Crossing the Line: The Ultimate Boating Knowledge Quiz

By John Morris

February marks the nadir of winter when we need to find alternate means to keep the boating candle lit. Are you a knowledgeable boater? Take this stupid test.

  1. What does VHF stand for?
    a. High falutin’
    b. Very high falutin’
    c. Communication with very high antennas
  2. Know your channel markers:
    a. Do nun buoys have a religious implication?
    b. There are red buoys and green buoys, but why not purple?
  3. “Freeboard” means:
    a. Pancake breakfast and hearty lunch included
    b. Help yourself to one of these planks
    c. Something more profound
  4. When a Texan says ‘Howdy Yawl’ is he or she:
    a. Being friendly if persistent
    b. Checking your mizzen
    c. Paying homage to regional boating dialect
  5. Boats float according to (see graphic below):
    a. Le Chatelier’s principle
    b. Murphy’s Law
    c. Some Scottish guy from the 18th century
  6. Identify these nautical terms:
    a. Beer taps onboard
    b. Close the hatch and hand me a sweater, honey, there’s a chilly nor’easter
    a. Me up, Scotty
    b. Mr. Beam – noted mute British comic boat captain
    a. Similar to waterboarding but more fun
    b. The future tense of woke – politically sensitive watersports
  7. Sonar is:
    a. A cartoon hedgehog
    b. A means of communicating with fish
    c. Solar energy at night
  8. Know your Canadian manufacturers. Match these famous builders with their claim to notoriety:
    a. Flounder Harbour Boats
    b. D&D Yachts
    c. Manitoba Dryland
    d. Cape Nudnik Boatworks
    e. Spam Island Aluminum
    i. Offshore boats with square sails
    ii. First onboard chicken rotisserie
    iii. Solar-powered hairdryers in each cabin
    iv. Companionway escalators
    v. Inflatable rudder
  9. The Trent Canal System was originally built:
    a. To ship Amazon packages to Parry Sound
    b. Because locks are meaningless without bagels and cream cheese
    c. To transport oats from Thunder Bay to the Quaker porridge facility in Peterborough
  10. “Whatever Floats Your Boat” was recorded by:
    a. Ringo Star and Keith Richards under the pseudonym “the Stuffing Boxes”
    b. The Power Squadron Glee Club of North Vancouver
    c. Buddy Melges
Flotation Explained. Photo courtesy Shutterstock.

If you even attempted this quiz, we have some very deep concerns.

If you scored 24-30 points you earn the title, Master-Boater. I cannot help it your friends make fun of that. Learn to live with it.

12-24 points. That’s not bad and they can be redeemed for a quart of VC17 at the Binnacle.

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