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.

Offficer BethWingerd

Programs and events

Captain Beth Wingerd

USCG 50-ton Master

E-mail Beth



I have my brother David, a.k.a. Mac, to blame for my addiction. He gave me my first taste of sailing when I was a teenager. We'd cruise and race on the Bay with his wife and two toddlers. After a couple of college "tours of duty" at West Virginia University and the landlocked jobs that followed, I returned to Maryland 15 years later and got the sailing itch again. My ex and I spent 14 years sailing our 36-foot Cape Dory from one end of the Bay to the other, plus extended cruising to New England, Maine, and Long Island Sound. About seven years ago, I traded up to Sierra Charlie, a 41-foot Sceptre fondly referred to as Chuck. She's a bluewater performance cruiser, born and bred in Vancouver, British Columbia.

I've always considered sailing a participation sport, not a spectator affair. I'm the one who always volunteers to go forward when the winds suddenly pick up and someone needs to haul down the spinnaker. I do the winterizing, bottom-painting, and prop-greasing. The better care I give Chuck, the more time I have for sailing.

To finance my addiction, I have a day-job in high-tech. I've spent my career in computer networking, doing software engineering, product management, and marketing. I checked off the "Get Captain's license" item on my bucket-list this year. I got my 50-ton Master's license with endorsements for auxiliary sail and towing assistance. Now, someone will actually pay me to teach them how to sail or handle their boat. It doesn't get much better than that!


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