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Current USPS Safe Boating Test
(Personal Watercraft)
Created: 16 August 2001

Click the answers that you think are correct — see how your knowledge stacks up!
1. A float plan includes a description of your boat, who is on board, your safety equipment, and, most importantly:
  the name of your radio operator.
where you expect to be and when you expect to return.
the draft of your boat.
what mechanical equipment on your boat is not in the best condition.
2. Steering a PWC involves turning a movable nozzle that directs a high- pressure stream of water either right or left,turning the boat in either direction. It is important to know that a PWC will turn only when the:
  engine is turning at least 4000 rpm.
jet pump is operating and pushing a stream of water.
two rudders are in contact with the water.
special steering pump is activated.
3. A PWC lanyard cut-off-switch when fastened to your wrist will:
  keep your signal whistle where it can be found.
alert you when you are running too fast.
stop the engine when you fall off.
remind you to always wear your life preserver, (PFD).
4. When operating a PWC near shore, launch areas, swimming areas, docks, and anchored boats:
  take extreme care when jumping wakes in these restricted areas.
run at minimum speed necessary to maintain steerageway.
don't throw a wake more than three feet high.
operate with the wind and current on your transom for better control.
5. Which of the following sentences relative to trailer tongue weight on a hitch coupler ball is TRUE?
  The amount of weight on the coupler ball makes no difference.
Too little weight on the coupler ball will cause the trailer to fishtail.
Tongue weight on the coupler ball should always be at least 50% of the total weight of the trailer rig.
You can change the weight on the coupler ball, by changing the size of the ball.
6. One of the most reliable sources of up-to-date weather is:
  your weekly newspaper.
your local police department.
the Farmer's Almanac.
NOAA Weather on VHF-FM radio.
7. It is important that life preservers used in active water sports have:
  heavy duty inflatable bladders.
high impact ratings.
subtle exterior colors, such as white.
a bouyancy rating of at least 8 lbs.
8. Most boating accidents occur in small open boats on small inland bodies of water:
  in the winter when the water is coldest.
on weekends during the summer months.
after dark on hot summer days.
on weekdays when the weather is excellent.
9. Knowledge of current weather conditions is important when navigating the ICW because there is little room for maneuvering and:
  narrow channels and inlets intensify wind and currents, and weather may change rapidly.
it is easy to get lost in bad weather on the ICW.
with strong winds on the stern, you can plan on taking advantage of following seas.
you can prepare foul-weather gear and batten down before heavy weather sets in.
10. In the U.S. Aids to Navigation System, identifying numbers on navigation marks will always _______________ when you return from sea.
  increase in value
be the same on both sides of the channel
be shown in 4 inch block letters
decrease in value
11. Because the Coast Guard recognizes personal watercraft as full-fledged boats:
  operators must adhere to the same rules and regulations as larger boats.
a PWC must show its navigation lights when used after dark.
a PWC usually has priority of movement in meeting and crossing situations.
PWCs are exempt from all boating rules and regulations.
12. Ocean levels, with a few exceptions:
  are affected by the chemical content of the water.
stay at a constant level.
do not change where there are inlets.
usually rise and fall twice a day.
13. Towboats are not able to stop or turn easily. In addition, they are often unable to:
  get between bridge abutments.
see anything less than 1300 feet ahead.
communicate with a VHF radio.
abide by The General Rule of Responsibility.
14. A primary charachteristic of Great Lakes weather is:
  winds are always light.
there is no fog.
predictions are notably inaccurate.
winds that do exist do not effect wave height.
15. Federal regulations require the following equipment on a personal watercraft: a fire extinguisher, a sound-producing device, and a:
  global positioning device.
wearable life preserver,(PFD), for each person onboard.
marine radiotelephone.
anchor and rode.
16. Your boat has a yellow hull. After registering it with the state and receiving a boat number, you purchase:
  a black plastic plate with 2 inch script letters and numbers to hang on straps over the side.
3 inch black vertical block letters and numerals for both sides of the forward hull.
lighter yellow letters and numbers for both sides of the forward hull.
light gray 3-inch italic letters and numbers for the upper starboard side of the transom.
17. If you are hailed by a law enforcement vessel, you should:
  wave to indicate that everything is OK and that you do not need help.
stop the boat and allow the officer to come aboard.
move quickly out of the area, to avoid being in the way.
maintain course and speed, for you are the stand-on boat.
18. In The Navigation Rules, the General Rule of Responsibility states that nothing in The Rules will exonerate any boater from consequences of neglect in complying with The Rules, or in taking any precaution needed to avoid collision. This means that:
  it is not necessary to carry general insurance on your boat.
the person with the "right of way" always rules.
there is no right of way on the water and The Rules may always be broken to avoid collision.
when underway, you should generally stop your boat when you meet other vessels.
19. Coast Guard boating safety statistics show that alcohol involvement in reported accidents accounted for _______ percent of all boating fatalities.
20. Coast Guard boating safety statistics indicate that ________ percent of all boating deaths took place on boats whose operators had not completed a boating course.


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