What's the Best Steering Position

A lot of good skippers stand up now when they're steering upwind, and I think this is fast if it's comfortable. You want to be able to watch the waves and feel the wind in your face, and I think the only real way to do that is to get as high as possible. When I stand up with the wheel, I try to stand sideways to the wind, almost parallel to the centerline, like what you would do with a tiller. If I'm on a boat with a big wheel that moves around, I'll lean against the wheel a little with my leg to steady the steering motion.On a boat with a tiller, it's difficult to steer standing up because you lose mechanical advantage as you raise a tiller or hiking stick; you also have little to balance yourself with, so you should just sit wherever it's comfortable and where you have the best view. With a hiking stick, at least you can get farther outboard than with a wheel and you have one or two fewer crewmembers in front of you.-T.W.