Chesapeake Area Professional Captains Association


CAPCA Logo white 250x130

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.

Hans Hoffman


Captain Priscilla Travis

USCG 100-ton Master

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

As a teenager I taught myself to sail in a 15-1/2 ft. Snipe on Pennsylvania’s lovely Lake Wallenpaupack; many, many years later, in 1986, I qualified for a 100-ton Near Coastal license (with Sail Endorsement), demonstrating that my early self-taught skills weren’t a detriment to later learning. A 37-year career in university education (communication and theatre) also allowed time to pursue nautical activities during summer vacations and school holidays, first as a sail cruiser and later with the USCG license teaching sailing to adults and doing occasional yacht deliveries. When I retired to Maryland, I joined CAPCA in 2005.

Over the years I owned two sailing yachts, both named Nomad: a 33-ft. Dutch-built steel sloop and a 42-ft. custom steel and aluminum pilothouse cutter, designed by Ted Brewer and built by Marine Metals, Inc. at Little Creek, VA. Between 1978 and 2016 (when I sold my boat) I logged 105,000nm coastwise and transatlantic aboard these two rugged cruisers. These miles allowed me to keep up navigation skills as well as to have enough sea-time for license renewals. Paper charts and traditional piloting techniques, GPS and radar were the staples of the summers. The Nomads traversed the waters of North America from the Bahamas and Bermuda to Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador.

When I retired in 2003, I took my boat across the pond, based her in Scotland, and enjoyed 5-1/2 months each summer sailing in northwest Europe: the British Isles, Channel Islands, Ireland, Faroe Islands, and Norway. I’m a fan of high latitudes. Nomad sailed from Southampton, England to Baltimore aboard a ship in 2016, giving me a topic for a talk to CAPCA. Now I sail OPBs and have a Document of Continuity.

Hans Hoffmann, my predecessor as Secretary, wrote the following in his CAPCA bio, and I quote him here because he speaks for me, too: “CAPCA continuing education and training courses have been invaluable to me. Over the years, I have taken virtually every course offered. I can say that my teaching has been enhanced and my mind has stayed sharper because of relevant courses our CAPCA directors of education and training have put together for us.”  I may not be working my license now, but I still sign up for courses!


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