Charles Chapman Award

The Charles Chapman Award honors individuals or groups within the marine industry who have made outstanding contributions to the sport of boating for the benefit of the recreational boating industry and boating public.


Contact: Rachel Harmon


View past recipients of this prestigious award.

2018: Tom Marhevko, NMMA and Phil Cappel, USCG

Phil Cappel

Phil Cappel has spent his entire career in service to the Coast Guard and the last 22 years specifically to the marine industry and recreational boating, working to help marine manufacturers understand and comply with regulations, establish standards for the marine industry and ensure the quality and safety of recreational boats for the public.
Phil is a 1971 graduate of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy with a Bachelor’s degree in engineering. As a member of the USCG, Phil served both afloat and shoreside, including shipboard engineering watch officer on the cutter Boutwell, shipboard damage control officer on the cutter Mendota, and instructor at the Officer Candidate School at Training Center Yorktown. After earning an MBA at The College of William and Mary in 1978, Phil served in a broad range of management positions for the Coast Guard.
He retired from the USCG in 1991, and in 1992 he embarked upon a career as a civilian employee at the USCG headquarters as Chief of the R&D Planning Branch. In 1996, he was reassigned as the Recreational Boating Product Assurance Branch Chief for the Office of Auxiliary and Boating Safety, a position he currently holds.
Phil served on both the American Boat & Yacht Council (ABYC) Technical Board and the SAE Marine Technical Steering Committee for twenty-on years. He has worked with the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) on numerous issues such as EPA requirements for installing catalytic converters on inboard engines, reduction of vapor emissions from fuel vent systems, and the use of ethanol in marine fuel. He established agreements that led to studies by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health on ways to reduce or eliminate CO hazards on recreational boats. He presented technical seminars at Boatbuilding and IBEX conferences, and conducted semiannual updates at IBEX and the Miami International Boat Show to keep the industry updated on Coast Guard actions. He also launched a Recreational Boat Manufacturer Factory Inspection Program to assist manufacturers in complying with the Federal Safety regulations.