[PW] nautical expression for gaining an advantage

Ellen Krupar kellen at vt.edu
Wed Feb 14 08:10:02 PST 2018


I am not a sailor but read many an Alexander Kent novel.  One expression
that I remember is "holding the weather gage".  It indicates an
advantageous position in naval engagements due to skill in using the wind
or initial placement of the ships.

Another thing I remember is that if a ship could approach astern of another
vessel, they might be able to utilize "raking fire", where they would be
able to fire a broadside through the stern of the opposing ship and the
other ship could not retaliate due to the lack of guns on the stern.

One phrase that might be a bit obscure is "trimming the mainsail" or
"trimming the sails", which has the connotation of making the best of what
wind you have by adjusting your methods, hopefully to better advantage than
your opponent.

Unfortunately, my reading has been more in the naval engagement side,
rather than the racing side.


On Wed, Feb 14, 2018 at 10:53 AM, Petter Naess <petter at gmail.com> wrote:

> I'm looking urgently for a nautical expression that could mean "get a head
> start on" "get a leg up on" or some other expression that conveys obtaining
> an advantage over a competitor or opponent. I need this within the next 12
> hours or so, and have consulted several lists of nautical expressions, but
> nothing so far...any sailors out there who might have a suggestion? Thanks!
> --
> Petter Næss
> Kviståsveien 50
> 3405 Lier
> Norway
> _______________________________________________
> Project Wombat - Project-wombat
> list at project-wombat.org
> http://www.project-wombat.org/

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