USCG General Navigation: Master's License

This is an interactive test. Read each question and select the proper answer by clicking on the appropriate answer. If a "Y" appears, your choice is correct. If a "N" appears, more study may be in order.


15: What is the length of a nautical mile?


31: When approaching a preferred-channel buoy, the best channel is NOT indicated by the __________.


56: A strong, often violent, northerly wind occurring on the Pacific coast of Mexico, particularly during the colder months, is called __________.


168: Your vessel is making way through the water at a speed of 12 knots. Your vessel traveled 30 nautical miles in 2 hours 20 minutes. What current are you experiencing?

    N a. A following current at 2.0 knots
    N b. A head current of 2.0 knots
    Y c. A following current of 0.9 knot
    N d. A head current of 0.9 knot

219: The predicted time that the flood begins at the entrance to Delaware Bay is 1526. You are anchored off Chestnut St. in Philadelphia. If you get underway bound for sea at 1300 and turn for 13 knots, at what point will you lose the flood current?

    N a. Mile 52
    N b. New Castle
    N c. Marcus Hook
    Y d. Billingsport

228: The Illustration shows the symbols used on radio facsimile weather charts. Which of these symbols indicates a convergence line? (D042NG )

    N a. L
    N b. F
    N c. M
    Y d. Q

260: The National Ocean Service publishes the __________.

    N a. Light Lists
    Y b. Coast Pilots
    N c. pilot charts
    N d. Sailing Directions

301: In the U.S. Aids to Navigation System, lateral aids as seen entering from seaward will display lights with which characteristic?

    N a. Flashing
    N b. Occulting
    N c. Quick Flashing
    Y d. All of the above

305: IN REGION A of the IALA Buoyage System, when entering from seaward, the port side of a channel would be marked by a __________.

    Y a. red can buoy
    N b. black can buoy
    N c. red conical buoy
    N d. black conical buoy

321: Which buoy may be even numbered?

    N a. Mid-channel buoy
    Y b. Unlighted nun buoy
    N c. Lighted green buoy
    N d. All of the above

362: Which statement about a simple conic chart projection is TRUE?

    N a. It is an equal-area projection.
    N b. It is a conformal projection.
    N c. Meridians appear as curved lines.
    Y d. The scale is correct along any meridian.

411: When entering from seaward, a buoy displaying a single-flashing red light would indicate __________.

    N a. a junction with the preferred channel to the left
    N b. a sharp turn in the channel to the right
    Y c. the starboard side of the channel
    N d. a wreck to be left on the vessel's port side

415: If the Sun's observed altitude is 5430', what is the zenith distance?

    Y a. 3530'
    N b. 4530'
    N c. 1230'
    N d. 1430'

444: A sylphon cell is a part of a __________.

    N a. maximum thermometer
    Y b. barograph
    N c. thermograph
    N d. hygrometer

500: The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (formerly the National Imagery and Mapping Agency) would produce a chart of the coast of __________.

    N a. Alaska
    Y b. Canada
    N c. Puerto Rico
    N d. Hawaii

503: You are approaching a light fitted with a RACON. The light may be identified on the radar by __________.

    N a. a dashed line running from the center of the scope to the light
    N b. an audible signal when the sweep crosses the light
    N c. a circle appearing on the scope surrounding the light
    Y d. a coded signal appearing on the same bearing at a greater range than the light

515: The small circle of the celestial sphere parallel to the celestial equator, and transcribed by the daily motion of the body, is called the __________.

    N a. hour circle of the body
    Y b. parallel of declination
    N c. vertical circle of the body
    N d. parallel of altitude

564: A hygrometer is a device used for determining __________.

    N a. the absolute temperature
    N b. atmospheric pressure
    N c. wind velocity
    Y d. relative humidity

624: When using a mechanical (windup type) marine chronometer, how often should it be reset?

    Y a. Only when it is overhauled
    N b. Whenever the chronometer error exceeds approximately four minutes
    N c. At the start of each voyage
    N d. If the chronometer rate changes from gaining to losing or vice versa

695: An azimuth angle for a body is measured from the __________.

    Y a. observer's meridian
    N b. Greenwich meridian
    N c. body's meridian
    N d. zenith distance

709: A sea breeze is a wind __________.

    N a. that blows towards the sea at night
    Y b. that blows towards an island during the day
    N c. caused by cold air descending a coastal incline
    N d. caused by the distant approach of a hurricane

937: The north equatorial current flows to the __________.

    N a. east
    N b. northeast
    N c. southwest
    Y d. west

1046: The probability of a sudden wind may be foretold by __________.

    N a. a partly cloudy sky
    N b. an overcast sky
    Y c. a fast approaching line of dark clouds
    N d. the formation of cumulus clouds in the sky

1194: In the Northern Hemisphere, an observer at point II in the weather system should experience a wind shift from the __________. (D014NG )

    Y a. southwest, clockwise to northwest
    N b. northeast, clockwise to west-southwest
    N c. northeast, counterclockwise to northwest
    N d. east, counterclockwise to south-southwest

1195: A position that is obtained by applying estimated current and wind to your vessel's course and speed is a(n) __________.

    N a. dead reckoning position
    N b. fix
    Y c. estimated position
    N d. None of the above

1196: In the Northern Hemisphere, gusty winds shifting clockwise, a rapid drop in temperature, thunderstorms or rain squalls in summer (frequent rain/snow squalls in winter) then a rise in pressure followed by clearing skies, indicate the passage of a(n) __________.

    N a. warm front
    N b. tropical cyclone
    N c. anticyclone
    Y d. cold front

1197: Off Fire Island, NY with winds from the southwest, the average wind-driven current flows in a direction of __________.

    N a. 014
    Y b. 076
    N c. 170
    N d. 256

1203: If the compass heading and the magnetic heading are the same then __________.

    N a. the deviation has been offset by the variation
    N b. there is something wrong with the compass
    N c. the compass is being influenced by nearby metals
    Y d. there is no deviation on that heading

1213: If the magnetic heading is greater than the compass heading, the deviation is __________.

    Y a. east
    N b. west
    N c. north
    N d. south

1261: A light having characteristics which include color variations is defined as __________.

    N a. switching
    Y b. alternating
    N c. oscillating
    N d. fluctuating

1263: The compass deviation changes as the vessel changes __________.

    N a. geographical position
    N b. speed
    Y c. heading
    N d. longitude

1263: The compass deviation changes as the vessel changes __________.

    N a. geographical position
    N b. speed
    Y c. heading
    N d. longitude

1316: When a warm air mass overtakes a cold air mass, the contact surface is called a __________.

    N a. line squall
    N b. water spout
    N c. cold front
    Y d. warm front

1384: Which type of cloud is indicated by number 9? (D039NG )

    N a. Cumulus
    Y b. Cumulonimbus
    N c. Altostratus
    N d. Stratocumulus

1392: Cumulonimbus clouds are indicated by which number? (D039NG )

    Y a. 9
    N b. 7
    N c. 5
    N d. 3

1475: Which type of cloud is the classic "thunderhead"?

    Y a. Cumulonimbus
    N b. Stratus
    N c. Cirrus
    N d. Altostratus

1713: When a tornado moves over the water from land it is called a __________.

    N a. tornado
    Y b. waterspout
    N c. hurricane
    N d. cyclone

1742: In the Northern hemisphere which semicircle of a hurricane is the navigable semicircle?

    Y a. Left
    N b. Right
    N c. Front
    N d. Back

1789: The Illustration represents a fixed C of E lock and dam. What navigational light(s) is(are) exhibited at the position indicated by the letter F in the illustration? (D036NG )

    Y a. One red light
    N b. Two green lights
    N c. Three green lights
    N d. No light(s)

1840: A vessel heading NW is on a course of __________.

    N a. 274.5
    N b. 292.5
    Y c. 315.0
    N d. 337.5

1908: What is the brightest navigational planet?

    N a. Saturn
    N b. Jupiter
    N c. Mars
    Y d. Venus

2049: At morning stars, the first stars that should be observed are those with an azimuth in which quadrant?

    Y a. Eastern
    N b. Southern
    N c. Western
    N d. Northern

2052: Under the chart numbering system used by NGA (NIMA), the first digit of a multi-digit number indicates __________.

    Y a. the general geographic area
    N b. the general scale of the chart
    N c. whether it is a major or minor chart
    N d. the projection used to construct the chart

2090: You are underway in an area where the charted depth is 8 fathoms. You compute the height of tide to be -4.0 feet. The draft of your vessel is 5.0 feet (1.52 meters). You determine the depth of the water beneath your keel to be __________.

    Y a. 39 feet (11.9 meters)
    N b. 43 feet (13.1 meters)
    N c. 47 feet (14.3 meters)
    N d. 57 feet (17.4 meters)

2090: You are underway in an area where the charted depth is 8 fathoms. You compute the height of tide to be -4.0 feet. The draft of your vessel is 5.0 feet (1.52 meters). You determine the depth of the water beneath your keel to be __________.

    Y a. 39 feet (11.9 meters)
    N b. 43 feet (13.1 meters)
    N c. 47 feet (14.3 meters)
    N d. 57 feet (17.4 meters)

2112: Vessels regularly navigating rivers above Cairo, Illinois, shall at all times have on board a copy of __________.

    N a. U.S. Coast Pilot
    Y b. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Regulations (Blue Book)
    N c. Nautical Almanac for the year
    N d. Light List Vol. V

2270: The lubber's line of a magnetic compass __________.

    N a. always shows true north direction
    Y b. indicates the vessel's heading
    N c. is always parallel to the vessel's transom
    N d. is located on the compass card

2329: In low latitudes, a last quarter moon will always rise at about __________.

    N a. sunrise
    N b. 1200 LMT
    N c. sunset
    Y d. 2400 LMT

2384: On U.S. charts, you can tell if a named feature such as a rock (i.e. Great Eastern Rock in Block Island Sound) is submerged by the __________.

    N a. color of ink used to print the name
    Y b. style of type used to print the name
    N c. dashed circle around the feature
    N d. magenta circle around the feature

2439: Which statement about the time diagram in illustration D008NG is TRUE? (D008NG )

    Y a. You are in east longitude.
    N b. The Sun is setting for you.
    N c. Your date is different from the Greenwich date.
    N d. The GHA is approximately 160.

2484: What is the equivalent of 153' in time units?

    N a. 3 min. 16 sec.
    N b. 5 min. 28 sec.
    N c. 6 min. 43 sec.
    Y d. 7 min. 32 sec.

2562: In the time diagram shown __________. (D005NG )

    N a. the GHA of the Sun is approximately 330
    Y b. your date is one day later than the date at Greenwich
    N c. the LHA of the Sun is approximately 120
    N d. you are in west longitude

2589: Under the IALA cardinal system, a mark with a quick white light showing 6 flashes followed by one long flash indicates that the safest water is on the __________.

    N a. north side of the mark
    N b. west side of the mark
    N c. east side of the mark
    Y d. south side of the mark

2589: Under the IALA cardinal system, a mark with a quick white light showing 6 flashes followed by one long flash indicates that the safest water is on the __________.

    N a. north side of the mark
    N b. west side of the mark
    N c. east side of the mark
    Y d. south side of the mark

2690: Right ascension is primarily used by the navigator for __________.

    N a. calculating amplitudes
    N b. calculating great circle sailings by the Ageton method
    N c. entering the Air Navigation Tables (Selected Stars) Pub 249
    Y d. plotting on star finders

2889: On 29 June 1981 you observe a back sight of the upper limb of the Moon. The sextant altitude (hs) is 11416.9'. The height of eye is 36 feet, and the index error is 2.0' off the arc. The horizontal parallax is 60.5'. What is the observed altitude (Ho)?

    N a. 6623.8'
    N b. 6604.4'
    N c. 6600.4'
    Y d. 6553.8'

3081: The highest level of commercial navigational accuracy is provided by __________.

    Y a. DGPS, within a coverage area
    N b. SPS, without selective availability
    N c. PPS, without selective availability
    N d. NAVSAT, using the Doppler-shift

3091: Which of the following must an ECDIS system be able to perform?

    N a. Conversion of "graphical coordinates" to "display coordinates"
    N b. Transformation of local datum to WGS-'84 datum
    N c. Calculation of true azimuth and distance between two geographical points
    Y d. All of the above

3116: With respect to automatic identification systems (AIS), which information is expected to be broadcast every 1 to 10 seconds?

    N a. Name of ship
    Y b. Ship's heading
    N c. IMO number
    N d. Vessel's draft

3125: Which of the following statements is TRUE regarding automatic identification systems (AIS)?

    N a. AIS is designed to replace ARPA, maneuvering boards, and visual bearings as a means to ascertain the risk of collision.
    Y b. AIS provides near real-time information regarding another vessel's speed over ground and heading regardless of visibility.
    N c. AIS will not provide information on another vessel if that vessel is indistinguishable in radar sea clutter.
    N d. AIS can be relied upon as the sole means to determine course changes due to other AIS equipped traffic.