Private Boating Instruction        Young mariner navigating through Seymour Narrows, British Columbia

Private Boating Instruction, LLC



Inside Passage Voyage Planning

Excellent book by Monahan with specific guidance    for slack water timing at multiple narrows throughout British Columbia

Transiting Seymour Narrows Safely

One of the top questions I get from boaters who want to cruise the Inside Passage is:

How do I navigate safely through the tidal narrows?"

The answer to that is especially important for a place called Seymour Narrows, in British Columbia.

Seymour Narrows at slack

Seymour Narrows, British Columbia

At peak flow it can run up to 15 knots.

Doesn't look too bad, does it?

That's because we're not there at peak flow.

We're there at slack water.

That's when you should go.

That's the key to a safe tidal-narrows transit.

This is what you should look like going through any tidal narrows.

If you feel like yawning your way through the narrows, it means you timed slack water correctly.
What's the uproar about?


You need to have great respect for tidal narrows.

Learn how to determine the time of slack water.   Do that and you will get through them safely.

Yawn your way through the narrows at slack

A smooth Seymour Narrows transit
Seymour boiling

Whirlpool in a not-at-slack tidal narrows

Here is a tame version of what you might encounter if your timing is off.

Go at slack water, like the first picture.

Be smart.

Record yourself yawning.

Dodd Narrows is another challenging spot in British Columbia.

It is short and narrow.

And you can't see the oncoming traffic that may be right around the corner.

Did I say traffic?  That is the really tricky part.

There is usually a fair amount of it.

Vessels speeding through throw up a wake that strikes the shore and reverberates back to your boat.

Take care. Go at slack.

The lower photo shows Dodd about 30 minutes before slack.

The picture speaks for itself.

Even if you are a fast boat, calculate your timing carefully and go at slack. Leave the heroics to someone else.

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Dodd Narrows, B.C.

Dodd Narrows, south of Nanaimo

Dodd Narrows, 30 minutes pre-slack

Dodd Narrows - 30 minutes early