Re: Limits of Captains authority
The word Captain is absolutely a colloquialism in the US. Even the USCG uses it to address whomever calls them on the radio. They don't even ask if they are the leader, let alone actually a licensed Captain. It's just a nicety.
The real can of worms here is that there is absolutely no license, permit or otherwise required to skipper a boat here. Some require a safety course, which you need to be able to read and write at the third grade level to pass. It's probably based on our roots in freedom and will likely stay this way for some time. There is a good argument for someone aboard to have demonstrated some higher level of competence.
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In the harsh marine environment, something is always in need of repair. Margaritas fix everything.