Hey Alan -
Good to hear from you.
Yeah well your friend and mine changed his tune from "it's ok to hit yourself" to the water haul, which I do use in fact he saw me doing half the day off his transom on Brewster this spring
Of course magnifying load due to friction will help resist the effect of a crosswind, however the maneuver will be limited to side/side (boat in the way and not a target) and limited to shorter lengths of line, preferably with short heads like the T-series, QD, Rio deep sea, etc.
Nothing is more of a water load than a Spey cast, particularly a Skagit cast, however as the line leaves the surface of the water it is still dangerous in wind.
A water haul by definition does not have the pulley wheel component that a Spey cast does, so it would project linearly along the path - provided that point of release was close enough forward so as to not cross the path of the angler while in flight.
So a short tight pull against the surface sounds reasonable regardless of what 'the experts say' yet when I get home I will check what Wulff, Jawarowski et. al. have to say about casting in a cross wind; maybe they feel the water load is the cat's meow.
Once again, I put the fly in my mouth and spit it at the fish if that's the best option however the cast will be significantly more effective if I just load it back and forth in the lee side of the wind.
Another cast talked about a bit is the "belgian" or elliptical cast which draws the backcast out and away to the windward side then comes directly overhead while ducking.
Drifting with the outdrive down puts the nose into the lee thus the backdoor man always gets the crosswind. If not for the center console the backcast would be roomy, makes a panga sound attractive for inshore flycasting.
ok back to the coal mine...