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.

Officer Walt Holtgren

Vice President

Captain Walter Holtgren

USCG Third Mate, unrestricted

 E-mail Walter



Walter Holtgren grew up on the water, and he has spent his entire career in the maritime field.

As a youth in Landover, Maryland, Walt spent summers as a crewmember on tourboats on the Potomac River, where his father worked part-time. After graduating from high school, he enrolled in the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, where he earned a B. S. in marine transportation and nautical science and an unrestricted third mate’s license that qualified him to serve on all oceans. He spent 39 years in the Maritime Safety Office of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, serving first as a marine information specialist, as the agency’s representative in New Orleans, and  later as a staff officer for the Maritime Safety Office. He retired from NGA in January 2017.

Since 1995, Walt also has worked part-time on tourboats on the Potomac, most recently on the M/V Nina’s Dandy, operating out of Alexandria, Virginia.


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