to ease

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A good maritime term meaning, in general, to take the pressure off. A sailing ship, on the order to ‘ease her’, is luffed, to reduce the wind pressure on her sails in a heavy blow; the helm in a powered vessel is eased by reducing the angle previously ordered, so as to reduce the rate of swing; and so on. Similarly, in sailing yachts, the sheets are eased, sometimes to take the pressure off the sail to reduce the angle of heel, at others to produce a squarer aspect of the sail to the wind.

Subjects: Maritime History.

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