Hunting New England Shipwrecks
Wreckhunter Trivia Quiz
We don't give out million-dollar prizes, but the satisfaction you'll get from coming up with the right answers, will make you feel like an expert. Answers to most of these questions can be found on other pages of this site. To display quick answers, hover your mouse pointer over the answer buttons below. We add new questions from time to time, so please check back periodically to test your knowledge of ships, shipwrecks and maritime stuff. Enjoy!
In years gone by, ship captains sometimes organized press gangs. In that context, what is the definition of a press gang?
What is brightwork on a ship, boat or yacht?
One particular year in the 20th Century saw an unusually large number of ships sunk off the U.S. East Coast. What was that year, and what was the main reason for the many sinkings?
The new tunnel under Boston Harbor is named after a famous Red Sox player. What is it's name?
What is the general name used to describe ships that supplied Confederate ports during the American Civil War?
To even out its exposure to the sun, the USS Constitution (permanently docked in Boston Harbor) is turned around once a year with a ceremonial turn-around cruise. What is the date of the turn-around cruise?
The black and white pirate flag with the skull and crossbones (or crossed cutlasses) has a special name. What is it called?
In the first half of the 20th Century, the main immigration station in New York Harbor was located on a famous island. What is the name of that island?
Back in the 1800s, many ships were built with composite hulls. In those days, what materials were commonly used to build composite hulls?
What human ailment was first identified among caisson workers in the 1800s?
Upon the occupation of France in World War II, the United States seized a famous French Line passenger steamer to use as a troopship. While being refitted in New York Harbor in 1942, the ship caught fire, rolled over at the dock and was eventually scrapped. What was the name of that French ship?
Massachusetts has two "Capes" that project into the Atlantic Ocean. One is Cape Cod, what is the other one?
Many years ago, scurvy was a common disease among sailors on long voyages. What food was served to prevent scurvy?
In the 1800s, many ships were built with composite hulls. How were those hulls constructed?
The "Hooligan Navy" played an interesting role in American history. What was the Hooligan Navy?
A "Black Gang" could always be found on early steamships. What was the Black Gang?
What is the name of the warm ocean curent that flows northward along the east coast of North America?
In compass terminology, what is the definition of the term magnetic declination?
The State of Maine was originally part of what Early-American colony?
In the early 1800s, a Massachusetts port city became famous and rich because of its trade with ports in China. What is the name of that city?
What is the name of the famous fishing ground that is located about 100 miles east of Cape Cod?
In the Lat/Lon grid system, how many minutes are there in a degree?
What historic event resulted in the abandonment of hundreds of ships in San Francisco Bay in 1849?
Seeking religious freedom, a small group of people left England in 1620 and established a colony on the New England coast. What was the name of that colony?
A certain type of ship is called a collier, what is a collier?
A famous Boston shipbuilder of the mid 19th Century built many beautiful and fast clipper ships. What was his name?
On early steamships, what was the Black Gang?
Which of the six New England states has no coastline?
In marine salvage jargon, what is a casualty?
In towboat jargon, what is a messenger?
In the 1970s, an unusually powerful winter storm struck New England. It disrupted normal activities for several days and destroyed many coastal homes. What was the name of that storm?
Over the past few years, divers visiting the Andrea Doria wreck (off Nantucket) have noted dramatic changes in the wreck's condition. What has changed?
After the American Revolutionary War, many people with pro-British sentiments were banished to Atlantic Canada. What were these people called?
What famous lake separates much of Vermont from New York state?
Old-time sailors used to get a daily ration of grog. What is grog?
Back in the 1800s, certain ships were called packets. How did packets differ from other ships?
On the subject of maritime history, what is the the difference between the definitions of pirates and privateers?
What fictional pirate character did Johnny Depp play in the 2003 movie Pirates of the Caribbean?
What body of water has the world's greatest tide range ?
A ship's specification table often includes its displacement. What is the definition of displacement?
What inland body of water in Massachusetts contains the remains of several submerged villages?
This summer, an American treasure-hunting group announced their plan to salvage an alleged fortune in gold coins from a sidewheel steamer that sank off the Georgia coast in 1865. What is the name of that steamer?
The word "chiseler" is often used to describe a person who is a cheater. In that context, what is the origin of the word chiseler?
What is the name of the chemical process that causes certain metals to deteriorate in the presence of salt water and an electric current?
In terms of Earth navigation, what is a Great Circle route?
The word "posh" is used to describe high-quality accommodations. What is the maritime origin of the word?
What is the definition of the nautical term keel-hauling?
For centuries, ships have been running aground on a small sand island off the coast of Nova Scotia. That island is commonly known as "The Graveyard of Ships." What is it's real name?
In 1803, a young mathematician and seaman from Salem, Massachusetts published a comprehensive book on the science of celestial navigation. That book, called "The New American Practical Navigator," was considered "the bible" of celestial navigation worldwide for the next 150 years. Who was that mathematician from Salem?
A ship carrying Irish immigrants was wrecked at Cohasset, Massachusetts in 1849. Ninety-nine people died in the incident. What was the name of that ship?
Ferries from Portland and Bar Harbor, Maine, transport passengers and vehicles to what Canadian province?
In the United States, what electronic navigation system preceded GPS?
What famous slogan from American history refers to the sinking of a Navy ship in 1898?
On a ship, what are bulkheads?
What is a schooner-barge?
On a ship, what is the weather deck?
What type of vessels are built at the General Dynamics shipyard in Groton, CT?
What is the nautical definition of the word Founder?
On a boat or ship, what are the colors of the starboard and port running lights?
A US nuclear submarine sank in a tragic accident 200 miles east of Boston in 1963. What was the name of that sub?
What is the name of the large shipyard in Maine that builds military vessels?
What is a hawser?
During World Wars I and II, what East Coast port was the origination point for most merchant ship convoys bound for Europe?
In the early days of steamships, why were most ocean-going steamers also equipped with masts and sails?
What is the name of New England's 5,000-foot-long abandoned highway bridge?
When on a boat, why is it important to pee to the lee?
Nineteenth-century New England whale hunters coined a name for the ride they got when towed by a harpooned whale. What did they call that ride?
Why is the toilet facility on a ship or boat called a head?
Using the Lat/Lon grid on a nautical chart, what is the easiest way to determine the length of a nautical mile?
How many feet are there in a nautical mile? How many feet in a statute mile?
What is the name of the easternmost point of land in the United States?
What is the name of the British passenger steamer that was sunk by a German U-boat off the Irish coast in 1915 with the loss of over 1,200 souls?
New England is the home of the last continually-manned lighthouse in the United States. What is the name and location of that lighthouse?
In the summer of 1904, a New York Harbor excursion boat burned and sank while transporting passengers to a church picnic. Over 1,000 people died in the incident. What was the name of the vessel?
What is the name of the group of small islands located several miles off the New Hampshire coast?
An exposed rock navigation hazard near the western end of Long Island Sound has an ominous-sounding name. What is the name of that rock?
What is the meaning of the old navy term blivet?
What New England location is famous for its extremely cold and windy winter weather?
What is the phrase that world-famous treasure hunter Mel Fisher used to repeat to his diving crew every morning?
Some nautical charts express depth measurements in fathoms. How many feet are there in a fathom?
A great storm, known as the Portland Gale, struck New England in November 1898. It resulted in the sinking or wrecking of hundreds of ships. How did the Portland Gale get its name?
Why is the navy ship USS Constitution called Old Ironsides?
In early America, unscrupulous salvagers used bonfires and lanterns to lure ships onto shallow reefs on dark nights. What was the name given to these unscrupulous men?
What is the name of the bridge that spans the entrance to New York Harbor?
What is the origin of the name of Maine's Acadia National Park?
The infamous New England pirate Sam Bellamy (AKA Black Sam), accidentally wrecked his ship on a shoal off Cape Cod in 1717. What was the name of Bellamy's pirate ship?
During World War II, the U. S. Maritime Commission coordinated the production of over 2,700 identical cargo ships for the war effort. The ships were built in 18 yards around the country. What is the common name for these ships?
In May of 1945, the U-853, the last German U-boat lost in World War II, was sunk by the U. S. Navy in the coastal waters off what New England state?
In what New England city is the United States Coast Guard Academy located?
Born in 1651, near Kennebec, Maine, this ambitious New Englander led the first successful salvage operation on the sunken Spanish treasure ship Conception, off Hispaniola, in 1687. He was later knighted for his efforts and became the first Royal Governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. What was his name?
In 1772, a group of Boston colonialists staged a dramatic waterfront protest against British taxation. By what name is that famous protest known today?
One of Canadian balladeer Gordon Lightfoot's most famous songs tells the story of a Lake Superior shipwreck that occurred in 1975. What is the name of that song?
Early in the 20th Century, a canal was built to provide a shorter and safer shipping route between New York and Boston. What is the name of that canal?
In December of 1917, two ships collided in a Canadian port. One of them was carrying a cargo of explosives for the war effort in Europe. The explosion of that ship resulted in massive destruction and over 2,000 fatalities. Where did this incident happen?
In Herman Melville's novel Moby Dick, the last voyage of the Pequod started from what famous New England whaling port?
In the years 1912 to1915, three Europe-to-America passenger steamers sank, each with over 1,000 fatalities. What were the names of these three ships and where did they sink?
The 700-foot-long Italian Line steamer Andrea Doria sank off Nantucket in 1956. What was the cause of the sinking?
With over 1,700 fatalities, the worst shipwreck disaster in U.S. history occurred on a major river in 1865. What was the name of the vessel and where did it sink?
In 1912, a Canadian Pacific Line steamer sank in the Saint Lawrence River, off Quebec, with 1,200 fatalities. What was the name of the ship?
During World War II, approximately what percentage of Germany's U-Boat crewmen were killed in the line of duty? 20% 40% 60% 80%
What 18th-Century New England shipwreck was raised from Lake Champlain and is now displayed in the Smithsonian Museum, in Washington, DC?
A U. S. Navy submarine sank off Portsmouth, New Hampshire in 1939. The next day, 33 crewmen were saved in a dramatic rescue effort. What was the name of the sub?
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