cabin and spent many enjoyable long weekends (and a few weeks) exploring many new towns and having great experiences meeting new people.

Through these years, I’ve always had the “spark” to obtain my Merchant Mainers Credential (MMC). Finally, in January 2020, I enrolled in the Annapolis School of Seamanship, passed the OUPV course, and went on to complete additional online certifications at the Master level and Towing Assistance. This was tough given Covid-19 restrictions, but I got it done and in July finally received my master’s license. I am also actively engaged as an USCG Auxiliarist serving in Flotilla 23-01 Annapolis.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 sharing knowledge with others and instilling a passion about all things nautical.


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