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to let fly


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  • Maritime History

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To let go the sheets of a sailing vessel so that the sails flap directly down wind and lose all their forward driving force. It is a means, though possibly an unseamanlike one, of losing the way quickly off a boat under sail when bringing it alongside or picking up a mooring. In the Royal Navy it was also the form of salute in a boat under sail when passing a senior officer. See also salutes at sea.

Subjects: Maritime History.


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