This paper investigates the idea of formulating free convection in large-scale models as a special case of forced convection. In free convection, the wind speed in the surface transfer law is related to the velocity of the large eddies in the mixed layer and is proportional to the convection velocity scale. The empirical coefficient is estimated with the help of large eddy simulation data by Sykes et al. (1993) and the resulting formulation is compared with field data by Stull (1994). This concept is shown to be applicable to smooth ocean surfaces as well as rough land surfaces. It is argued that within this framework, free convection is a natural extension of forced convection and only needs a minor modification of traditional transfer laws.