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Re: Small Vessel Machinery Operator (SVMO)

Posted: Sun Oct 03, 2010 8:01 am
by Brian Brooks
Hi all:

Hamilton Watefront Trust has now been notified that it will be granted Provisional Approval as a course provider for Small Vessel Machinery Operator (SVMO) - both Restricted to specific vessels, and Unrestricted (after an additional oral exam).

This is great news after all the work. We hope that some of our candidates show up on this thread and that they don't ask dumb questions!

Comments welcome.


Posted: Sun Oct 03, 2010 12:32 pm
by JK
Congratulations, that is great news for you!

Re: Small Vessel Machinery Operator (SVMO)

Posted: Mon Oct 04, 2010 3:49 am
by JollyJack
Good news indeed Brian! :) However, I'm unsure about the "additional oral exam". Both unrestricted and restricted Certificates require an Oral exam. The difference is that the Oral for restricted is done aboard the vessel for which the Certificate is issued and is specific to that vessel, the Unrestricted Oral is more general and covers a greater scope. There's a huge Exemption given for qualifying service required for the Restricted CoC in subsection 2 (a) and (b) of MPR 151 so the "Restricted" really is "Restricted" to a specific vessel and is not valid on any other vessel which is not named on the Certificate.

From the Marine Personnel Regulations:

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.

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). [/b]

(referring to table item 3 (b)(i), the "and" at the end of the line should be "or". If a candidate passes the oral exam in 3(b)(i), there would be no need for a Restricted CoC, he'd have an Unrestricted one. The "and" is just a typo. You can verify this with AMSPE In Ottawa)

(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.

Re: Small Vessel Machinery Operator (SVMO)

Posted: Wed Oct 13, 2010 4:07 pm
by Brian Brooks
Hi Jollyjack

Good to hear from you.

My description of the SVMO Restricted meant an oral as you completed the walk-through aboard the specific vessel (scheduled sometime after the written exam).

The Oral is treated (by us and, as far as I can tell, by Transport Canada) as a separate examination for the Unrestricted certificate, but our stuff is all carried out according to regulations no matter how I have described it for brevity.

Our new facilites are a little daunting. I have a white-board which erases itself when you push a button. The lecture theatre is really something - 55 plush seats with a huge screen for dvd and other film-type presentations. The building looks a little like the Sydney Opera House on the corner of Pier 8 jutting out into Hamilton Harbour. Of course, we only have a small corner of it for training.

We'll be moving the dog & pony show to Port Dover on the north coast of Lake Erie during the second week of November. It's the largest fresh water fishing port in the world - we'll be qualifying several new skippers (SVOP).

By the by, Martin Leduc was in port last week and we had a terrific meeting on board the tug while they were unloading Jet A at a terminal. Great support.

Best regards to all,


Re: Small Vessel Machinery Operator (SVMO)

Posted: Thu Oct 14, 2010 3:37 am
by JollyJack
Fishing port? You eat fish from Lake Erie? *shudders* I won't even eat fish from the Grand Banks because the industrial sewage from the Great Lakes spills out through the Cabot Strait onto there. Did you know a dead beluga whale from the Gulf of St Lawrence pod was washed up on the beach last year? The body was so contaminated that it was declared toxic waste!

I used to live in Windsor, Ont., and took the kids to Point Pele on Sundays. Nice beach, but I wouldn't let them go in the water. Instead, they had a fish hunt, they got one point for every dead fish found on the beach, 5 if it had tumours or abnormalities. The "winner" with most points got to buy ice cream for everyone (daddy paid, of course!) There was no shortage of dead fish on the beach.

Re: Small Vessel Machinery Operator (SVMO)

Posted: Mon Oct 18, 2010 4:12 pm
by Brian Brooks

Hehehe. Great description of post WW II Great Lakes.

Curiously, we are now actively cleaning up Hamilton Harbour, long considered the most polluted place in Canada. Among other projects, $100 Million will be spent remediating Randle Reef, while the rest of the harbour is beginning to become embrassingly clean.

Of course, many people mistinterpret the effect of Zebra Muscles (water so clear you can see things 10 m down) with cleanliness. It's just alotrophic water with all organic food removed from it - nothing can survive. But now we're facing an invasion by Asian Carp - the fish which jump 2 m out of the water, often hitting people in boats and breaking their bones!

So...if we're not "green" just yet, at least we remain the most exciting Great Lakes venue!



Re: Small Vessel Machinery Operator (SVMO)

Posted: Tue Oct 19, 2010 3:51 am
by JollyJack
ah well, the zebra mussels will exterminate the asian carp, so what goes around comes around, eh? :)

What's the buzz on an NHL team in Copps Arena?

Re: Small Vessel Machinery Operator (SVMO)

Posted: Tue Oct 19, 2010 6:40 pm
by Brian Brooks

Now you've touched on a tangled web! An NHL team for Copps Colliseum (or, for that matter, how our new Pan American Games stadium will affect the mix, and future development of the city in the bargain).

Though the last statement seems a little ambitious, in reality, the Light Rail Transit (LRT) money that comes with the new Games stadium could change Hamilton forever - as will the decline of the steel mills.

Hazel McCallion, the forever mayor of Mississauga, stole the original LRT money allocated to Hamilton by the province several years ago. She now has "an LRT to nowhere", and desperately needs to steal any more LRT money coming our way. The stadium can burn down as far as she is concerned (what a shrewd old babe!).

Gary Betman of the NHL, and just about everyone connected with the league, hates the guts of Jim Balsilie of RIM who tried to hijack the Phoenix team here last year, but now a new player has come on the scene. The owner of the Edmonton Oilers and the Edmonton Eskimos of the CFL (and well-liked by all the old boys) has apparently made some offer to the city concerning the new stadium and Copps, as a set.

For now, because of the civic election, the Mayor won't reveal what it is, or if the offer has survived the recent spate of "pout" by the Hamilton Tiger Cats..."we'll move to Quebec City". Bon Journee!



Re: Small Vessel Machinery Operator (SVMO)

Posted: Tue Oct 19, 2010 6:42 pm
by Brian Brooks
Sorry JK...

I guess the RIM-shot tried to get the Colorado team to Hamilton.


Re: Small Vessel Machinery Operator (SVMO)

Posted: Sat Oct 30, 2010 7:52 am
by Brian Brooks
Here's one I just received from a student...

Why is bilge discharge done above the waterline and ballast discharge done below the waterline?

Comments welcome from anybody.


Re: Small Vessel Machinery Operator (SVMO)

Posted: Mon Nov 01, 2010 4:12 am
by JollyJack
Where did that come from? It's not in any of the SVMO Exams.

TP 2293, chapter 33, specifies required knowledge for both written and oral exams. With reference to bilge and ballast systems, the written exam requires knowledge of "Identification and operation of bilge and ballast systems", and the Oral requires knowledge of "routine pumping operations: operation of bilge, ballast and cargo pumping systems."

Note that both specify "Operation", not design.

Small Vessel Machinery Operator (SVMO) course available

Posted: Mon Nov 01, 2010 7:12 am
by The Dieselduck
Small Vessel Machinery Operator

Hamilton Waterfront Trust has recently received Transport Canada Provisional Approval to run both Small Vessel Machinery Operator, SVMO-R (Restricted), and SVMO (Unrestricted).

It is our plan to schedule our first SVMO-R course for the second week of January. Prospective candidate should contact Mary Ann Cuthbert at 905-525-4498, ext. 24, or email: This will be followed by the Oral exam for those wishing to obtain the SVMO Unrestricted certificate.

Our brand new, approved SVMO Training Manual for self-study is also available by mail for those who wish to write the TCMS challenge exam at their nearest TCMS office. Please contact Mary Ann Cuthbert to order.

As a matter of interest, our second Small Vessel Operator Proficiency (SVOP) course will begin Saturday, Nov. 13 (running 4 Saturdays in a row for those who work weekdays, ending on Sat., Dec. 4). MED A3 will also be bundled with this course.

All courses are now being held in our outstanding new marine training facility at the Hamilton Waterfront Trust Discovery Centre. Please open attached photo.

Re: Small Vessel Machinery Operator (SVMO)

Posted: Sun Nov 07, 2010 1:02 pm
by Brian Brooks

Good to hear from you. I have no idea where the bilge vs ballast discharge question hails from, however, it probably was suggested by regulations concerning permitted discharge. I know it isn't in the syllabus, for sure.

Best regards,


Re: Small Vessel Machinery Operator (SVMO)

Posted: Tue Nov 09, 2010 9:10 am
The only response that I could come up with on Bilge or Ballast discharge locations for ship side valves are as follows:
The valves are to be of steel or other approved ductile material. The type of pump used will determine to some extent the type of valve fitted, and the following are in general use:
Butterfly valve
Sluice (gate) valve
Screw lift valve
Straight lift non-return valve...location above load water line only
Automatic non-return valve....location above load water line only
If any of the first three mentioned are fitted in association with a positive displacement pumps, meand should be provided to ensure that the discharge pipe cannot be subject to excessive pressure in the event of the pump being started with the valve closed.

Re: Small Vessel Machinery Operator (SVMO)

Posted: Tue Nov 09, 2010 9:42 am
by JollyJack

Pumping Systems
1. Water shall be prevented from inadvertently passing from
(a) water-containing spaces or the sea into cargo or machinery spaces; or
(b) from one compartment to another.

2. Piping systems shall be arranged as follows:
(a) the bilge pipe connection to a pump that has suction from the sea shall include either a screw-down non-return valve or a cock that cannot be open to the bilges and to the water-containing spaces or the sea at the same time; and
(b) an arrangement of lock-up valves or blank flanges shall be provided to prevent any deep tank from being inadvertently filled from the sea when containing cargo or pumped out through a bilge pipe when containing ballast water and explanatory notices shall be conspicuously displayed near the components involved.

3. Screw-down non-return valves shall be fitted in the following components:
(a) bilge valve distribution manifolds;
(b) bilge suction hose connections, where fitted directly to the pump or to the main bilge suction pipe; and
(c) direct bilge suction pipes and bilge pump connections to the main bilge suction pipe.

So there you have it, if a valve can be open to the sea, it must be a screw-down non return valve. A bilge overboard discharge valve is connected to a pump which has suction from the sea. (duh!) Any valve on the ship's hull below the sheer strake can be open to the sea. If you don't believe that, you ain't seen oggin with speed bumps!