On this page:
- Boating at SFU
- Vessel Operator Certification
- Small Vessel Registration
- Small Vessel Compliance Program
- Human Powered Vessel Safety
- Out-of-country boating trips
This program is still under development
1. Boating at SFU
All vessels owned by SFU for teaching and research purposes are considered non-pleasure commercial vessels and are subject to Transport Canada regulations. Types of non-pleasure commercial vessels include, but are not limited to, small passenger boats, work boats, and human-powered boats such as canoes and kayaks, landing crafts, and aluminum hull boats.
Boating safety at SFU is the joint responsibility of Safety and Risk Services, Research Operations, Deans and Department Chairs, and boat operators. To ensure you are meeting safety and regulatory obligations, please review Transport Canada’s Small Commercial Vessel Safety Guide and all the sections and resources below. All boating activity at SFU must be detailed in a Field Activity Plan (FAP) that is reviewed by the Field Safety Advisory Committee (FSAC). Operator competency must be demonstrated through an approved operator’s licence and practical training.
Research Operations manages a register of all SFU owned boats. Please contact email@example.com to report any new boats or changes to boats (i.e. no longer in use or decommissioned).
2. Vessel Renting or Third-Party Operators
Renting: When renting vessels, the responsible party must detail operator certifications and experience in their Field Activity Plan (FAP), ensuring that they meet the requirements noted below. The skipper of the vessel (primary operator) is responsible for ensuring that the rented vessel also meets all the requirements of Transport Canada (may be evidenced by enrolment in the Small Vessel Compliance Program) and for noting this in any FAP(s).
Third-party: The details of the company/vendor and a copy of the contract are to be included in the FAP. If the vendor has not been previously reviewed by SFU they may be contacted to ensure they comply with the standards detailed on this page. To help ensure a timely review, applicants are advised to provide evidence from NGOs that their vessels and operators meet these requirements (ie as required by Transport Canada)
3. Vessel Operator Certification
All SFU Vessel operators, including those that lease vessels, must have the required Vessel Manning Qualification as described below.
|Vessel||Near Coastal 1||Near Coastal 2||Sheltered Waters|
|> 2 nautical miles from shore||< 2 nautical miles from shore|
|Passenger-Carrying Vessels (<12 passengers)||> 5 GT||Master 150 GT (Domestic) (if endorsed for limited, contiguous waters)||Limited Master < 60 GT||Limited Master < 60 GT||Limited Master < 60 GT|
|≤ 5 GT and > 8m||SVOP||SVOP||SVOP|
|> 6 passengers and ≤; 8 m||SVOP||SVOP||SVOP|
|≤ 6 passengers and ≤ 8 m||SVOP||SVOP||PCOC|
|Workboats*||> 5 GT||Master 150 GT (Domestic) (if endorsed for limited, contiguous waters)||Limited Master < 60 GT||Limited Master < 60 GT||Limited Master < 60 GT|
|≤ 5 GT and > 8m (except tugs)||SVOP||SVOP||SVOP|
|≤ 8m (except tugs)||SVOP||PCOC|
|Tugs||Limited Master < 60 GT||Limited Master < 60 GT||Limited Master < 60 GT|
|≤ 15 GT||SVOP||PCOC|
*Note that all SFU vessels are by default considered commercial vessels
Note: This table is for the convenience of users. If any discrepancy is found between the Marine Personnel Regulations and the table, the Regulations shall prevail.
4. Small Vessel Registration
All small non-pleasure vessels powered by an engine of 10 horsepower (7.5kW) or more must be registered with Transport Canada’s Small Vessel Register. Fines can be imposed for those who do not have a valid registration for their vessels. Information on registering and renewing your vessel can be found on SRS’ Vehicles & Vessels webpage.
5. Small Vessel Compliance Program
In Canada, vessel operators are legally responsible for knowing, controlling and managing the risks related to the vessel they operate. The Small Vessel Compliance Program (SVCP) is a program operated by Transport Canada that assists people to operate their small vessel safely and legally. To maintain consistency across the university, SFU is subscribing to the SVCP and will enrol all non-pleasure crafts and small commercial vessels eligible for the program.
The SVCP applies to SFU vessels that are:
- non-pleasure (ie commercial/work-boats) vessels up to 15 gross tonnage *Note that all SFU vessels are by default considered commercial vessels
- passenger vessels up to 15 gross tonnage, carrying 12 passengers or less
In order to enrol a vessel into the SVCP, the boat must be registered with Transport Canada. Boat operators must initially (one-time-only) complete a Transport Canada 85-0475E Small Vessel Detailed Compliance Report and provide documented evidence, which should take approximately 60-90 mins to complete. In order to complete the form, boat operators should have the following on hand:
- copies of certificates of training and competency for primary operator(s)
- copy of registration documents
- 4 photos of the vessel – bow, side, stern and top
- stability information or documentation, if applicable
- a photo or copy of your compliance notice, if applicable
The completed form must be signed by Risk Management (firstname.lastname@example.org) in the capacity of the ‘Authorized Representative’ and returned to Research Operations at email@example.com for enrolment into the program. Once submitted, a Marine Safety Inspector will complete a technical review of the package and vessels deemed safety compliant will receive a blue decal to display on the vessel. The decal is valid for 5 years, provided the annual safety checks are compliant.
Completed 85-0482E Annual Compliance Reports must be submitted to RO by March 15th annually in order to have the annual renewals completed prior to the summer boating season. Copies of the latest report must be kept on board the vessel at all times. Once the decal is received by the boat operator, via RO, it should be placed on the hull of the vessel where it is highly visible.
For more information on boat registration and SVCP enrollment, see SRS’s Vehicles & Vessels page. If you have any questions about the SVCP, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
6. Human Powered Vessel Safety
Transport Canada’s definition of Human Powered Vessels (HPVs) includes canoes, kayaks, row boats, inflatables, river-rafts, or vessels that are required with propulsion motors less than 10 HP. SFU HPVs are still considered non-pleasure commercial vessels and are subject to Transport Canada regulations but do not require enrollment in the Small Vessel Compliance Program (i.e. do not require a blue decal).
You can find links to HPV safety guidelines in the Resources tab
7. Out-of-country boating trips
If you are planning to conduct a research project or teaching activity out of country that requires the use of a vessel, you must detail this activity in your Field Activity Plan.
All persons operating a vessel out of country are required to have a Small Vessel Operator Proficiency Certification (SVOP). One crew member or vessel operator on board the vessel is required to have either a Marine Emergency Duties A3 (MED A3) or Small Non-pleasure Vessel Basic Safety (SDV-BC) certification.
Transport Canada’s Small Vessels webpage provides detailed information about everything you need to know about operating your small commercial vessel, including:
- Manning, navigation and voyage classification
- Checking your safety equipment
- Emergency procedures
- Pre-departure safety checklists
- Safety briefings for passengers
Transport Canada’s Small Vessel Safety Guide
Transport Canada’s Small Vessel Regulations
Transport Canada’s Templates for Small Commercial Vessel Procedures and Records
Operating a Human Powered Craft