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A term used in sailing, meaning across the wind in relation to the bow of a sailing vessel. Thus, when a ship tacks across the wind to bring the wind from one side of the ship to the other, the ship is said to be going about. ‘Ready about’, the order given in a sailing ship to tack across the wind, the actual moment of the helm being put down being signified by the order ‘about ship’. In yachts and smaller craft, this order is usually ‘ready about—lee-oh’, indicating that the helm is being put down to leeward.

Three stages in going about [a] Port tack [b] Head to wind [c] Starboard tack

Subjects: Maritime History.

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