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Old 22-04-2013, 07:43   #1
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Arran Rapids

Looking for advice comments concerning transiting Arran Rapids in BC in a sailboat. Is it a big deal provided it is done at slackwater?

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Old 22-04-2013, 08:11   #2
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Re: Arran Rapids

I spent a long summer as a crewman on a motor yacht that was mostly tied to a dock on Stuart Island. I took many walks to the Arran Rapids just to watch the "show."

I remember standing at waters edge and my eye level being well below sea level a short distance upstream. Big whirlpools (20 ft across) appearing suddenly. Large debris (tree) breaching the surface in relatively benign up welling. 3 ft high "ledges" of water at random.

The local fishing guide boats (Boston Whalers) would zip through even when the current was moving. It would be a suicide mission in a keel-boat.

Slack water no problem. But the slack water does not last very long. Be sure that your timing is perfect.


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Old 22-04-2013, 08:32   #3
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Re: Arran Rapids

The canadian current books are very good.... and very confusing... it's all about timing the approach and exit. You'll figure it out, just check and double check!
looks more like a river than the ocean doesnt it?!
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Old 22-04-2013, 08:36   #4
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Re: Arran Rapids

bradm85, Use caution and common sense in travelling through any of the rapids in the PNW and avoid full flood and ebb tides in either direction. I worked commercially towing flat and bundle log booms through that area as well as commercial fishing aboard seiners and trollers for many years and learned to respect them at all times except during slack water. Arran, Dent, Yuculta and Skookumchuck (also Seymour Narrows before they blew out Ripple Rock) can all be problematic if you don't know how to read a tide book. One of the scariest trips I ever took was leaving the pub in Sechelt one night in a 15 foot tinny with an outboard and going through the Skookumchuck Rapids to Egmont, BC at close to full ebb. I was with a couple of native boys from the Silvey family who lived and fished the area but even with their local knowledge and several bottles of 'liquid courage' we nearly lost the boat and ourselves in the overfalls and whirlpools. I checked out where we went through in daylight from the shore and can't believe we survived! Be careful out there!! Phil
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Old 22-04-2013, 15:16   #5
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Re: Arran Rapids

Here are the current tables for Arran Rapids

Arran Rapids - Tides, Currents, and Water Levels

Times are in Pacific Standard Time, add 1 hour to get to Daylight Time.

The "windows" that I use are based on the currents on both sides of the turn.

0-3 knots - go through at anytime but be aware of whirlpools, overfalls, tidal rips, etc..
3-6 knots - 30 minutes either side of the turn
6 and above - 15 minutes either side of the turn and getting smaller. It can be as small as 4-5 minutes.
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