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Current USPS Safe Boating Test
(Lake and River Boating)
Created: 16 August 2001

Click the answers that you think are correct — see how your knowledge stacks up!
1. Small boats are unstable, and falls are always a risk. Always step into the center of small boats; never on the:
2. You can ease the shock on both boat and crew when running into the waves by slowing down and:
  taking the waves at an angle to the bow, not head-on.
turning the boat broadside to the waves for stability.
taking the waves head-on and not at an angle.
instruct all passengers to stand up in the boat.
3. The compass card numbers on a properly mounted compass, when read at the lubber's line, will indicate the direction the boat is heading in reference to:
  magnetic north.
the north star.
true north.
the boat's centerline.
4. Powerboaters should always pass a sailboat on the leeward side, (away from the wind), because:
  it is easier to see the sailboat from the leeward side than from the windward side.
the wake from the powerboat will affect the sailboat less.
it is easier for the sailor to run close-hauled with the powerboat on that side.
if the wind is blocked, the sailboater could lose control of his boat.
5. When launching a sailboat with the mast raised at a launch area:
  be careful not to tip the boat off the trailer.
use a halyard to pull it off the trailer.
be certain that no overhead electrical wires come close to or in contact with the mast or rigging.
you have priority launching privileges,just as you have priority of movement privileges on the water.
6. Powerboaters should have a basic knowledge of sailing so that they can be aware of unique problems of the sailor such as:
  keeping sails and booms parallel to the boat's keel.
tacking sheets to the standing rigging of their boats.
maneuvering a sailboat in close proximity to other boats.
sailing with the side to side aspect of their boat perfectly level in the water.
7. When water skiing, the person charged with the safety of the ski boat, passengers, and skier is the:
  boat operator.
boat owner.
8. A novice board sailor should:
  always sail from swim areas where there are a lot of people
immediately leave the board and swim after the sail rig when falling.
never sail alone.
abandon the rig and swim for shore after falling.
9. In the grid system that makes it possible to identify any point on the earth's surface,imaginary latitude lines or parallels of latitude:
  run east and west.
run north and south.
are numbered 0 degrees to 180 degrees.
run through the geographic north and south poles.
10. Distances shown on tick mark signboards along the Intracoastal Waterway from New Jersey to Florida are measured in:
  square miles.
nautical miles.
statute miles.
11. It is important to know the waters where you will be boating. The height of bridges is important for all boaters as is the:
  depth of the water.
mean temperature of the water and its degree of salinity.
times that tides come in and out on shallow lakes and ponds.
location of ascending banks on lakes.
12. _______ _______ are the most useful navigational aids on a river. By finding them on a chart, you will always know where you are.
  Crossing daymarks
Mile markers
Passing daymarks
Sound-equipped daymarks
13. The Navigation Rules provide boaters going downstream priority of movement because they are:
  are at the mercy of the current with reduced control of their boats.
the give-way vessels and automatically have priority of movement.
usually operating under conditions of restricted visibility.
always operating under International Rules rather than Inland Rules.
14. Red buoys mark the starboard side of channels, and their numbers increase when going _______________ on all Great Lakes, (except Lake Michigan, where the conventional direction of buoyage is south).
  west or north
down a lake
in the direction of your compass
east or south
15. The best fire extinguisher for a recreational boat is one that is Coast Guard-approved and that will put out:
  halon fires.
Types A and C fires.
Types A, B, and C fires.
carbon dioxide fires.
16. The most important information on a boat's Maximum Capacities Label is the:
  boat's registration number.
seating capacity of the boat.
maximum total weight of occupants of the boat.
maximum combined weight of persons, motor, and gear.
17. The condition that slows reaction time after several hours on the water almost as much as if you were legally drunk, is called:
saint vitus dance.
sea leg fever.
boater's fatigue.
18. A sailing vessel with sails raised and under power is a:
  vessel not under command.
vessel restricted in her ability to maneuver.
fast vessel.
power-driven vessel.
19. The Navigational Rules state that every vessel shall at all times proceed at a safe speed. Safe speed is one that:
  will get you home promptly if you are running out of fuel.
will not place a strain on your sail rigging.
will not throw a wake behind your 14 foot utility boat.
allows you to take proper and effective action against collision.
20. You see two white lights ahead on a masthead. You should take immediate action because you are meeting a :
  surfaced submarine.
large commercial fisherman.
vessel with a tow, or pushing a barge ahead.
night-time sail race.


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