Saturday, May 17, 2008

Coast Guard Exam Questions #1

1) BOTH INTERNATIONAL AND INLAND: You are underway in low visibility and sounding fog signals. What change would you make to the fog signal immediately upon losing propulsion?

Not Under Command – Rule 3 (f) defines this vessel as follows: “A vessel which through some exceptional circumstance is unable to maneuver as required by these Rules and is therefore unable to keep out of the way of another vessel.

A. Begin sounding two prolonged blasts at two-minute intervals.

Incorrect: This signal indicates that a power-driven vessel has deliberately stopped its engines and is “making no way through the water.” This vessel is able to continue making way, immediately upon an engine order.

B. Begin sounding one prolonged blast followed by three short blasts at two-minute intervals.

Incorrect: This signal is sounded only by a manned vessel being towed.

C. Begin sounding one prolonged blast followed by two short blasts at two-minute intervals.

Correct Answer: The moment that propulsion is lost, the vessel is considered to be “Not Under Command” and the vessel is no longer able to maneuver to avoid a collision.

D. No change should be made to the fog signal.

Incorrect: One prolonged blast at intervals of not more than two minutes is the signal for a power-driven vessel, underway, and making way through the water, under normal conditions.

2) When entering from seaward, a buoy displaying a composite group (2+1) flashing red light indicates __________.

A. a junction, with the preferred channel to the left

Correct Answer: The light is the same color as the topmost band with the preferred channel to the left, hence the secondary channel to the right. This buoy would be painted with three horizontal bands, such as red on top, green in the middle and red on the bottom in this instance.

B. a sharp turn in the preferred channel, to the right

Incorrect: The characteristic of the light marking a sharp turn in the channel is quick flashing and would not be that of the composite group (2+1) because the latter characteristic is permitted only on junction buoys. A sharp turn to the right, in either the primary or the secondary channel, would be marked with a red buoy on the inside of the turn and, if lighted, would be red.

C. the starboard side of the secondary channel

Incorrect: The starboard sides of the primary and secondary channels are always marked with red buoys. When lighted, the lights will be red, but not with the composite group (2+1) characteristic.

D. a wreck, to be left on the vessel’s port side

Incorrect: A sunken wreck near either boundary of a buoyed channel will be marked with a lateral mark. If lighted, the light color will be the same as the buoy color, and it would not have the composite group (2+1) characteristic. Therefore, the marker for a wreck on or near the left hand boundary would be green. As an alternative, this wreck may be marked with an “isolated danger mark.

3) A vessel is heading magnetic northwest and its magnetic compass indicates a heading of 312°. The quadrantal spheres are arranged athwartships. What action should be taken to remove this error during compass adjustment?

Note: Ideally, the compass would indicate 315° on this heading, but indicates 312° because of the deviation caused by the mass of “soft iron” in the vessel’s structure. Quadrantal spheres are made of “soft iron” and compensate for this type of deviation. The quadrantal spheres can be arranged either fore-and-aft or athwartships, the latter being much more common. The distance that a sphere can be moved “all the way in” (toward the compass) or “all the way out” (away from the compass) is approximately six inches. The required movement of the athwartship spheres is opposite in direction to their being installed fore-and-aft, and the mass of the spheres proportionally affects the amount of compensated deviation.

A. If the quadrantal spheres are all the way in, replace them with larger ones.

Incorrect: This would only be true if the spheres were arranged fore-and-aft.

B. If the quadrantal spheres are all the way out, remove one of the spheres.

Incorrect: Removing one of the spheres would make the deviation asymmetrical and more detrimental.

C. If the quadrantal spheres are all the way out, move the spheres in.

Incorrect: This would only be true if the spheres were arranged fore-and-aft.

D. If the quadrantal spheres are all the way out, replace them with smaller spheres.

Correct Answer: The three degrees of easterly deviation exist because the spheres are overcorrecting.

4) The equipment required to remove an on-deck oil spill on a barge transferring oil must either be carried on board or __________.

A. on a tug standing by

Incorrect: Under normal circumstances a tug is not required to stand by during an oil transfer.

B. available by contract with the shore facility

Correct Answer: Title 33 CFR 155.215 (c) The oil barge owner or operator may rely on equipment available at the transfer facility receiving from or discharging to the barge, provided the barge owner or operator has prearranged for the use of the equipment by contract or other means approved by the Coast Guard.

C. kept at the shoreside hose connection during transfer

Incorrect: There is no requirement for the equipment to be near the hose connection.

D. kept in a protected shoreside location readily accessible

Incorrect: Although in practice the equipment may be sheltered, the only requirement is that it must be “ready for immediate use”.

5) BOTH INTERNATIONAL AND INLAND: A power-driven vessel is underway and fishing with trolling lines. This vessel __________.

A. must keep out of the way of sailing vessels

Correct answer: By definition, this vessel is not “engaged in fishing” because it is using “trolling lines (or other fishing apparatus) which do not restrict maneuverability.” Therefore, the rule for an ordinary power-driven vessel applies, mandating that the vessel trolling keeps clear of the vessel under sail.

B. must sound a one prolonged, two short blast signal in restricted visibility

Incorrect: This is the warning signal to be sounded by vessels “engaged in fishing.” Since this vessel is not engaged in fishing, it shall sound a signal of one prolonged blast, while underway and making way through the water, or a signal of two prolonged blasts if not making way.

C. is the stand-on vessel when overtaking power-driven vessels

Incorrect: Any vessel overtaking another is a give-way vessel. Therefore, if this vessel were to overtake another, it “shall, so far as possible, take early and substantial action to keep well clear.”

D. All of the above

Incorrect: Only one, of the three answers above, is correct.

6) Which statement about a simple conic chart projection is TRUE?


Simple Conic: A single tangent cone is used. The latitude at which the cone is tangent is the “standard parallel”.

Secant Conic: The cone is tangent at two latitudes, two standard parallels, cutting a “secant” of the earth.

“Lambert Conformal” Conic: A secant conic in which the spacing of the parallels is altered so that the distortion is the same along these parallels as it is along the meridians.

Polyconic: A series of cones used to eliminate the limitation in latitude that can exist with a secant cone and improve quality of presentation with regard to equal-area.

A. It is an equal-area projection.

Incorrect: Polyconic projections are used in higher latitudes where equal-area is desired. However, true equal-area is not possible with any conic projection.

B. It is a conformal projection.

Incorrect: Conic projections are not customarily used in practical navigation, except in high latitudes where the distortion in area of a Mercator projection would be extreme and detrimental. In this case, Lambert conformal projections are used.

C. Meridians appear as curved lines with this type of projection.

Incorrect: All meridians (lines of longitude), indicated on conic projections, appear as straight lines, converging at the apex of the cone(s).

D. The scale is correct along any meridian.

Correct answer: The parallels of latitude are concentric circles and the distance along any meridian between consecutive parallels is correct, in relation to the distance on earth. Since the distortion along the standard parallel (where the cone is tangent to the earth) is minimal, a simple conic projection can be used to map an area having a wide spread of longitude if the spread in latitude is relatively small.

7) What shall be conducted during a fire and boat drill?

A. All watertight doors in the vicinity of the drill shall be operated.

Correct answer: Title 46 of the Code of Federal Regulations, 46 CFR 199.180, requires “checking the operation of watertight doors, fire doors, in the drill area.”

B. All lifeboat equipment shall be examined.

Incorrect: During the conduct of the fire & boat drills, lifeboats are required to be ”lowered” and their engines “operated”, as per 46 CFR 199.

C. Fire pumps shall be started and all exterior fire main outlets opened.

Incorrect: Although the fire pumps are to be started, 46 CFR 199.180(f)(2)(ii) only requires that “two jets of water” need to be used “to determine that the system is in proper working order.”

D. All of the above

Incorrect: Only one, of the three answers above, is correct.

8) The color of the flare sent up by a submarine indicating that a torpedo has been fired in a training exercise is __________.

A. white

Incorrect: A white flare or star is not a signal that a submarine would send during an exercise. The signal of three white star rockets, fired one minute apart, is a signal from a maritime rescue unit meaning, “You are seen.” “Assistance will be given as soon as possible.”

B. green

Correct Answer: Green or black is used, under training exercise conditions only, to indicate that a torpedo has been fired or that the firing of a torpedo has been simulated. By this signal, merchant ships are to be aware of naval activity in their vicinity.

C. yellow

Incorrect: A yellow flare indicates that the submarine is about to come to periscope depth. Upon sighting this flare, naval surface ships participating in the exercise will terminate antisubmarine tactics and all surface ships will clear the vicinity.

D. red

Incorrect: A red flare indicates an emergency condition exists with the submarine. The submarine will attempt to surface immediately. In the case of repeated red flares, merchant ships are obligated to notify naval authorities

9) A chart projection depicting the poles and a small area on either side of a connecting meridian, that is sometimes used for star charts, is the ?

A. azimuthal gnomonic projection

Incorrect: An azimuthal gnomonic projection is produced when a plane is placed tangent to the earth and all other points are projected geometrically from the center of the earth. All bearings from the point of tangency are represented without distortion and the projection indicates true azimuths. This projection is not centered on a connecting meridian.

B. Lambert conformal projection

Incorrect: This projection is formed by using a secant cone to intersect the earth at two standard parallels. The area between the two standard parallels is compressed, and the area beyond is expanded proportionally. When the spacing of the parallels is altered so that the distortion is the same along them as along the meridians, the projection becomes conformal.

C. transverse Mercator projection

Correct Answer: This is a special case Mercator projection in which the cylinder is tangent to a meridian. It is used for charts covering a large band of latitude but extending a relatively short distance on either side of the tangent meridian. This display may be used for star charts to show the sky at various seasons of the year.

D. polyconic projection

Incorrect: This projection eliminates the latitude limitations of a secant conic projection by using a series of cones with each cone tangent to a parallel of latitude. At the edges of the chart, the area between the parallels is expanded to eliminate gaps. The scale is correct along any parallel and along the central meridian. It is not adaptable for star charts.

10) A vessel is heading magnetic north and its magnetic compass indicates a heading of 356. What action should be taken to remove this error during compass adjustment?

Basic compass adjusting knowledge:

1. Red indicates the north seeking pole and blue the south seeking pole of a compass.

2. A magnetic north heading on a magnetic compass is 360

3. To remove the compass error in this question the compass card must be rotated counter clockwise.

A. If the blue ends of the magnets are to port, and the athwartship tray is at the top, you should remove some of the magnets.

Incorrect: Removing magnets from the tray would decrease their combined magnetic field. The blue ends to port wouldhave less attraction on the red north end of the compass and less repulsion on the blue south end of the compass allowing the card to rotate clockwise increasing the error.

B. If the blue ends of the magnets are to starboard, and the athwartship tray is at the bottom, you should remove some magnets.

Correct Answer: This would likewise decrease the combined magnetic field of the corrector magnets. However, in this case the blue ends are to starboard. Lessening the attraction of the blue ends on the north end of the compass and decreasing the repulsion on the south end would permit the compass card to rotate counterclockwise, thereby removing the error.

C. If the red ends of the magnets are to starboard, and the athwartship tray is at the bottom, you should reverse the magnets.

Incorrect: Previously the red ends on the starboard were repelling compass north and now with the blue ends to starboard the corrector magnets are attracting the north end of the compass. Reversing the field of the corrector magnets would cause the compass card to rotate clockwise, thereby increasing the error.

D. If the blue ends of the magnets are to starboard, you should raise the athwartship tray.

Incorrect: Raising the tray would increase the effect of the magnetic field of the corrector magnets on the magnetic compass. This would increase the attraction of the blue ends on the starboard side to the north end of the compass causing the card to rotate clockwise, thereby increasing the error.

11) The database information that should be shown when a chart is first displayed on ECDIS is the __________.

Note: An electronic chart display and information system (ECDIS) is a navigational information system, which, with adequate backup arrangements, can be accepted as complying with the up-to-date chart required by regulation V/20 of the 1974 SOLAS Convention. It assists the navigator in route-planning and route-monitoring by displaying selected information from a system electronic navigational chart (SENC) with positional information from navigation sensors. The system is capable of displaying additional navigation-related information, if required.

A. display base information

Incorrect: This is the level of SENC information which cannot be removed from the display, consisting of information which is required at all times in all geographical areas and in all circumstances. This level of information alone is not intended to be sufficient for safe navigation and it is not displayed first.

B. standard display information

Correct Answer: This is the level of SENC information that should be shown when a chart is first displayed on the ECDIS. The level of the information it provides, for route-planning or route-monitoring, includes the display base information and may be supplemented with additional information to suit the navigator's needs.

C. system electronic navigational chart

Incorrect: This is a database resulting from: (1) the transformation of the electronic navigational chart (ENC) by ECDIS for appropriate use, (2) updates to the ENC by loading up-to-date files, and (3) other data added by the mariner. It is this database that is actually accessed by ECDIS for the display generation and other navigational functions, and is the equivalent to an up-to-date paper chart. However, this is more information than should be displayed at one time on the ECDIS.

D. chart display information

Incorrect: This is not a recognized technical standard phrase used to describe a particular set of ECDIS display information.

12) INTERNATIONAL ONLY: If a towing vessel and her tow are severely restricted in their ability to deviate from their course, the towing vessel shall show lights in addition to her towing identification lights. These additional lights shall be shown if the tow is __________.

Note: There is a difference between the International Rules and the Inland Rules in this respect. The International Rule 27(c) requires the restricted in ability to maneuver lights (RAM) only when towing astern.The Inland Rule 27(c) requires the RAM lights regardless of the position of the tow. Also note that the International Rule refers to vessels towed in Rule 24 (a) only, while the Inland Rule refers to all the vessels towed in Rule 24.

A. pushed ahead

Incorrect: These additional lights would be required for a vessel pushing ahead under the Inland Rules.

B. towed alongside

Incorrect: These additional lights would be required for a vessel towing alongside under the Inland Rules.

C. towed astern

Correct Answer: The International Rule 27(c) states that only towing vessels in Rule 24 (a) (towing astern) shall show theadditional lights for a vessel restricted in its ability to maneuver when the towing vessel and its tow are severely restricted in their ability to deviate from their course.

D. All of the above

Incorrect: Because this question pertains only to the International Rule, choices "A" and "B" are incorrect

13) The flammable limits of gasoline are 1.3 to 7.6 percent volume of the air. You are testing a tank that contained gasoline by using a combustible gas indicator. Under testing, the tank sample registered "55" on the instrument’s dial. What is the concentration of flammable gases?

A combustible gas indicator is used for detecting and measuring the percentage of vapors given off by a flammable liquid relative to the lower explosive limit (LEL). The actual concentration of a specific gas in the space measured by a combustible gas indicator is determined by the meter reading multiplied by the LEL.

A. 0.7%

Correct Answer: The indicated value was calculated by multiplying 55% by the lower explosive limit stated as 1.3.(55% = 0.55) X 1.3 = 0.72%)

B. 4.1%

Incorrect: The indicated value was calculated by multiplying 55% by the upper explosive limit stated as 7.6.(55% = 0.55) X 7.6 = 4.18%)

C. 5.5%

Incorrect: The indicated value was calculated by multiplying 55% by 10, which is a non-factor. (55% = 0.55) X 10 = 5.50%)

D. 55%

Incorrect: The indicated value is only the meter reading and must be factored by the multiplier to produce a value of percent volume of air as the answer.

14) The free surface correction depends upon the dimensions of the surface of the free liquid and the __________.

The height of a vessel’s center of gravity is initially determined without considering the effect of free liquid. This correction is the distance by which the vessel’s center of gravity is raised by the effect of free liquid in a tank. This vertical distance is directly proportional to the surface dimensions (length and breadth) of the tank and inversely proportional to the vessel’s displacement.

A. volume of liquid in the tank

Incorrect: The depth of free liquid in the tank is not a factor.

B. displacement of the vessel

Correct Answer: As noted above, the correction is inversely proportional to the vessel’s displacement.

C. location of the tank in the vessel

Incorrect: The correction is not related to the location of the tank.

D. height of the center of gravity of the vessel

Incorrect: The center of gravity will be raised from wherever it would otherwise be, if there were no free surface effect.

15) When bunkering at anchorage, which of the following signals must be displayed?

The required warning signal for vessels transferring combustible and flammable bulk liquids are cited in 46 CFR 35.30-1(a).

A. A red flag by day, red light by night

Incorrect: These are the required warning signals if the vessel is “Fast to a Dock.”

B. A red flag by day, ONLY

Correct Answer: This flag may be left up at night. There is no requirement to take it down.

C. A red light by night, ONLY

Incorrect: A red light is not displayed at anchorage because it could be confused with a vessel’s port sidelight.

D. No signal is required, at anchorage

Incorrect: Vessels transferring oil are required to display a red flag during daylight while at anchorage.

16) You are upbound approaching a lock and dam, and see two green lights in a vertical line. This indicates __________.

Locks and Dams – The required lighting is specified in 33 CFR, part 207.

A. the downstream end of an intermediate wall

Correct Answer: Two green lights mark the downstream end of either the river wall or the intermediate wall, whichever extends farther. The upstream end is required to have three green lights. These green lights signify that the lock is in use.

B. that a double lockage is in progress

Incorrect: Double lockage is indicated by an interrupted flashing light on each end of the intermediate wall.

C. the downstream end of the land wall

Incorrect: Each end of the land wall is required to be marked by one red light.

D. the navigable pass of a fixed weir dam

Incorrect: The assembly that - when removed - allows for a navigable pass through a dam is a "wicket”. If the wicket assembly were removed, there would not be a need to operate the lock because the water upstream of the dam would be at the same level as the water downstream. In this case, the lights in choice “A” would be red instead of green to signify that the lock is not in use. An open weir would not establish a navigable pass and a fixed weir can’t be opened

17) A vessel is signaling to you by flag hoist, and the answer pennant is hoisted closeup. You should __________.

Note: A naval vessel might communicate with a merchant vessel by flag hoist while under the constraint of radio silence. The term “close-up” means that the flag or group of flags is hoisted all the way up to the yard, which is the horizontal spar extending from a mast to which the signaling halyards are rove. In this scenario, the signaling vessel is indicating that signals have been completed.

A. hoist flag “C”

Incorrect: The hoisting of flag “Charlie” would indicate an affirmative answer to a question that had been asked by the vessel signaling.

B. wait for further signals, after a short delay

Incorrect: If the vessel sending the signal wanted you to wait, it would have hoisted “Alfa-Sierra”.

C. hoist flag “R”

Incorrect: Although “Romeo” means received, the appropriate reply should indicate your understanding of the fact that theother vessel is finished signaling. See choice “D”.

D. expect no further flag hoists

Correct Answer: You would hoist your answer pennant close-up to indicate that you understand that the other vessel is finished signaling.

18) A jack-up rig, while level in transit at a ten-foot draft, experiences a wind gust, which results in a starboard draft of 11 feet 6 inches. What is the heel?

Note: Heel is the difference between the port and starboard drafts that is caused by environmental conditions. If a difference between these drafts exists because of off-center weight, it is called list.

A. 1 foot 6 inches to starboard

Incorrect: The starboard draft has increased by 1 foot 6 inches due to the wind gust. However, this measurement expresses only half of the heel.

B. 3 feet to starboard

Correct Answer: An increase in starboard draft of 1 foot 6 inches implies a decrease in port draft of the same measurement. The difference between these two drafts is 3 feet. The direction of heel is to starboard.

C. 3 feet to port

Incorrect: Three feet is the correct amount of heel. However, the heel is to starboard.

D. 1 foot 6 inches to port

Incorrect: The heel is twice this amount and in the opposite direction.

19) Which vessel is NOT required to have a “Pollution Placard” posted on board?

Note: The requirement for the placard is stated in 33 CFR 155.450. The placard must be at least 5 by 8 inches and displayed in a conspicuous location. It is required on all US and foreign vessels in US waters, except those less than 26 feet in length and those vessels that not governed by the pollution regulations of 33 CFR 155. The text of the placard is a summary of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act.

A. 215-foot naval auxiliary vessel

Correct Answer: Part 155 does not apply to: “A warship, naval auxiliary or other ship owned or operated by a country when engaged in non-commercial service.”

B. 75-foot towing vessel

Incorrect: All towing vessels of 26 feet or more in length are required to have the placard.

C. 50-foot cabin cruiser used for pleasure only

Incorrect: The placard is required on all pleasure boats of 26 or more feet in length, as well as commercial vessels.

D. 150-foot unmanned tank barge

Incorrect: The requirement for the placard is the same for all tank barges; manned or unmanned.

20) Which space(s) is (are) deducted from gross tonnage to derive net tonnage?

Note: Gross Tonnage is the entire internal cubic capacity (volume) of the ship expressed in tonsof 100 cubic feet to the ton, except certain spaces which are exempted such as spaces on or above the line of the uppermost complete deck, passenger spaces, open structures, open space between the shelter deck and the next lower deck, and water ballast spaces. Net Tonnage is the total volume of cargo carrying capacity of the vessel.

A. Companions and booby hatches

Incorrect: Companions and booby hatches are located on or above the line of the uppermost complete deck and are covers to protect stairways or ladder ways leading to spaces below and, therefore are exempted from gross tonnage calculations. They are not included in a vessel’s gross tonnage, and therefore, cannot be a deduction. 46 CFR 69.117(b)(2)

B. Chart room

Correct Answer: A deductible space must be used exclusively for, and be reasonable in size for its intended purpose. The chartroom is a space for keeping charts and nautical instruments for plotting the vessel’s course and is a space that is included in the calculation of a vessel’s gross tonnage. Since a chart room is included in the calculation of the vessel’s gross tonnage, it is a deductible space when calculating the net tonnage of a vessel since it does not add to a vessel’s cargo carrying capacity. 46 CFR 69.119(e)

C. Open structures

Incorrect: Open structures are structures that are located on or above the line of the uppermost complete deck that are under cover (sheltered) but open to the weather, such as a covered exterior passageway and are exempted from gross tonnage calculations. They are not included in a vessel’s gross tonnage, and therefore, cannot be a deduction. 46 CFR 69.117(d)

D. All of the above

Incorrect: Answer “B” is the only correct answer to this question.