Photo Credit: Queenie Prentice
Why do people need SVOP?
SVOP (Small Vessel Operator Proficiency) is a marine training requirement. Gone are the days when someone could just learn a vessel, run it, and take passengers, cargo or fish around without showing a proof of competency. While most of us believe that experience is king, the marine industry (just like trucking, carpentry, driving machinery, forestry and almost all other trades in western Canada) regulation is changing to reflect the times. And in today’s world, professionals need to show “ticketed” proof, even after a lifetime of experience.
The SVOP is appropriate for vessels 5 Tons or Less, for passenger boats (less than 12 passengers - sport-fishing, crew boats, whale-watching, water taxi) for Commercial Fishing and Cargo vessels. Regulations are set to change, so please stay tuned to this website for updates.
SVOP training involves becoming familiar with navigation, vessel construction and stability, collision avoidance and navigation safety, ropework, anchoring and vessel maneuvering, Canada Shipping Act, pollution prevention regulation, geography and chart construction, electronic navigation (radar and chart plotter), meteorology, tides and currents and much more.
Photo Credit: Matt "Cheers" Whelan
For more information about vessel requirements, here is a link to Transport Canada’s Small Vessel regulations:
We offer options for groups to have a local aspect to navigation training--an option to use exercises on charts of your choosing. Our instructors are experienced with running both small and large vessels... and also understand the new Transport Canada system. But more importantly, our instructors are approved by Transport Canada and bring information into the class which is relevant to your group or company--fishing, tourism, logging, tug boats, fish farms or crew boats.
Using a media-rich, clear & logical presentation, safety and relevance are our priority! We believe that workers and operators remember the information we teach and test when the material is local and relevant to the experience of students in the class. Classes are geared toward media-rich, active, hands on presentation. While we use a textbook and students may take notes, we seek to help students retain safety and important information through latest story telling and memory techniques.
If clients wish, we can send our instructors on a ride-along day on the boats in order to understand the needs of the company or group better.
SVOP classes require 26 hours of classroom time. We run this class over a 4 day period. Seaworthy provides all materials except for textbooks, but this includes parallel rules, dividers, stationary and calculators for the navigation component.
Lessons in SVOP syllabus include: Master’s Responsibility, Collision Regulations and Avoidance, Geography Maths and charts, Ropework, Construction and Stability, Aids to Navigation, Electronic Navigation, Search and Rescue, Boat Handling, Weather and Forecasting, and Tides and Currents.
Small Vessel Operator Proficiency is a requirement for crew on boats with 12 passengers or less, under 5 tonnes or cargo vessels/tugs under 5 tonnes operating not more than 25 Nautical Miles offshore.
Please call 1-855-655-2628 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details concerning the class and putting together groups in your area.photo credit: Tom van Wyck