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Apprenticeship Entrance Examination


The following general knowledge is required for pilotage training:

1. Cartography and navigation aids

1.1 Navigational charts, projections, scale, their use as an aid to piloting recommendations concerning their usage;

1.2 Notices of reference indicated on charts pertaining to depths and heights, including notions on vertical clearances (air);

1.3 Various Canadian nautical publications and their usage;

1.4 Transformation of true courses to magnetic and compass courses and vice-versa through declination and deviation cards;

1.5 Finding a deviation or compass error by means of two marks in line;

1.6 The course to steer over the bottom when one knows the compass course steered, the speed of the ship, the direction and speed of the current, and the correction to be made to account for the drift;

1.7 The course to steer, taking into account the direction of the current and the drift due to the current;

1.8 Fixing position using:

  • Simultaneous cross bearings;
  • Visual bearing and radar distance, or bearing and radar distance;
  • Bearing of one or more objects once the distance between them and the drift due to the current is known.

1.9 Distance by which the ship clears a given point;

1.10 Code of practice and navigation methods;

1.11 Canadian Aids to Navigation System;

1.12 Radar operation and risks of error in usage (basic principles);

1.13 Basic principles, use limitations, accuracy and error of the system, and overview of the standards for the following navigation tools:

  • Depth finder;
  • Electronic Chart System (ECDIS);
  • GPS and DGPS;
  • AIS;
  • Speed log;

2. Meteorology

2.1 Various winds and phenomena that cause them;

2.2 Various frontal systems;

2.3 Marine weather forecasts and marine radio warnings.

3. Tides

3.1 Factors causing tides: the sun, the moon and their roles;

3.2 Definition of the following terms: tide, tidal currents, current, high water, low water, spring tide, mean tide, port of reference, secondary port, amplitude, duration of ebb, height of tide, ebb, flood, slack, reverse of the tide;

3.3 Effects of meteorological conditions on the predicted height of a tide;

3.4 Times and heights of high and low waters at reference and secondary ports;

3.5 Height of the tide at a specific time and the depth of the water for a given location;

3.6 Time between which there will be a minimum depth for the water and minimum height of the tide for a given position;

4. Regulation

4.1 Collision Regulations and Canadian modifications.

5. Dynamics and stability

5.1 Squat, its nature, causes and effects;

5.2 Ship speed in restricted and confined channels and its effects;

5.3 Effect of the under-keel clearance on manoeuvrability;

5.4 Bow cushion, its nature, causes and effects;

5.5 Stern suction, its nature, causes and effects;

5.6 Shallow water effect, its nature and causes;

5.7 Interaction of vessels meeting and overtaking in restricted and confined channels. Its nature, causes, effects, and precautions to be taken;

5.8 Stopping distances, emergency stopping, method of stopping in confined and restricted channels, factors involved;

5.9 Turning circle, factors that affect the turning circle and turns in confined areas;

5.10 Directional stability of moving vessels;

5.11 Inertia and momentum, their nature and effects;

5.12 Pivoting point, considering the pivoting point during manoeuvring;

5.13 Draught increase because of the heel;

5.14 Effects of the trim on draught and manoeuvre;

5.15 Draught, the effects of the trim on draught;

5.16 Knowledge of water density allowance for squat, and method of calculation;

5.17 Effect of the location of the centre of gravity on the behaviour of a ship, the effect of a low GM on the ship.

6. General shiphandling

6.1 Various types of ship propulsion, advantages and drawbacks of each:

  • Steam turbine;
  • Straight diesel;
  • Diesel - electric;
  • Gas turbine.

6.2 Various types and effects of propellers in manoeuvring:

  • Pitch of the propeller;
  • Variable pitch;
  • Rotation;
  • Degree of efficiency;
  • Advantages and drawbacks;
  • Vessels equipped with twin screws;
  • Manoeuvring control systems;
  • Azipod propulsion systems;
  • Precautions to take to prevent the propeller from jamming.

6.3 Rudders:

  • Types of rudders;
  • Underhung;
  • Partly underhung;
  • Kort nozzle;
  • Azimuth movable-blade propellers (azipods);
  • Protecting the steering apparatus in ice.

6.4 Roll dampers, their use, effectiveness and limitations;

6.5 Bow thrusters, their effectiveness and limitations;

6.6 Manual, automatic, and emergency operation of steering apparatus on the bridge;

6.7 Effects of the elements on manoeuvring: wind, current, under-keel clearance, ice, visibility, etc.;

6.8 Manoeuvres for docking ship to ship;

6.9 Manoeuvre to enter a lock;

6.10 Manoeuvre for holding ship with minimum advance;

6.11 Manoeuvre for turning on clearing marks;

6.12 Towing:

  • Various types of tows, their advantages and drawbacks;
  • Use of anchors for berthing and setting sail;
  • Towing and the behaviour of tows.

6.13 Anchoring manoeuvres:

  • Anchoring manœuvres, factors to consider, under-keel clearance, area available for manoeuvring, nature of the bottom, natural elements;
  • Use of anchors during manoeuvres (dredging anchors);
  • Amount of chain to use according to the standards of usage and under special circumstances and knowing the different anchoring methods;
  • Mooring with two anchors;
  • Methods to determine whether a ship is dragging anchor and the measures to take.

6.14 Emergency manoeuvres:

  • Manoeuvres from high to low speed to stop, emergency stop manoeuvre;
  • How to moor in an emergency;
  • Emergency manoeuvres when a passenger falls overboard;
  • Procedure to follow in case of engine breakdown or when only part of the engine power is available;
  • Measures to take in the event of a collision or grounding;
  • Procedure to follow when a ship is grounded.

6.15 Winter navigation:

  • Methods for reinforcement and protection against propeller and rudder ice;
  • Basic principles for navigation in ice, requirements and conditions necessary for a ship travelling through ice;
  • Condition of the ice, its thickness, concentration, etc.;
  • Basic principles on approaching and entering ice and manoeuvring according to the vessel's classification;
  • Frazil problems and precautions to prevent ice-clogging of intakes and cooling systems in the winter.

Syllabus verified and approved by the LPA
September 29, 2006