Skip to main content Skip to footer site map
USNA Sailing Center
teams sailing

Navy D-Qual

Naval Academy sail training craft must be commanded by individuals who have obtained their D-qualification. There are two levels, a Coastal Skipper (D-CS) , and Offshore Skipper (D-OS). A D-CS acts as the Executive Officer (XO) or second in command of the vessel, while the D-OS serves as the Commanding Officer (CO). OS coaches, CSTS volunteer instructors, and Midshipmen may earn these qualifications through their respective programs.  

The qualification process is specified in the D-Qual JQR Book (attached below). 


D-CS Qual exam (Coastal Skipper - act as executive officer (XO) or second in command):

The D-CS qualification has several elements. 

  • Logging time on the offshore sailing vessel
  • Specific skills must be signed off by your training instructor for each level of qualification. 
  • The instructor and program director must recommend qualification.
  • Each candidate must pass online tests and a written navigation exam.  
  • Attend a Safety at Sea Seminar (volunteers attend free of charge)
  • US Sailing approved First aid and CPR qualification must be active and kept current. 

Exam subjects include:  

  • Charts and publications, communications, electrical, emergency situations, electronics, engineering, first aid, general seamanship, heavy weather sailing, sail theory, man overboard procedures, navigation rules, safety, weather, and BIB/SOP/Nav Standards

D-OS Qual (Offshore Skipper - acts as Commanding Officer (CO) or first in command):

In order to transition from D-CS to D-OS , coastal skippers must complete the required number of hours, offshore passage miles, and obtain the signatures and recommendations of their offshore skipper, program director, and the Director, Naval Academy Sailing. This is typically done by sailing a summer block as an XO.

D-Maintaining Your Qualification

  • Annual Rules of the Road (ROR) Exam (every Spring)
  • Quarterly ROR Exam (every Summer and Fall)
  • Nav Exam every two years
  • Maintain an active, US Sailing approved First aid/CPR certification
  • D-qual proficiency exams every three years
  • Safety at Sea Seminar attendance every five years
  • Full requalification required if inactive for three years


  • D-Qual JQR
go to Top