Land + Sea +Air


captain debra




Captain Debra Marks has been working full time as a yacht captain for the past 42 years operating yachts of up to 164′ long. For two decades of this career, she was one of approximately five women in the U.S. to hold a USCG 500 Ton Masters License. Captain Debra Marks 

USCG Licensed 500 Ton Master

Yacht Captain – Hundreds of vessel trips: Vancouver through the Panama Canal, Caribbean, Mexico, Central America, South China Sea, Adriatic Sea, Bahamas, Florida to the Chesapeake Bay. Various vessels 42 to 164 feet in length. 1978-2021

Captained approx.12,500 vessel transits of San Diego Bay 5,500 at night. 1978 -2021.

Loaded/unloaded 18 various yachts from various transport ships worldwide.

Five San Diego Commercial Ship Transits (car carriers) with San Diego Harbor Pilots Capt. Ed Silva, Capt. Eric Ireland and Capt. Phil Ryan.

Instructor Teach hands-on close-quarters vessel maneuvering, systems, safety, navigation, electronics, cruising to new vessel owners. 2005 – 2021

Captain and Manager “Celebration” Cruise Line, San Diego. 110’ vessel, 150 passengers. Hired and trained staff and crew of forty to execute fire, abandon ship, MOB drills, and food service. 1992-1993

Charter Business Manager and Captain San Diego. 65’ motor yacht USCG Certified to carry 49 passengers. Managed, hired, and trained crew, operated and maintained yacht. Solely responsible for sales, marketing, and event management. Increased revenue an average of 35% per year over a ten year period. 1987-1997

Marine Consultant – Project Coordinator for H.I. Marina Association. Acted as liaison to the Port District and marina construction consultant. 1985

Director, Ship Operations – Developed cruise itinerary, examined a prospective ship in operation in the Med. Investigated all phases of operating a 500’ ship cruise ship. Negotiated terms of purchase and obtained financing. 1984

Importer & Distributor – Imported new 38’-90’ yachts. Inspected production in Hong Kong, managed sales, shipping overseas, delivery and commissioning. 1982 – 1985

San Diego Harbor Safety Committee – Appointed by the State of California to serve as Chair of the State-mandated committee. Committee members include representatives of the Navy, USCG, Port District, commercial shipping, harbor pilots, tug operators, CA Coastal Commission, and environmental. 1997-2009

Maritime Woman of the Year Award – 1992 2 Keynote speaker, National Academy of Sciences,

Washington, D. C. – 2006

Channel 10TV “San Diego’s Most Successful Individual” – 1989

President of Hot Picks Investment Club – 2008. Charter Member 1995

Appointed by Secretary of Homeland Security to the Chair position of the Federal Navigation Safety Advisory Council in Washington D.C.

Advise Federal Government on National & IMO issues. 2007 – 2015

Awarded a United States of America Medal for Meritorious Public Service

By the Commandant of the USCG in Washington, D.C. (see photo below)