In theory you’re correct.
In practice, I can’t really tell much difference between my Foster Shadow (hard chine) and my Gulfstream (soft chine).

The difference is probably just so small that I can’t detect it.

Consider Ernest Shackleton
With 5 other men who had endured more than a year stranded on the ice of Antarctica and then on barren Elephant Island they set forth in a desperate bid for rescue in a 22-1/2 foot lifeboat. In one of the most incredible displays of navigation at sea they reached South Georgia Island, their destination - over 800 MILES of the stormy South Atlantic Ocean. Using only a sextant and compass they navigated for 17 days yet because of clouds were only able to take four sightings.

6 men, a very small wooden boat, in the worst ocean waters of the earth traveling 800 miles to intersect an island only 100 miles long.

That, my friends, is navigation.

My two extremes…

– Last Updated: May-26-07 11:24 PM EST –

The first time I really noticed it was when I was paddling an Arctic Tern14 (four panel S&G) beside an Avocet. We were both heading for a landmark and the Avocet slid a few hundred yards downwind of the AT. The Avocet paddler even commented on the AT's tracking.

Also when leaving my canal there is an open to the wind crossing of about 300 yds. before I get to some mangrove islands. Lately there have been 20-25kt. crosswinds and I have paddled both the AT14 and the Nord LV across there. Granted very different boats and near extremes of design but the AT goes almost straight across while the Nord requires a very noticeable crab.

They are both wonderful handling boats just very different.
The AT 14 is my sports car and the Nord LV is my sports car on ice.... :-)

leadership and luck too!

I’ve never seen the tern in person,
but from pictures, it looks like it might be more exposed to the wind than an Avocet. If that’s the case, I’d bet your drift was the result of wind and not current.

What do you think?

Shelter from Current
Whats wrong with running a straight bearing heading to cross perpendicular to your current and then turning right once your across the channel? Less time spent in the channel , equals less navigational hazards , less time fighting currents and once along shore you can use shoreline features to help minimize paddling directly against the current. If your paddling in low visibility conditions ,you will know that you need to turn right once you reach shore providing your not trying to hit a island , which in this case , may cause you to miss it using this technique.

The Avocet drifted downwind…
The Tern has two very straight sides, virtually two wide dagger boards that keep it that keep it from sliding… My Caribou used to hold up wind of many other boats too.

Check Your Manual and Your Unit.

– Last Updated: May-27-07 6:02 AM EST –

You made this statement:

"It only draws a line from where you are now to where you want to go."

That's not true.

If you use the course line, not the bearing line, and follow it using your map page, you are travelling a straight line.