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 Jul 05, 2011 6:54 pm

Excellent "heads up". Thanks.
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Re: Small Vessel Machinery Operator (SVMO)

Postby Brian Brooks » Wed Jul 06, 2011 7:00 pm

Hi Jollyjack...

I have been running into disturbing problems with various SVMO candidates attempting to obtain their SVMO-R Minister's Certificates after they have completed their course and examination in our school (for their SVMO-T certificate), then passed their practical on board the vessel where they will work.

The first problem (maybe it's just my misinterpretation of the rules...) is that they are required to write a second 60-question exam at the TCMS office where they go to obtain their "R" certificate. Secondly, these exams often include questions on superheaters (an obvious form of boiler) as well as larger engine air start systems, even though they would never be permitted to operate such an engine as an entry-level "R" watchkeeper. I got these questions from my candidates after they wrote their "additional exam".

Is it just me, or are some of my candidates being treated unfairly? All my graduates to date have been excellent people, more than capable of going on to do their oral for an unrestricted ticket given some experience. Two have been hired outright by the same company which employs Martin L. This is very irritating.

Brian

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Re: Small Vessel Machinery Operator (SVMO)

Postby JollyJack » Thu Jul 07, 2011 4:10 am

From the Marine Personnel Regulations, section 151: (the table doesn't copy-and-paste very well)

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.

Whether the Certificate is restricted or not, the candidate must pass the 60 multiple choice question Examination on Wednesday morning before taking the Oral. (The Exam Schedule is in TP 2293, Chater 4, section 4.4, Table VIII, same Exam at the same time from St Johns to Victoria, give or take the time difference) The Oral is either in the TC office for unrestricted, or aboard the vessel to which the SVMO-R applies. Note that in table item 3(b)(i) the last "and" should be "or", the candidate only takes one Oral at a time.

If, after acquiring 60 day's sea service, the candidate with SVMO-R wishes an unrestricted SVMO, only the Oral would be required, he/she has already passed the written and it should be logged in the TC database.

You are aware of the appeal process, I presume? From TP 2293, chapter 2, section 2.13 and 2.14:

2.13 Request for review

Within five days of receiving the results of an examination, applicants may request a review by the examiner who marked it and a meeting with the examiner. For this purpose the applicant fills out the Request for Review form provided with the examination paper.

2.14 Appeals

If, after meeting with the examiner, the applicant is still not satisfied, a formal written appeal may be submitted to the Director, Marine Personnel Standards and Pilotage, Ottawa. The examination will then be marked independently by two reviewing examiners at Headquarters, neither of whom is the original examiner. An average of the two marks will be taken, and the Director will inform the applicant in writing of the result.

The process is very fair and unbiased. Although it says two Examiners will mark the paper, I can tell you it's usually three, who do not discuss it until all three have marked it. All three normally come out within a couple of percentage points. Ottawa will look at it in light of the Regulation and assess it by that criterion.

I refer you to TP 2293, chapter 33, which specifies required knowledge for SVMO. Knowledge of internal combustion engines is listed, but there is no mention of boilers or steam plant. The validity of the SVMO is stated in this Chapter and says:

The holder of a certificate issued under subsection 151(1) may act as chief engineer or watchkeeping engineer on a motor vessel, with the restrictions described in Table 1. (tables don't copy and paste very well)
Table I
Voyage Sheltered waters and limited Near Coastal class 2 Sheltered waters and limited Near Coastal class 2, less than 6 hours duration No more than five nautical miles from a sheltered dock
Type of Vessel
Passenger Less than 750 kW Less than 1500 kW
See note 1 N/A
Cargo N/A Less than 2000 kW See note 2 N/A
Tug N/A Less than 3000 kW See note 3 Tug less than 500 GRT See note 4

Note 1. Subject to conditions set out in the Marine Personnel Regulations, subsection 219 (2).
Note 2. Subject to conditions set out in the Marine Personnel Regulations, subsection 220 (2).
Note 3. Subject to conditions set out in the Marine Personnel Regulations, subsection 221 (2).
Note 4. Subject to conditions set out in the Marine Personnel Regulations, subsection 221 (3).



The biggest engine listed there is 3000 Kw, on a harbour tug of less than 500 GRT. The holder of an SVMO would never see a large diesel with an air start system, so it's not required knowledge.

If you feel that the Examiner is unfairly expanding the scope of this chapter, may I suggest you follow the steps in chapter 2, section 2.14 Don't have a general bitchfest, be very specific about who, where, when and what.

The address is in TP 2293, chapter 1, section 1.8

Transport Canada
Marine Safety
Marine Personnel Standards and Pilotage
8th Floor, Tower C
Place de Ville
330 Sparks Street, (TP 2293 says Kent St, but they moved to this address)
Ottawa, Ontario
Tel.: 613-991-3120
Fax: 613-990-1538

TP 2293 is available on line here: http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/marinesafety/tp ... u-2254.htm

and Marine Personnel Regulations are here: http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/regu ... .html#h-46
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Re: Small Vessel Machinery Operator (SVMO)

Postby JK » Thu Jul 07, 2011 12:34 pm

That is very good advice. I was not aware of the complaint procedure.

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Re: Small Vessel Machinery Operator (SVMO)

Postby The Dieselduck » Thu Jul 07, 2011 1:00 pm

Just for the record Brian, I don't work for McKeil. Never have. The boat I work on was previously owned by McKeils but is now owned by KSea, a wholly owned subsidiary of Kirby Corp of the US. This particular vessel, KSea has chosen VShips Canada to manage it for them. Not that it really matters as it relates to this topic... but.
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Re: Small Vessel Machinery Operator (SVMO)

Postby Brian Brooks » Fri Jul 08, 2011 12:20 pm

Sorry Martin...I didn't realize the ownership trail on your vessel. Apologies. I should have checked.

I'd still like to get your comments on the "boiler/superheater" equipment. If my candidates are going to have to answer these questions I think I'm going to have to go aboard a vessel with this equipment and do some research so I can prepare them for it. I'd rather go the extra mile than get into a fight with TCMS over this.

break;break

JK

Thanks for the excellent response JK, though I have made the complaint previously at both the Ottawa and local TCMS office levels.

We're starting to get some serious applicants now, after people have had a chance to review our study guide. Fisheries and Oceans just called today about our Fall SVMO course. Not bad!

Best regards to all,

Brian

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Re: Small Vessel Machinery Operator (SVMO)

Postby TCB MARINE » Sat Jul 23, 2011 6:45 pm

"SVMO actually does cover up to 5000KW as a harbour tug"
I have several vessels up to this KW rating sailing with SVMO and no engineer.

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Re: Small Vessel Machinery Operator (SVMO)

Postby JollyJack » Mon Jul 25, 2011 3:45 am

Marine Personnel Regulations. section 221(1) 221. (1) A tug that is engaged on a voyage set out in column 1 of the table to this subsection and that has a propulsive power within a range set out in column 2 shall have on board, and its authorized representative shall employ, for each certificate referred to in column 3 that corresponds to that voyage and range, one engineer who holds, at a minimum, that certificate in the category appropriate to that vessel’s propulsion type.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
TABLE

ENGINEER CERTIFICATES — TUGS

Column 1 Column 2 Column 3
Item Voyage Propulsive Power (kW) Certificates
1. Unlimited voyage or, if not operating only between Canadian ports, near coastal voyage, Class 1
(a) 750 to 1 999 (a) Third-class with a chief engineer endorsement and Fourth-class with a second engineer endorsement
b) 2 000 to 3 000 (b) Second-class and Third-class
(c) more than 3 000 (c) First-class and Second-class

2. Near coastal voyage, Class 1 if operating only between Canadian ports
(a) 750 to 2 999 (a) Third-class
(b) 3 000 to 6 000 (b) Second-class
(c) more than 6 000 (c) First-class and Second-class

3. Near coastal voyage, Class 2
(a) 750 to 1 999 (a) Subject to subsection (2), Fourth-class
(b) 2 000 to 3999 (b) Third-class
(c) 4 000 to 7 000 (c) Second-class
(d) more than 7 000 (d) First-class and Third-class

4. Limited near coastal voyage, Class 2 or sheltered waters voyage (a) 1 500 to 2 999
(a) Subject to subsection (2), Fourth-class
(b) 3 000 to 5 000 (b) Subject to subsection (3), Third-class
(c) more than 5 000 (c) Subject to subsection (3), Second-class

(2) A tug that has a propulsive power of at least 750 kW but not more than 1 999 kW and that is engaged on a near coastal voyage, Class 2, or a tug that has a propulsive power of at least 1 500 kW but not more than 2 999 kW and that is engaged on a limited near coastal voyage, Class 2 or a sheltered waters voyage, of less than 6 hours’ duration, may have on board and its authorized representative may employ, a person who holds a Small Vessel Machinery Operator certificate, instead of the engineer required by paragraph (a) in column 3 of item 3 or 4 of the table to subsection (1), if

(a) the tug has a propulsion system comprised of at least two independent engines with respect to their control and fuel systems and that duplication allows for continued propulsion and steering should one engine fail;

(b) the propulsion system is controlled from the bridge with all necessary gauges, alarms and engine and emergency controls;

(c) continuous radio contact is maintained with the home base;

(d) the authorized representative provides

(i) a list of pre-departure procedures and verifications, which procedures and verifications shall be carried out by the small vessel machinery operator before each departure, and

(ii) a maintenance schedule meeting the recommendations of the manufacturer of the main engines, which maintenance shall be carried out by

(A) an engineer who holds at least a Fourth-class Engineer certificate, or

(B) a service firm accredited by the manufacturer of the main engines with which the authorized representative has entered into a maintenance contract; and

(e) records of the pre-departure procedures are readily available, for inspection by a marine safety inspector, on board the vessel or, if the vessel does not travel more than five nautical miles from its home port, readily available in its home port.

(3) A harbour tug of less than 500 gross tonnage that is not a passenger-carrying vessel, that is being used to assist a vessel to dock or undock and that is at no time more than five nautical miles from an accessible dock offering refuge may have on board and its authorized representative may employ, a person who holds a Small Vessel Machinery Operator certificate, instead of the person required by paragraph (b) or (c) in column 3 of item 4 of the table to subsection (1), if

(a) the harbour tug complies with the requirements of Schedule VIII to the Marine Machinery Regulations;

(b) a shore engineer is available and ready to intervene should the master determine that the vessel requires immediate assistance;

(c) the authorized representative provides a list of pre-departure procedures and verifications, which procedures and verifications shall be carried out by the small vessel machinery operator before each departure;

(d) records of the pre-departure procedures are readily available, for inspection by a marine safety inspector, on board the vessel or, if the vessel does not travel more than five nautical miles from its home port, readily available in its home port; and

(e) continuous radio contact is maintained with the home base.

So it is possible for a holder of SVMO to be the Engineer on a tug of more than 5000 Kw, operating within a harbour if it complies with the conditions set out in subsection (3).
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Re: Small Vessel Machinery Operator (SVMO)

Postby Brian Brooks » Mon Jul 25, 2011 8:19 am

Thanks all. I am aware of the 5000 kw harbour tug provision though I don't have anyone who wants this certificate here. Despite the fact that Hamilton Harbour is Canada's largest fresh water harbour (by ship movements or tonnage), there are no tugs dedicated to Hamilton alone. Based at Hamilton, McKeil (now including NADRO Marine) and OCEAN Group all cover Toronto and Oshawa as well as eastern approaches to the Welland Canal as well as maintenance on the eastern Lake Erie natural gas field.

Regards to all,
Brian

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Re: Small Vessel Machinery Operator (SVMO)

Postby JFC » Thu Sep 12, 2013 7:35 pm

hi Brian,

If I recall the, metal diffuser was there for fire protection.

JC

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Re: Small Vessel Machinery Operator (SVMO)

Postby JFC » Thu Sep 12, 2013 7:39 pm

It is a "diffuser" in the event of a fire. It delays the time to breach the fuel system in the event of a fire in the space.

Cheers,

JC

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Re: Small Vessel Machinery Operator (SVMO)

Postby JK » Fri Sep 13, 2013 6:24 am

Sadly Brian passed away in January of this year. It still gives me a jolt to see this thread pop to the top.

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Re: Small Vessel Machinery Operator (SVMO)

Postby Hypatia » Mon Aug 01, 2016 10:34 am

First of all, I am sorry that you all lost your friend, Brian.

I am now passing the time between the end of my first academic term in the meoc program at bcit and going out on my first sea phase. I thought it would be a good idea to prepare for the svmo exam, so that maybe I can find a little bit of work next spring. I have the TC study-guide, and so far it all seems well within my area of experience. I do have one question so far, though. The study guide says: "What situations in the engine room would warrant contacting the home base immediately?"

'Immediately' sounds like an emergency, but I don't want to be on the radio talking to an office person if there's an emergency. I'm not sure what they are fishing for here. Any ideas?

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Re: Small Vessel Machinery Operator (SVMO)

Postby JollyJack » Tue Aug 02, 2016 11:14 am

The operative word in Small Vessel Machinert Operator, is "Operator". The SVMO does very basic maintenance tasks (check the oil, pump the bilges, change the lightbulbs etc) but is NOT and Engineer. So your answer would be any situation which needs engineering expertise. I know, every boatdriver thinks they're James Kirk, but the only real Engineering Knowledge they need is the Chief's phone number.
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Re: Small Vessel Machinery Operator (SVMO)

Postby Hypatia » Tue Aug 02, 2016 6:53 pm

Perfect. Thank you.

In reading through the posts on this thread, someone complained that air started engines aren't within the realm of the svmo. I have been going over the study guide carefully and wanted to point out that there is one question listed for air started engines; about the dangers of and detection of leakinging air-start non-return valves. So I guess air-start systems are fair game.

This thread, and the study guide contain a few suggestions for helpful reference books. I would like to add one more book to that list, which I find helpful: Marine Auxiliary Machinery by HD McGeorge. I have the 7th edition published by Butterworth-Heinemann/Elsevier.


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