to veer and haul

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To obtain an extra pull on a rope by alternately slackening it and hauling on it three or four times in preparation for a heavy haul. It gave the men hauling on the rope a sense of timing that, along with singing a shanty, coordinated their efforts. In a square-rigged ship, when hauling the bowlines on the tacks of the sail, the order was normally ‘veer and haul’.

Subjects: Maritime History.

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