Small Vessel Operator Proficiency

SVOP – 4-day course (26 hours)

Click here for information on Small Vessel training requirements.

Click here for our SVOP Course Calendar

Click here to register for our SVOP courses

Changes are coming to the SVOP soon, register now to avoid the additional expense and time and get ‘Grand-Fathered’ into the new System. Click here for more information.
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The SVOP is a Transport Canada certification to operate a Small Commercial Boat less than 5 Tonnes for Passenger and Cargo boats such as Crew boats, Work boats, Sport-fishing, Whale-watching and less than 15 Gross Tonnes for Commercial Fishing boats.

SVOP classes require 26 hours of classroom time over a 4-day period, participants must attend the whole course to pass. There is a multiple choice exam at the end of the course. We provide all materials.

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.

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.

Please call 1-855-655-2628 or email for more details concerning the class and putting together groups in your area.

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 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 to operate vessels 5 Tonnes or less, for passenger boats (less than 12 passengers – sport-fishing, crew boats, whale-watching, water taxi) for Cargo vessels and for Commercial Fishing vessels less than 15 Tonnes. Regulations are set to change, so please stay tuned to this website for updates. The SVOP is valid for voyages less than 25 nautical miles from shore.

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.

Book your course today.

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