Small Vessel Machinery Operator (SVMO)

Going through the licensing process ? Have queries, comments, or do you need an answer to that obscure exam question ? This is the place to post.
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The Dieselduck
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Re: Small Vessel Machinery Operator (SVMO)

Postby The Dieselduck » Tue Feb 09, 2010 9:15 pm

You know, this is a very good question.

These thin shields are are pretty much on all filter maker, not just Dahl. I always wondered that but never really sought clarification, but I believe they are strictly a safety device to protect against strikes and heat. Without this shield, the see-through plastic cup may be too vulnerable otherwise. I don't particularly like them myself, since I tend to treat my filtration equipment with utmost care anyways. I don't really need them since most of the time the filters are mounted well away from heat sources, and it generally takes a special kind of stupid to strike them at the right place to make them break. Most times they break or leak because they have been over torqued, or non specified replacement parts (orings) are used.

Which by the way, the bowl should be taken apart to be cleaned regularly. Often time I will join the ship and the filter bowl is so dark you haven't got a clue whats going on in there, which kind of defeats the purpose of that bowl. Keep in mind, that taking apart the bowl to clean should not be undertaken without spare orings, as I think the orings are designed to fail as soon as you take them apart. heehhehehe.
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Re: Small Vessel Machinery Operator (SVMO)

Postby JK » Wed Feb 10, 2010 5:29 am

I agree, good question. I expect it is for protection against accidental hits as Martin says.
Special sort of stupid always seems to happens when you least need it.

Brian, does the exam cover operational issues as well? Such as what do you do when.....?

I very rarely go out on tour vessels, but I was always a little nervous when I did. That feeling of knowing your life was in the hands of someone who didn't quite know what they were doing. They used to have a Gas and Oil get-together on Georges Island in Halifax Hbr with tour boats running back and forth. The one time I went, I was in the boat's passenger lounge, praying that the people on the overloaded outside upper deck wouldn't all decide to go to the same side to look at something and flip the boat over. I insisted we sit by the escape door.

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Re: Small Vessel Machinery Operator (SVMO)

Postby Brian Brooks » Wed Feb 17, 2010 3:16 pm

[quote="JK"]Brian, does the exam cover operational issues as well? Such as what do you do when.....?

Yes. There are a number of wuestions like this.

One involves the correct operation and reading of ground lights - earth lamps.

If a bulb appears dim, or fails to illuminate, what do you do?

The answer this you need to know how these lights are wired and what happens in each circumstance. Here's on answer...

1) Check the bulb first to make sure you haven't got a burnt-out bulb, or one that is about to expire.
2) A dim bulb (compared to the rest) means you could have a partially-grounded circuit. Switch electrical distribution panels off-then-on again to find the one affecting light. Once you find it, switch individual breakers off-then-on again to find the one affecting the light. Trace the circuit in the ship to do tests and make repairs.
3) If a bulb is completely dark (after checking the bulb), you probably have a dead short circuit. Check thgrough the panels as per section 2).

That's typical.

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Re: Small Vessel Machinery Operator (SVMO)

Postby Brian Brooks » Wed Feb 17, 2010 3:23 pm

Regarding apprehension about getting on tour and excursion boats...

Those of us who are working on the materials for what is turning out to be an extrordinarily good study manual, illustrated and in colour, several banks of alternative exam questions and Power Point teaching presentations are very proud of the ship safety role we're playing.

At least, everyone involved is very conscious of it.

I harbour a personal belief that many 4th and 3rd Class Engineering students will end up obtaining our materials. I've never seen a better description of a floating link in hunting gear, for example.

I'll have more stuff shortly. I write the last of my 5 hours of exams to be certified as a SVMO instructor Friday morning.

Brian.

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Re: Small Vessel Machinery Operator (SVMO)

Postby Brian Brooks » Wed Feb 17, 2010 3:28 pm

Question: Describe the following...

1) Black-out
2) Essential Bus
3) Emergency Bus

Typical answers (look at # 3 carefully).

1) A black-out occurs when electrical power is lost to the entire ship.
2) An essential Bus powers the distribution system required for safe navigation, including steering, propulsion controls and feeds, navigations lights, fire pump, bilge pump, watertight doors, etc.
3) An Emergency Bus is a distribution system which powers emergency accommodation lighting and essential equipment listed in section 2), often fed by the emergency generator. Often it is switched manually.

Responses welcome.
Brian.

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Re: Small Vessel Machinery Operator (SVMO)

Postby The Dieselduck » Wed Feb 24, 2010 6:36 pm

I don't see much to complain about in the answers although I do see in "c" that see that the emergency bus is "manually activated". I am not up 100% on the regs, but the last thing I would like to have to think about is getting a generator started, then kicking in the breaker in a time of critical thinking frame, so I think it should read, "automatically engages" in a black out; at least its been like that on all the vessels I have been on.

I think "b" answer is pretty accurate, but in today's world its a bit difficult to include with any definitiveness, all the services that may fall under emergency bus needs, but obviously any that are needed for the operation of the vessels and its life savings appliances are crucial.
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Re: Small Vessel Machinery Operator (SVMO)

Postby Brian Brooks » Thu Feb 25, 2010 4:53 am

Thanks Martin.

Yes, the emergency generator (fitted outside the regular machinery space) is almost always fully automated these days, just like in a hospital. Otherwise the answers are good.

Here's another one:

Q: What does the term "paralleling generators mean, and how is it accomplished. Why is it done and what are the main problems to look out for when paralleling is being done?

A: Paralleling generators is done when the demand for power on the ship begins to exceed the output of the generator currently on-line. More power is required so another generator is added to the same distrubution system.

It is accomplished by using making sure the two generators are first matched in voltage and amperage output. Their outputs are then adjusted to be "in phase" with one another, normally using a special device called a synchronizer.

In phase means that the "wave pattern" of the alternating current output is identical from both genrators before the second generator is switched on-line. If they are not, they will either cancel one another out, create a dangerous amount of heat, or one will begin to act like an electric motor, driven by the other generator.

I am sure this can be improved and shortened.
Brian

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Re: Small Vessel Machinery Operator (SVMO)

Postby JollyJack » Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:07 am

You can pick up a SVMO study guide at any TC Marine Safety office, they are free. Looking over that will enable even a deck ape to pass the SVMO written exam, if he knows anything about vessels of any size. The oral part of the exam is to see if said deck ape has ever been in an engine room, to ensure that nobody will be killed and minimal damage will be done to the machinery. Any of the "black gang" should be able to pass the SVMO with ease, the ERR written exam is, to my mind, more comprehensive. The Oral, however, is optional (MPR 172), whereas the Oral for SVO is mandatory (MPR 151).

I would appreciate any CONSTRUCTIVE criticism on exam questions and answers, in both ERR and SVMO.

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Re: Small Vessel Machinery Operator (SVMO)

Postby Brian Brooks » Fri Apr 23, 2010 5:09 pm

Interesting comments Jolly Jack. The problem with the TCMS study guide is that it contains specimen questions only. The group of candidates targetted by my materials has never worked aboard a vessel, so is not a normal deck ape or part of a black gang. This entry level "restricted engineer" position enabled people who knew abosolutely nothing about marine systems to act as watchkeeping engineer as long as they had a medical, first aid and obtained a CDN number. The unrestricted version (SVMO-R) requiring an oral has questions on steam turbine in it. This is quite a departure from previous requirements.

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Re: Small Vessel Machinery Operator (SVMO)

Postby Brian Brooks » Fri Apr 23, 2010 5:24 pm

I just realized I made an error in my last posting. I called the unrestricted ticket the SVMO-R. That is, of course, the restricted ticket. The straight SVMO is unrestricted up to 4,000 hp, on specified vessel types, in boundary waters. A complete description appears earlier in this forum.

Here's a question for deck apes; If a "diaper" or other padding is placed in the bilge, or under an engine, or used as an floating boom to collect oil, it is "absorbent" if it sucks in and holds all liquids. What is it called if it rejects water but collects oil?

Brian.

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Re: Small Vessel Machinery Operator (SVMO)

Postby Brian Brooks » Sat Apr 24, 2010 3:42 am

Questions for deck apes (otherwise known as SVMO exam candidates):

Answer to last question - Such a "diaper" is known as ADsorbent. Fleeced polypropylene is one such material (sucks up oil but not water). It is commonly used in floating oil containment booms.

New question.
Hint - check galvanic corrosion, nobility scale of metals.

When greasing a greasible type packing gland (stuffing box), why wouldn't you use lithium grease (a waterproof, low/high temperature grease commonly used on snowmobile bogeys)?

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Re: Small Vessel Machinery Operator (SVMO)

Postby Brian Brooks » Sat Apr 24, 2010 4:43 am

New question:

As long as we're on the subject of galvanic corrosion...
At one time sacrificial zinc blocks were attached all over a vessel under the waterline to guard against corrosion of important parts line props, tailshafts, etc. They still are in salt water,however, in the Great Lakes Basin and above tideater in the St. Lawrence (and in most fresh water rivers and lakes) another metal has been used for the past few years. What is it?

Hint. Check your nobility of metals scale.

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Re: Small Vessel Machinery Operator (SVMO)

Postby JollyJack » Mon Apr 26, 2010 3:49 am

Brian, the SVMO Study Guide is here:

http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/marinesafety/tp ... u-1313.htm

There is a sample question at the end of each section. The guide is just that, a guide as to what to study, it is not a text book. Resources, including text books and web references, are listed in section 2.3 of the Guide.

If your candidates have never worked aboard a vessel, they are not eligible to write the SVMO exams. Marine Personnel Regulations, says:

Small Vessel Machinery Operator

151. (1) An applicant for a Small Vessel Machinery Operator certificate shall meet the requirements set out in column 1 of the table to this subsection and the corresponding specifications set out in column 2.


TABLE

Column 1 Column 2
Item Requirements Specifications
1. Experience Acquire at least two months of qualifying service as follows:
(a) at least 1 month of sea service as an engineer or a rating performing engine-room duties on one or more motor vessels; and
(b) any remaining time any combination of the types of service set out in item 2 of the table to subsection 147(1).

2. Certificates to be provided to the examiner
(a) MED with respect to small passenger vessel safety; and
(b) marine basic first aid.

3. Pass examinations (a) Written examination on general engineering knowledge of small vessels, after meeting the requirements of items 1 and 2; and
(b) after passing the examination referred to in paragraph (a),
(i) oral examination on general engineering knowledge of small vessels if applying for an unrestricted certificate, and
(ii) practical examination on board the vessel in respect of which the certificate is sought if applying for the restricted certificate referred to in subsection (2).

(2) Despite item 1 of the table to subsection (1), an applicant for a Small Vessel Machinery Operator certificate restricted for use on board a specified passenger-carrying vessel that has a propulsive power of less than 750 kW and is engaged on a limited near coastal voyage, Class 2 or a sheltered waters voyage may, instead of meeting the requirements of that item,
(a) successfully complete training related to the propulsion system and safety systems fitted on the vessel; or
(b) acquire at least 10 days of sea service performing engine-room duties on the vessel or a vessel of the same class.

http://laws.justice.gc.ca/eng/SOR-2007- ... 1-gb:s_144 section 151

As you can see, the SVMO Unrestricted needs 60 days of qualifying service and the restricted needs 10 days on the vessel in question, or a sister vessel.

The holder of an SVMO CoC can act as Engineer on vessels specified in sections 219 to 221 of the MPR, provided the additional conditions enumerated in these sections are met.

The SVMO does not require a 100% mark to pass the exam, (it's 60%, same as every other Engineering Exam) nor is it targeted to any particular type of vessel. The spectrum is a broad one and affords the opportunity for anyone who has been around small vessels long enough to have a fighting chance to gain the qualification. I don't expect any SVMO candidate to score 100% on the exam, but I do expect that if a candidate has been around vessels long enough, they will pass. It's not designed as "entry level", the candidate should know his or her way around before attempting the exam.

As you can see from the above, the least of the qualifying service, that of 10 days service or training specific to the vessel in question, requires a practical examination aboard the vessel IN ADDITION to the written and oral Exams in table item 3. That neccesitates the Examiner to go aboard the vessel and administer the oral examination there, in which case, the candidate better know his way around. The old "Restricted Engineer" merely needed an oral practical exam on the vessel. It's a bit different since the advent of the Canada Shipping Act 2001, which came into effect on 1 July 2007, people actually have to know what they are doing now.


Incidentally, the penalties for failure, specified in TP2293 section 2.12, table IX, apply for SVMO too

http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/marinesafety/tp ... u-2254.htm

On the same principle, it is not neccesary to have time at sea to renew Certificates of Competence. The candidate for renewal with no sea time in the past 5 years, however, must pass an Oral or written exam on General Engineering Knowledge at the appropriate level. In essence, you can swop sea time for an Exam pass in these cases. (other conditions apply check MPR 107 for Engineers)
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Re: Small Vessel Machinery Operator (SVMO)

Postby JollyJack » Wed Apr 28, 2010 6:48 am

Brian, there are, indeed, sample questions for SVMO, 15 to be precise, in TP14754. The TP can be downloaded in html or pdf format here

http://www.tc.gc.ca/publications/app/en ... rce=istore

The syllabus for SVMO is laid out in TP 2293 chapter 33, which you can access here:

http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/marinesafety/tp ... 3-1155.htm
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Re: Small Vessel Machinery Operator (SVMO)

Postby Brian Brooks » Sat May 01, 2010 4:46 am

Jolly Jack

Thanks for your well-referenced comments.

I'm well aware of all the material you quote for SVMO on the TCMS web site.

Earlier in this forum (page 1) I outlined the exact requirements (two months service on vessel type) and the types of vessel for which the successful candidate could serve as watch keeping engineer.

The problem faced by operators of tour and sightseeing vessels in Canada is that they can't get qualified people to work just 6 months a year. Lists of questions are fine, but what if your candidate has no experience whatever before you hire them as supernumary to get their 60 days, and the person to whom they are attached doesn't know anything either?

Yet the danger to passengers (estimated 2 million anually) is great.

What has always been required for this industry is a high quality teaching text and course which can train candidates from scratch. The cost of sending someone to marine college is high. When they graduate, they simply get a "real" job in the industry and vessel operators are left holding the bag.

It's a tough challenge. You really need to go to a couple of annual conferences of the Canadian Passenger Vessel Association (CPVA), or its American counterpart.

Brian Brooks


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