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BoatUS Foundation For Boating Safety & Clean Water


Test Your Boating Knowledge

By Susan Shingledecker
Published: June/July 2013

Test your boating knowledge on the most commonly missed questions from our free online boating safety course.

Whether you've been boating for 20 days or 20 years, many boaters around the country are now required to take some form of boating education in their state. In fact, nearly 100,000 boaters registered for the BoatUS Foundation Free Online Boating Safety Course last year alone, in part, no doubt, to meet state requirements. The course is a fun way to ramp up your boating knowledge, and test what you already know. So how does your knowledge stack up to the rest? Are you a boating pro or a rookie? Our staff analyzed hundreds of thousands of answers submitted by your fellow boaters, and we've noticed that a few questions have emerged as the most missed, such as those on the understanding of navigation rules, equipment-carriage requirements, and state-specific regulations. See how your knowledge compares. Select the best answers to these often-missed questions. Find the correct answers on Page 2.

Screenshot of BoatUS Foundation Online Safety Course

To take one of the BoatUS Foundation's Safety Courses, click here!


1. Which of the following is required on federally controlled waters for boats less than 39.4 feet (12 meters)?

a) A VHF radio
b) Whistle
c) Paddle or oar
d) First-aid kit

2. According to the Navigation Rules, which of the following is true?

a) A boat under power is always a stand-on boat.
b) A personal watercraft is always a give-way boat.
c) An overtaking boat always gives way to the boat being overtaken.
d) A boat under sail is always a stand-on boat.

3. Which of the following must follow Navigation Rules for a powerboat?

a) Any sailboat equipped with an engine
b) All sailboats under sail alone
c) A sailboat with sails up but no engine
d) A sailboat with its engine engaged

4. A float plan should contain what information?

a) A date and time to contact the authorities
b) A national weather service storm advisory signal listing
c) Coast Guard emergency radio frequencies
d) A pre-departure checklist

5. Which of the following will increase the effects of alcohol and drugs when boating?

a) Food
b) Vibration
c) Spray
d) Temperature

6. What is the USCG-approved meaning of "serviceable condition" for life jackets?

a) The ability to turn a person face up
b) Proper size and fit
c) Straps and zippers work
d) Must be within easy reach

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