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Current USPS Safe Boating Test
(Coastal & Tidal Boating)
Created: 24 August 2001

Click the answers that you think are correct — see how your knowledge stacks up!
1. A displacement hull is one that:
  moves through the water by pushing it aside.
skims along the surface of the water.
is capable of very high speeds.
may easily capsize in heavy seas.
2. When you shop for a boat, the following important questions should be addressed: 1) What type and style will best serve your use of a boat? 2) How large a boat will you need for the number of persons that accompany you?, and 3):
  Would a solid state ignition be preferable to one with a distributor, rotor, and points?
Will you be boating in open seas or protected waters?
What type of interior decor will please your family?
Would a gasoline engine be better than one that operates on diesel or propane fuel?
3. The fitting through which the shaft of an inboard engine passes through the hull should be checked frequently because it could:
  wear if it is turning the wrong way.
leak excessively and cause the boat to sink.
corrode if made of soft metal like Monel.
create sparks if made of vinyl and snugged up too tightly.
4. A spring line is a dock line that:
  has an inner core of stretchy elastic material.
keeps a boat from moving ahead or astern.
is only used in March, April, and May.
holds the boat directly to the pier at amidships.
5. Under normal conditions, the recommended scope of an anchor line is approximately:
6. The skipper of a boat is obligated by law to provide assistance to any individual in danger at sea providing that the:
  recipient is adequately insured.
assistance can be provided safely without endangering his own boat or crew.
person in need agrees to financial remuneration.
assistance cannot be provided by someone else.
7. Most states require that water ski boats have two persons aboard; the operator and _______.
  a navigator.
a tow rope handler.
an assistant operator.
an observer.
8. If on the water and a hurricane is predicted, the best advice is to:
  run full speed ahead to avoid it.
leave the boat tightly secured and seek shelter whenever possible.
tie your boat securely to a navigational aid and ride out the storm.
ground your boat on a mud flat and stay put until the storm passes.
9. A can buoy will be _______in shape and shown on a chart as a ______.
  spherical; square
round; triangle
conical; diamond
cylindrical; diamond
10. Charts of tidal waters always show vertical clearances of overhead objects at:
mean low water or mean lower low water.
a time prescribed by local authorities.
mean high water or mean higher high water.
11. A type of boat that is more difficult to control at high speeds than most other boats is the:
  jon boat.
offshore racer.
jet drive boat.
12. Tide rises:
  at a uniform rate during the entire cycle.
faster during the first and last thirds of the cycle.
to the depth of the water shown on the chart.
faster during the middle third of the cycle.
13. When you enter a lock, be sure to:
  proceed into the lock as soon as you see the steady red light.
tell the lockmaster where you are going to tie up your boat.
approach the lock at crusing speed, so you will not hold up other boats.
obey the instructions of the lockmaster.
14. An important safety rule when tying up in a lock is:
  always tie tightly to the cleats on the lock wall.
keep you motor running until you leave the lock.
never tie your boat permanently to the side of the lock.
always go ashore until lockage is completed.
15. Constantly watch the wake of your boat, because:
  it can disturb the smooth operation of personal watercraft.
your wake must never be more than three inches high.
you are responsible for injuries or damage to property caused by the wake of your boat.
you may see beautiful colors created by the oxidation of phosphorus in the water.
16. The feature of a life preserver that keeps a person afloat is its:
17. In addition to keeping your flame arrestor free of damage, it is important to:
  grease it regularly.
install a new element periodically.
replace the screening annually.
keep it clean.
18. Navigation lights most frequently found on sailing vessels under 65.6 feet include a white sternlight and:
  red and green sidelights.
a white masthead light.
a blue anchor light.
a yellow sternlight.
19. Fire extinguishers should be mounted in strategic locations. Recommended locations are near the galley,engine compartment, helm, and:
  flying bridge.
sleeping quarters.
anchor storage locker.
20. While operating in a thick fog, you hear one prolonged blast every two minutes off your starboard bow. You proceed slowly and watch for a _____________ ahead of you.
  vessel not under command.
vessel engaged in fishing.
sailing vessel underway.
powerboat under way.


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