Handling characteristics will vary from ship type to ship type and from ship to ship. Handling qualities are determined by ship design, which in turn depends on the ship’s intended function. Typically, design ratios, such as a ship’s length to its beam, determine its willingness to turn.
Wind and its effect
Wind has a significant effect on a ship. It causes heading changes and leeway. Failure to compensate correctly for wind during berthing is a significant cause of berthing accidents. The difficulty in allowing for wind arises from the variable effect that wind can have on a ship because of changes in a ship’s heading and speed.