duck up

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An order used in the sailing navies to haul on the clew lines and clew garnets of the mainsail and foresail so that the man at the wheel could see where the ship was going. The same term was used in the case of a spritsail when a warship was chasing an enemy and wished to fire her forward chase guns, as the spritsail would obscure the line of sight. ‘Duck up the clew lines’, hoist the clews (bottom corners) of the lower sails to provide a clear view forward.

Subjects: Maritime History.

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