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Old 17-11-2011, 19:44   #1
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Malibu Rapids in Princess Louisa Inlet

I have never been to PLI and we're planning on going next summer. With our boat, we usually don't have any issues with passes or rapids and checking tide tables isn't necessary as we can power through most anything at 20-30 knots. I've looked at some video footage of Malibu Rapids and it looks pretty narrow and fast. With our 42' power boat should I plan for slack tide or is this another one of those easy peasy places? Cheers,
Bill
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Old 17-11-2011, 19:56   #2
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Re: Malibu rapids in princess Louisa inlet

It is no greater concern than transiting Dodd Narrows, Yaculta, Gillard, or even Deception Pass.
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Old 17-11-2011, 20:08   #3
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Re: Malibu rapids in princess Louisa inlet

Great - that means I can go through anytime. Thanks
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Old 18-11-2011, 05:36   #4
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Re: Malibu Rapids in Princess Louisa Inlet

You are really pushing it going through 'anytime'. Why not plan it for nearer slack - for a little more safety. Most of the rocks in the cut are hard.
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Old 18-11-2011, 05:55   #5
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Re: Malibu Rapids in Princess Louisa Inlet

I have been through there several times on a sailboat - waiting for slack water as it is an s-shaped, narrow pass, with lots of rocks to bash up on if you loose control. I have noticed that even powerboats wait until close to slack water. Due to the s-curve, this is NOT like the other rapids cited by St. Elsewhere. By the way, if you screw up, there is a Young Life camp sitting above the pass, so a few dozen teen-agers will be observing your troubles! The falls at the head of the Inlet are spectacular - well worth the trip up the inlet.
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Old 18-11-2011, 08:46   #6
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Re: Malibu Rapids in Princess Louisa Inlet

OK, so not like the other passes? Most passess have lots of recovery room on either side with Dodd Narrows being....well... narrow - but straight so even at full ebb/tide it's easy for my powerboat. I don't mind waiting for slacker water - but if it's one of the easy ones, it's nice to know that if my timing changes I can still get through. I guess Malibu Rapids is NOT an easy one then.....
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Bill
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Old 18-11-2011, 16:34   #7
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Re: Malibu Rapids in Princess Louisa Inlet

Can't speak for you but even if I had a 42' powerboat (we have a 40' monohull), I would still time Malibu for near-slack. It's a strong S-curve rapid. It's not just a horsepower vs. current equation. If at any point the current hits you broadside, you've got about 30 feet of travel to fix your mistake before you end up on the rocks.

I don't see the payoff in trying that rapid at non-slack current. Slack is predictable. If you time it for an hour before slack, that spot is a beautiful place to relax and have a glass of wine until the current sits down a bit. We hit it at 30 minutes before slack after watching a couple sticks go through and it was no problem.
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Old 18-11-2011, 16:46   #8
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Re: Malibu Rapids in Princess Louisa Inlet

I think its a little trickier than Dodd narrows, I'd be close to slack.
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Old 18-11-2011, 22:31   #9
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Re: Malibu Rapids in Princess Louisa Inlet

Just saw the rapids on YouTube. Yikes. Fast and narrow. Slack tide it is.
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Old 06-06-2015, 15:56   #10
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Re: Malibu Rapids in Princess Louisa Inlet

You may have enough power to overcome the current, but the real hazard is loss of directional control and then hitting a rock or even another boat. I would not try Malibu Rapids other than slack or near slack. I like going through slightly with a little current. Also, this passage is not a clear sight from both ends. It's good to radio "Security security security" when you enter to alert other vessels.
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Old 06-06-2015, 16:16   #11
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Re: Malibu rapids in princess Louisa inlet

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Lee View Post
Great - that means I can go through anytime. Thanks
No you can not go through any time. You do realize that the tidal flow in this part of the world is very variable. One day at an hour from slack it can be 3k another day or the same day 6k+. You have to check the current tables for the time you want to transit and see if there is a big or little tide and what that means to your transit. Like there are often big and little tides each day then there are really big tides(Spring tides,not nec. in the Spring) and small neap tides. I assume you know this if not time for a CGAUX or power squadron class. Sorry to throw this at those who know but as CGAUX I feel its my job to encourage safety on the water.
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Old 07-06-2015, 08:03   #12
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Re: Malibu Rapids in Princess Louisa Inlet

Hi all, I used to run a smallish coastal freighter in to the inlet, pumping propane and diesel for the Malibu Club and delivering freight to the park station at the falls. Definitely call in a Securite when transiting.
We went through with the current most anytime, but had a large hp azimuth thruster to control the bow in the eddies.
Incidentally, there is a nice big stabilizer fin sitting on the point in front of the lodge, a relic from a few years back when a large Mexican registered powerboat tried pushing the envelope.
Greg
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Old 17-06-2015, 22:33   #13
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Re: Malibu Rapids in Princess Louisa Inlet

Enjoy, it's beautiful up there!
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