I went paddling yesterday on the Chesapeake in some very high winds. Winds were over 40-45 knots.
I was out in my Explorer which has no problem handling such conditions and which is a very neutral boat in the wind.
However, I noticed some strange "weathercocking" I know that generally a boat will turn into the wind; however, in this instance the boat would turn sideways to the wind.
Even with a strong cross-bow rudder the boat was hard to get turned back into the wind and would eventually end up sideways again.
I noticed the same thing going down wind as well which I found surprising. Unless I maintained a stern rudder in the water the boat would again turn sideways.
I have noticed other somewhat strange boat handling in really high winds in the past. In winds over 25 or 30 knots it seems to me that the boat tends to get blown downwind rather than turning up into it.
Is there a reason why a boat would act any different in winds over a certain speed (turn down wind or across the wind as opposed to turning up into the wind).
Incidentally I did not use the skeg (it was cold and I was using pogies and did not really want to mess with getting my hand out and back in the pogie given the wind). Skeg might have helped or at least changed things.