J. Kipling Louttit

Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Retired
Executive Director
Marine Exchange of Southern California


Captain Kip Louttit was appointed as the Executive Director of the Marine Exchange of Southern California in January 2013. A graduate of the United States Coast Guard Academy, he served in the United States Coast Guard (USCG) for 30 years prior to retiring with the rank of Captain. Captain Louttit’s experience includes 10 years at sea in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and the Bering, Mediterranean, and Caribbean Seas. He had six years in command of three Coast Guard cutters and two years as commanding officer of USCG Integrated Support Command in San Pedro, CA. Following retirement from the Coast Guard, Captain Louttit worked for two consulting firms on Coast Guard and Pentagon work.

Captain Louttit leads a staff of 20 civilians and a Coast Guard detail of six active-duty Operations Specialists with an annual budget of $3.3 million. The Marine Exchange of Southern California, a non-profit organization first established in 1923, is unique among the nation’s Vessel Traffic Services in having a public/private partnership with the Coast Guard. The Marine Exchange continuously works to promote a safe, secure, efficient, reliable, and environmentally sound maritime transportation system.

Captain Louttit was a Sloan Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and holds master’s degrees from MIT and Golden Gate University. He is an avid and active sailor with extensive experience in offshore races. He has been a speaker at the U.S. Sailing Safety at Sea Seminar in Annapolis since 2008 and actively crews in racing and cruising sailboats offshore as navigator and bowman. Captain Louttit sailed in the Newport/Bermuda race twice, once as a cadet watch captain in 1978 and again as safety officer in 1986. He crewed in the Annapolis to Bermuda race 4 times including finishing first in class and winning the Navigator’s Trophy in 2006, and 4 Annapolis to Newport races. He crewed for the delivery of a sailboat from Los Angeles to Seattle with 11 nights at sea in 2018, delivered sailboats twice from Florida to Annapolis, and sailed in inshore races and cruising adventures in since 1967.

Captain Louttit is current President of MISNA (Maritime Information Services of North America), which is the umbrella organization to which the dozen Marine Exchanges in the United and Canada belong. He and his family live in Rancho Palos Verdes where he serves in the Coast Guard Auxiliary, mentor of a FIRST FRC High School Robot Team, and as an Assistant Scoutmaster for the Boy Scouts of America, where he enjoys leading Scouts on outdoor and volunteer community service activities.