Onsite Course
Jun 21, 2024 - Jun 24, 2024
8am - 5pm on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday
9 Students Enrolled
(0 Available)
SVOP Victoria and Vancouver Island

SVOP (Small Vessel Operator Proficiency)

The Small Vessel Operator Proficiency course provides entry level marine seamanship skills and competencies for commercial mariners operating small vessels.

Map to FMI / Course PDF

The SVOP course is held on site at FMI Marine in North Saanich near Victoria, BC. The course PDF will be emailed to you once you've purchased the course. So that our emails don't go to your spam folder, we recommend whitelisting or adding our email address ( ) to a safe senders list in your email app, or check your spam/junk folders if you do not receive the notification email after purchasing the course.  A hard copy of the course manual will be provided for in-class use.

Address & Google Map

10875 Inwood Road, North Saanich BC, V8L 5H9.

What You'll Learn

The course will provide the student with Transport Canada required seamanship skills and safety protocol to safely operate a small commercial vessel. Upon completion of the course, students will have:

  • the knowledge and skills necessary to safely operate a small non-pleasure vessel in near coastal and sheltered waters under normal operating conditions, including darkness and restricted visibility;
  • ability to engage on a near coastal, class 2 or a sheltered waters voyage, and for fishing vessels up to 15 gross tonnage or 12 meters overall length engaged on a near coastal voyage, class 2;
  • additional knowledge on aids to navigation and seamanship to supplement individual experience.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Legal aspects of non-pleasure, small-vessel operations

Chapter 2: Basic small-vessel construction and nautical terminology

Chapter 3: Vessel hull types and configurations

Chapter 4: Propulsion systems

Chapter 5: Mooring, knots and lines, and related seamanship skills

View more chapters

Chapter 6: Maneuvering and anchoring

Chapter 7: Navigation safety and collision prevention

Chapter 8: Maintaining vessel stability

Chapter 9: Safety working practices and safe vessel culture

Chapter 10: Marine weather and forecasts

Chapter 11: Using radar for navigation safety

Chapter 12: Using GPS to determine position

Chapter 13: Planning and navigating a voyage with marine charts and publications

Chapter 14: Navigating with a magnetic compass

Chapter 15: The Canadian Buoyage System

Chapter 16: Dealing with emergency situations

Chapter 17: Search and rescue resources

Chapter 18: Marine pollution prevention

Chapter 19: The Canadian Shipping Act (2001) and Canadian small-vessel regulations

Chapter 20: Pre-departure preparations

Chapter 21: Sample departure and safety checklists

Course Delivery

  • Classroom sessions include demonstrations, visual and hands-on instruction with safety equipment, videos, whiteboards, and work sheets.
  • Students have opportunities to handle equipment and are expected to demonstrate identified competencies to the instructor.
  • A manual is provided to each student in advance of the course in an electronic format. (Hard copies can be provided if required.)
  • Students are expected to read the manuals in advance of the course.


  • Minimum 26 hours including 2 hours for evaluation.

Reviews & Exams

  • All 23 chapters provide review quizzes in the form of short-answer questions.
  • The written examination approved by Transport Canada Marine Safety contains 50 multiple-choice questions and the pass mark is 70%.
  • Administering the examination orally and/or online may be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Facility & Amenities

Designed to accommodate 8 students, the facility includes amenities and instructional aids, including:

  • Full washroom facilities and kitchen for coffee and lunches
  • Food stores and restaurants in Sidney (10 minutes away)
  • Garden outdoor area, first-aid station, and ample parking
  • Up-to-date marine safety publications and charts
  • Safety and other equipment for demonstrations
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