Could You Pass a Boating License Test?



By: Gavin Thagard

6 Min Quiz

Image: shutterstock

About This Quiz

It's a sunny summer day and nothing sounds better than hitting the open water on your brand new boat. There's one thing, though: You need your boating license. Could you past the test to get it, so you don't have to miss out on the fun? Here's a quiz where you can find out! 

Boating is one of the top recreational activities in the world. Each year, thousands of people make their way to rivers, lakes and oceans from continents all over the world to catch a quick dip in the water and escape the heat, and many of those people who are looking for some summer fun are boaters, and, of course, boating can be quite fun, but just like any other mechanical machine with a motor, you have to be cautious and obey certain rules to drive a boat, ensuring that everyone is able to have fun while being safe. 

Do you know what it takes to get your boating license, though? Do you know about all of the boating lights and what they mean, or how to tell if another boat has the right of way? If you don't want to miss out on any summer fun, take this quiz and see if you are ready to get your boating license! 

What is it called when a boat tips on its side?

There are many famous cases of boats capsizing. One occurred in 1915, when the SS Eastland tipped over in the Chicago River.


What is a PFD?

911 can't help you on the open water. Instead, a boater is supposed to use a distress signal.


Make sure your lifejackets are NOT what before taking off?

If you're out on a boat fishing, look for birds on the water. They will tell you if fish are nearby.


PFDs should be worn based on what?

Boats come in all sizes. Smaller boats include kayaks and canoes.


PFDs must be what on your boat?

Large boats are used for traveling by sea. Yachts and sailboats are larger boats commonly owned for recreational use.


Children under what age must wear a PFD, according to federal regulation?

Early canoes were made by carving out the inside of logs. These were common among Native Americans.


What is required on your boat?

The oldest boat ever recovered was the Pesse canoe. It was built around 10,000 years ago.


In coastal waters, boats must carry what?

The Pesse canoe was discovered in the Netherlands during construction of a motorway in 1955. It is currently held in the Drents Museum.


What do you need to have to put out a fire?

Though the Pesse canoe only dates back 10,000 years, there is plenty of evidence to indicate that boats were used nearly 1,000,000 years ago. Most evidence points to the disbursement of people into places like Australia and Crete.


Never put what into any waters?

During the American Civil War, the first ironclad warships met in battle. This meeting changed marine warfare forever.


A boat with a toilet must have what?

Before ironclad warships, naval warfare was defined by ship of the line tactics. Here, a ship with the most guns usually won the battle.


You CAN'T release sewage where?

The sides of a boat have names. The left side is referred to at the port side, while the right side is called the starboard side.


Where do you release your sewage holding tank?

The body of a boat is referred to as the hull. However, this does not include the engine or any sails.


What must you do before taking your boat out?

Many boaters live in houseboats, which are docked near shore. Often, these boats never leave the dock.


What type of watercraft must have a registration?

Ferries are a popular form of transportation across rivers and lakes. Ferries carry both people and cars.


Where must your boat registration number go?

There are nearly 12 million recreational boats registered in the United States. However, since 2005, the numbers have dipped slightly.


Many states require that your boat have what?

There are over 5,000 sailboats sold in the United States each year. Nautor's Swan and Hallberg-Rassy are two of the largest manufacturers​ of sailboats.


What must your boat have before you can register it?

During the Civil War, Robert Smalls, a slave, stole a Confederate ship and delivered it to the North. After gaining his freedom, he went back to fight in the war.


What causes the most accidents onboard a boat?

A Swedish warship, the Vasa, sank in 1628. When the ship was recovered in 1961, it was pretty much completely still intact. Now, that's a well-built ship.


To avoid overloading, what must be attached to a boat?

In 1969, Israel stole five boats from France and sailed them back to Israel. To be fair, they did buy the boats first, but France wouldn't release them because of an arms embargo.


Which of the following is NOT listed on the capacity plate?

In 2004, a ship sunk off the coast of Texas when all of the passengers moved to one side of the boat. Of course, they had a good reason, as they were approaching a nude beach.


Which is NOT a problem with an overloaded boat?

The fastest someone has ever traveled on water is 317 mph. This speed was achieved by Ken Warby in 1978.


What is the most common reason that a boat breaks down?

The Titanic, which took sail in 1912, was considered unsinkable. That's until it hit an iceberg, sending the ship into the depths of the ocean along with over 1,500 passengers.


What is required to operate a boat at night?

The Dona Paz was another vessel which sunk after colliding with an oil tanker. Nearly 5,000 people were killed in the collision.


What must boats over 26 ft have that outlines rules on dumping waste?

Nearly half of America's rivers and lakes are too polluted for regular outdoor activity. This is mainly due to waste that is discharged into the water.


What must you do if your boat discharges oil into the water?

Clean water is a global crisis. It affects nearly half of the world's population, resulting in millions of deaths each year.


When you see a commercial vessel, never do what?

One of the largest oil spills ever occurred in 2010 when BP spilled over 200 million gallons. The spill polluted a large portion of the Louisiana coast, killing thousands of animals.


What does H.E.L.P. stand for?

This is a technique you can use if you are stuck in the water, waiting for help. It will keep your vital organs warm longer.


What color are sidelights?

Other boats approaching from the side of your boat can see sidelights. The red light shows the port side of the boat, and the green light shows the starboard side.


Where is a stern light located on a boat?

Obviously, freshwater is an extremely valuable resource. It is primarily used for irrigation.


Which vessel should maintain its course and speed?

Have you ever heard stories about abandoned ships roaming the waters? Well, in 2013, a Russian cruise ship broke off from a towing line with no one onboard. The ship is still floating around somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean.


What color light indicates you should stand on?

Another famous story about a boat adrift was that of the Baychimo. This ship was abandoned in arctic ice in 1932. It was last seen, still floating, in 1969, nearly 40 years after it was abandoned.


When you see a white light from another vessel, what are you doing to that vessel?

Pirates were much more common in the 18th and 19th centuries than they are today. One famous pirate was Ching Shih, a former Chinese prostitute who would eventually control nearly 2,000 ships.


How do you pass a vessel that you are overtaking?

An explorer, Tommy Thompson, who discovered gold on the SS Central America in 1988, disappeared for years after discovering the gold. In 2015, authorities finally found Thompson and arrested him.


What are you approaching if you see a flashlight?

In 2013, after his ship sunk, Harrison Okene, a chef for the ship, managed to survive for three days underwater after finding an air pocket. He was the only person onboard the ship to survive.


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