The Master 150GT CoC

By the time our students are ready for the next step in their professional portfolio as a seafarer, most are looking towards taking command of a vessel, under the esteemed title, “Captain”. As with everything in the marine industry, this title takes a great amount of passion, perseverance, knowledge and paperwork to achieve. One of the greatest highlights working in this industry is watching a deckhand come in for their courses, leave with their certificates and graduate with their ‘Certificate of Competency’ from Transport Canada, thus allowing them to pursue employment as a Captain.

Boat command panel

Our Master 150GT students come from a wide variety of age demographics, locations and industry experience: some are fisherman, others perhaps work on tugboats, some are in the salvage business, the RCMP marine division, Canadian Coast Guard… and many more! Regardless of the background that led them to Western Maritime Institute, they all have one thing in common- the desire to become a Captain!

At Western Maritime Institute, the student will complete their Master 150GT courses in a robust back-to-back schedule which takes only 24 weeks. This time can be shortened if the student already holds previous certifications that don’t need to be ‘refreshed’ and is something to be discussed with our Admissions Department. According to the Marine Personnel Regulations, ‘sea service” is not a pre-requisite for sitting the Mate or Master Certificate courses, but students are required to have the appropriate sea service in order to undertake the General Seamanship oral exam at Transport Canada as the last step leading to certification- for the Master 150GT, the sea service requirement is 24 months on a vessel(s) of at least 5GT.’

Obtaining the Master 150GT is not for the faint of heart. A Master (or Captain) is accountable for the safe and efficient operation of the vessel as well as its cargo and all the personnel onboard. They will oversee crew management, navigation, legal requirements, and other assorted responsibilities dependent on the employment. To prepare the student for their new leadership role, they will be enrolled in 11 essential courses: MED STCW Basic Safety Training, MED STCW Survival Craft, MED STCW Advanced Firefighting, Marine Advanced First Aid, ROC-Marine Commercial, Chartwork and Pilotage Level 2, General Ship Knowledge Level 3, Meteorology Level 1, Ship Construction and Stability Level 3, Navigational Safety Level 1 (with or without orals prep) and the SEN-Limited. These courses may be completed in any order- provided all the pre-requisites are met by the student.

After the student has completed the essential courses and has met the requirements of the sea service hours, according to Transport Canada, their oral exam will be booked directly with Transport Canada. Once a student successfully passes the oral examination, they will be certified to Captain a vessel as a:

  • Master on board a vessel of not more than 150GT engaged on voyages in Canadian domestic waters up to 25 miles off shore and adjoining United States waters; and
  • Master on board a vessel of not more than 500GT engaged on a coastal voyage not more than one mile off shore;
  • Master on board a vessel of not more than 150GT engaged on a limited voyage, contiguous waters, if endorsed as such.

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