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NOC Code: NOC Code: 7533b Occupation: Boat operators
Occupation Description: Occupation Description:
Boat operators operate small boats or crafts to transport passengers or freight, sort and transport logs or perform other duties. They are employed by marine companies that provide sightseeing tours or water taxi services and by canal, port and harbour authorities and logging companies. Owner-operators of small boats are self-employed. Boat operators operate small boats or crafts to transport passengers or freight, sort and transport logs or perform other duties. They are employed by marine companies that provide sightseeing tours or water taxi services and by canal, port and harbour authorities and logging companies. Owner-operators of small boats are self-employed.

  • Click on any of the Essential Skills to view sample workplace tasks for this occupation.
  • Scroll down the page to get information on career planning, education and training, and employment and volunteer opportunities.

Table will display the Skill Level for the Noc specified
Essential Skills Essential Skills Levels
Reading Reading 1 2 3
Writing Writing 1 2 3
Document Use Document Use 1 2 3
Digital Technology Digital Technology 1 2 3
Oral Communication Oral Communication 1 2 3
Money Math Money Math 1 2 3
Scheduling or Budgeting and Accounting Scheduling or Budgeting and Accounting 1 2 3
Measurement and Calculation Measurement and Calculation 1 2
Numerical Estimation Numerical Estimation 1 2 3
Job Task Planning and Organizing Job Task Planning and Organizing 1 2 3
Decision Making Decision Making 1 2 3 4
Problem Solving Problem Solving 1 2 3 4
Finding Information Finding Information 1 2 3


  • The skill levels represented in the above chart illustrate the full range of sample tasks performed by experienced workers and not individuals preparing for or entering this occupation for the first time.
  • Note that some occupational profiles do not include all Numeracy and Thinking Essential Skills.

If you would like to print a copy of the chart and sample tasks, click on the "Print Occupational Profile" button at the top of the page.


Reading
  • Read notes from the boat owner indicating repairs or maintenance functions which need to be done. (1)
  • Read navigational updates from Transport Canada, the Ministry of Fisheries and Oceans and the Coast Guard to learn about lighthouse closures and changes to charts or docking procedures. (2)
  • Read books on whales and sea birds in order to be able to provide information to tourists taking boat tours. (2)
  • Read course materials and manuals linked to certification programs for small boat operators. (3)
  • Read regulations to learn requirements for the safe operation of boats. (3)
  • Read insurance policies and forms to check on coverage for various situations. (3)
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Writing
  • Write notes to boat owners to indicate maintenance needs or to raise other issues which involve expenditures. (1)
  • Write letters to potential clients of the boat's services. (2)
  • Write log entries and reports of the boat's itineraries and activities. (2)
  • Write incident reports to provide details of accidents or complaints. (2)
  • Write a detailed description of parts required for an order after consulting with the engineer. This must be done with great accuracy since several parts may be nearly alike. (3)
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Document Use
  • Complete inventory forms for food, drink and supplies. (1)
  • Interpret navigation symbols and buoy markers. (1)
  • Write vouchers for passengers to use on other ships or at other times. (1)
  • Read labels on life jackets, emergency flares and cans of engine lubricants and identification labels on the boat's control panel. (1)
  • Complete a safety checklist on engine and equipment before leaving port. (1)
  • Read lists of phone numbers of the Coast Guard and port officials. (1)
  • Enter information about weather conditions, engine hours and engine speed in the ship's log and complete reservations schedules. (2)
  • Complete licensing and insurance forms. (2)
  • Interpret displays on radar screens to be aware of other boats or obstacles. (3)
  • Read navigational charts to plan the course and to be aware of marine hazards. (3)
  • Read tide tables to know whether the tide is ebbing or rising and to determine the depth of tidal waters at particular times. (3)
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Digital Technology
  • Use computer-controlled equipment. For example, read radar screens to determine the distance of the vessel from a point of land. (1)
  • Use bookkeeping, billing and accounting software. For example, prepare bookkeeping records for the accountant. (2)
  • Use word processing. For example, type advertisements for tourism newsletters. (2)
  • Use a database. For example, enter client names, addresses and requests in a database. (2)
  • Use computer applications. For example, use a global positioning system (GPS) computer program to program the co-ordinates of destinations and track positions. (3)
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Oral Communication
  • Listen to the VHF (very high frequency) radio to hear the weather broadcasts and notices to shipping. (1)
  • Announce a whale sighting over the boat's public address system. (1)
  • Talk to boat owners to discuss routes and any special instructions. (1)
  • Greet customers. (1)
  • Discuss duties and trip preparations with the boat crew. This may include allocating crew to lookout and docking duties. (2)
  • Explain fares and rates and provide commentary on boat tours. (2)
  • Communicate with rowdy passengers to calm them and to convince them to modify their behaviour. (2)
  • Explain engine malfunctions to marine mechanics. (2)
  • Give instructions to First Mate and receive feedback. (2)
  • Interact with government officials if the boat carries a cargo which requires inspection. (3)
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Money Math
  • Take money and make change. (1)
  • Calculate passengers' fares, such as four zones at $2.50 per zone, collect money and give change. (2)
  • Calculate the cost of boat trips to various destinations, taking into account the number of passengers and the length of time to be spent at stops. (3)
  • Calculate taxes, coupon deductions and discounts on tickets. (3)
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Scheduling or Budgeting and Accounting
  • Record expenditures and complete reimbursement forms. (1)
  • Schedule work crews factoring in the length of the job and the rate of pay. (2)
  • Prepare a budget for anticipated expenditures for boat repairs and improvements, and adjust schedules to incorporate new information. (3)
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Measurement and Calculation
  • Measure oil to add to the gas tank when filling up. (1)
  • Measure distance on a chart using dividers. (1)
  • Read gauges showing engine temperature, pressure, amperage and fuel levels to ensure that they are within an acceptable range. (1)
  • Calculate time and distance, taking into account navigational speed and the effect of marine currents. (2)
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Numerical Estimation
  • Estimate the wind speed to determine the number and types of sails to raise. (1)
  • In the event of an impending storm, estimate the time needed to return to a marina, taking into consideration factors such as wind, wave and current. (2)
  • Estimate the deceleration rate of the boat to judge the length of time it will take to stop the engine and come to a full stop. (3)
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Job Task Planning and Organizing
  • Most boat operators follow a schedule of trips established by the boat owner. There is a set routine for preparing the boat for sailing. This preparation involves carrying out maintenance functions, stocking the boat with supplies and taking on crew and passengers. However, boat operators may have to respond to schedule disruptions caused by weather delays, passenger cancellations or unavailability of crew. While the trip is underway they are responsible for the safety of the crew and passengers and for making decisions concerning changes to the itinerary. At the end of the trip, they co-ordinate the tasks of disembarking passengers and securing the boat. Boat operators are responsible for planning and sequencing activities and assigning tasks to crew members. They co-ordinate their own tasks with those of the crew. (3)
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Decision Making
  • Decide whether to authorize a refund to a passenger who backs out of the cruise at the last minute. (2)
  • Decide what information to give to the group and how to entertain them, based on their music interests or other background information. (2)
  • Decide what course to take to a destination, taking into account wind conditions and wave heights. (2)
  • Decide when to change parts or engine oil. Consider preventive maintenance and the need to keep the boat running for the season when making the decision. (2)
  • Decide on the best place to sight a whale. (2)
  • Decide when to break the rule of passing a boat port to port when an inexperienced boater is approaching from the wrong side. The decision is based on how much time it would take to take corrective action. (3)
  • Decide whether to take the boat out when the weather is looking uncertain and when to turn back if the weather changes suddenly while at sea. (4)
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Problem Solving
  • Passengers are getting seasick during a rough trip. Suggest that sick passengers come on deck where the rolling is generally less noticeable and provide pills to passengers who wish to take them. (1)
  • The second captain, who is required by law on a passenger tour boat, does not show up. Take quick action to call people from a list of qualified operators who could fill in an emergency. (2)
  • A boat breakdown has occurred when passengers are aboard. Try to ensure that the boat does not drift into shallow water and assess whether a quick repair can be made or whether it is more prudent to call for a tow. (3)
  • Fuel use has been heavy because of efforts to make headway in a storm and there is not enough fuel on board to return to port. Report the situation to a contact on shore and either wait out the storm in a cove or request a speedboat to bring more fuel. (3)
  • A boom becomes twisted on its trip down river. Try to open the boom to straighten the logs but you may lose some logs in the process. Co-ordinate the corrective activities carefully with the crew to ensure that as few logs as possible are lost. (3)
  • An emergency has occurred, such as a fire in the engine room. Decide what to do, such as incapacitate the engines or beach the boat. (4)
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Finding Information
  • Refer to Coast Guard regulations about the safe operation of boats. (2)
  • Talk to dock workers and observers on the pier to find out how well competing boat companies are doing. (2)
  • Use navigation charts to determine water depths and buoy locations. (2)
  • Communicate with provincial licensing personnel, town council and the Chamber of Commerce to get information on developing and operating a business. (3)
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