Originally Posted by Jetstream
It sounds like it may be a regional thing but to answer the original question its probably came about as a comical term of endearment. Everywhere I have been boating in recreational and commercial circles very few people in command of a vessel call themselves or have people call them captain. Around here its the master of the vessel for commercial and or owner or casually skipper.
When it all come down to it who cares? If it works for them I say good luck to you and have fun with it. Life to short.
On board Naval ships, the captain is the boss of the boat in all matters operational regardless of whether there is a higher ranking officer aboard. For example, the flagship of a fleet will have an admiral aboard whose duties will be to direct and control the movements of the fleet. The captain of the flagship, however, drives the boat. A ship's captain, depending on the size of the boat, may be of a rank lesser than a naval captain. So, the boat driver is the captain while the admiral decides to where the captain will drive the boat (and other non-operational matters as "agreed" upon). I tnink this the most likely origin of the usage of the titles. Generally, hubby is the captain while wifey is the admiral but one should never assume this is always the case.