How to control your boat in wind and current

It's important to know how your boat behaves in windy and current affected conditions. Al McGlashan shares some expert tips to keep your boat under control.
Al McGlashan: One thing that's really important to know about your boat is how it behaves on the drift. Now, you can see here I'm in amongst all these moored boats. I'm on the drift so obviously I'm facing side on. But every boat changes. At sea it'll often sit with it's bum into the wind because the current plays a role as well. In fact, if the current's pushing harder than the wind you'll actually drift against the wind.

So with my boat, because it's got clears, this actually acts as a big sail when they're closed. If you open them, you'll slow down your drift.

So, to complicate matters, if my boat's full of fuel and I've got a crew on board and camera gear and everything, it will drift differently to when it's empty of fuel. The important thing to remember here is that you understand those differences.

And finally, if I turn the engine, I can actually steer the boat on the drift. So, if I turn it to the left or right, I can make the boat turn or drift on a slightly different angle.

So do yourself a favor, get into some little calm bay and see how your boat drifts. Knowing how your boat drifts will make you a better skipper.

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Runabout
Jetski
Cruiser
Yacht
Trailer sailer
Off beach
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