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Old 04-16-2012, 10:28 PM   #1
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Second Narrows Transit

In an 8kn 49' boat what would be the maximum ebb tide current you would ride out on?
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Old 04-16-2012, 10:41 PM   #2
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Go when you feel like it. You will be going with the current and the max. that I remember is about 5.5 - 6 K and that was only a few times a year. You will have steerage with about 2K more than current. Just be aware steering response will be less precise.
Just watch what is coming at you, tugs and barges and freighters. They will fight it although the freighters transit mostly at slack but those tugs can set up a nasty wash when the current is running.
The first narrows can be bad if there is a strong westerly against the current and of course is even busier.

I used to run out of Reed Point with my 32', 8K boat and we went when we went and we would get tossed about but never had a problem.

I'm not suggesting be careless but as long as you clear the shallows on the north side you will be fine. Those sand bars come out a lot farther than a lot of people realize.
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Old 04-16-2012, 10:56 PM   #3
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It depends

It really depends on the turbulance and the obstructions. Turbulent narrow whirlpool filled inlets or narrows maybe slack water only. Compression waves provide big surprises as well. Wide channels light wind whatever the current is. I've seen 18knt over the bottom with a 10knt boat on the Columbia River just below the Bonneville Dam. Discovery passage is wide and fast but usually not that turbulent, I've seen trawlers at 18knts running south into the straights. The rapids at Malibu slack water only. This is really a local knowledge judgment.
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Old 04-16-2012, 11:10 PM   #4
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I should add that this is local knowledge suitable for Second Narrows in Vancouver Harbour only. I ran this very channel for 20+ years at all times, both coming and going.

I have seen good sized sailboats and slower trawlers that tried going against a strong current get spun or stopped in their tracks on a really strong, near max current. But our 8K er just slowed down sometimes to 2K. The current under the bridge is fast but straight. Afterwards is where it will get turbulent.

I will also point out that I built up the confidence over many years and study of the current charts helped.

Other fast running channels, as Scary points out, are different.
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Old 04-17-2012, 01:19 AM   #5
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Thanks for the replies. I usually try to time any passage at or near slack. I guess it was the local knowledge I was seeking. I just moved my boat to Reed Point from Point Roberts. This Saturday I need to go through Second Narrows and the current is predicted at about 3.5kn on the ebb. So I will proceed ensuring I look for any traffic in the channel first.
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Old 04-17-2012, 10:01 AM   #6
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I was waiting to see what someone with more experience had to say. We've been through 2nd Narrows several times and I've never paid any attention to the current when planning those trips. My bad I guess but we seem to have survived them. You want to scan Ch 12 for Vancouver traffic activity while you are in the harbour. That way you'll know ahead of time about traffic coming under the bridge.
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Old 04-17-2012, 08:50 PM   #7
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Yes about channel 12. I Should have mentioned that. Goes for both First and Second Narrows. The raillift bridge also monitors 12 although unless your air draft is over fourty or so feet you shouldn't need to call them.

Once in a while there will be a CLEAR PASSAGE demand from Vessel Traffic. Usually for a tanker, some of these are gasses, of some variety. They mean business. There is no where for the deep seas to manouver.

I ALWAYS listened for any info about ship movements on channel 12 and many times it paid off, both when I was outgoing and incoming. I could figure out if I would be through or if I was going to have to wait.

You may see a deep sea on the west as you approach from the east. It's hard to tell if they are coming through or going into a berth to the west of the bridge and if they are coming through stay clear.

There is enough room to wait to the side of the channel untill they clear you but not near the bridges.

If you see two tugs coming at you from the west then look behind you as they are deep sea escorts as the ship transits the bridge. There is a ship coming up behind you. It should be well back but look to be sure as they do move.

Have fun and enjoy your trip.
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Old 04-17-2012, 09:50 PM   #8
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Paul:
Second narrows is no biggie for a boat such as yours. We have been transiting the narrows in whatever boat we have had, for the last 25 years, at all states of current. When we had a 30 ft sailboat that would only do 5 knots, we paid a little more attention to the current, as we much preferred to go with the current than against it. In our present boat, we don't really need to check, but when we do, we try to gain some speed.
Sec Nar is one of the least turbulent narrows around,so the only real concern is your speed made good. If you can do 8 knots, you will always get through, sometimes with a boost, sometimes not.
You should monitor 12, as when a tanker is transiting the narrows, there is usually a call to clear the narrows until she passes.
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Old 04-18-2012, 01:24 PM   #9
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Just a note to them lurking. There will be a security call made on ch 16 for a clear first and or second narrows transit. With information on ch 12 of the transit. You will not have to monitor the local VTS system for that warning. Just an FYI
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