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.

Officers New Bill Washington


Captain Bill Washington

USCG 100-ton Master

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I’m originally from New York City and learned how to sail as a teenager spending my summers in Sag Harbor, New York. I moved to the D.C. area in 1970 and have been on the Potomac River and the Chesapeake Bay ever since.

After serving in the Army from 1967 to 1970, I landed here and had various jobs ranging from the Federal Government, private industry and District government, from which I retired in 2001. All involved the graphic arts in one form or another and ultimately computer graphics and the web. I met my wife here in 1970 and we’ve been together ever since, with two children and four grandchildren.

I received my initial license more than 21 years ago and have owned three boats of my own, including a commercial assistance towboat, which I operated on the Potomac River during the early '90s. While working for the D.C. government, as well as after I retired, I operated a number of tour boats, charter yachts (both motor and sail) and private yachts on the Potomac. I also created a website called Black Mariners, which gives a history of African-Americans on the oceans and waterways. It is still a work-in-progress ( I was fortunate to sail as Second Mate aboard the Half Moon (a square-rigger) on the Hudson River in 2005. This was a nine-day trip from Verplanck, New York to Albany. We had 11 middle school kids, three teachers and a crew of eight. Did I mention there was only one head and no showers? Great trip!

Currently, I have a 100-ton Masters with towing endorsement. I was one of the senior Captains for Capital Yacht Charters/Fort Washington Potomac River Tours, LLC. They operated four yachts ranging in size from 72 feet to more than 100 feet LOA and 49 to 149 passengers. We did everything from birthdays, weddings and anniversaries to corporate outings and special event cruises. I’m a certified wedding officiant so I can actually perform wedding ceremonies as well. In addition, I handled all the media material for the company (brochures, business cards, videos, commercials, websites, etc.) and assisted in the marketing.


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