Close quarters

What does "Close quarters" mean?

Today it means: Really close, close contact.

In sailing terms it means "close enough to fight" which usually meant by hand. Old sailing ships were pulled in close by grappling irons so they could be boarded and kept in "close quarters". Enemy ships were not usually damaged or destroyed but "taken aprize" so that the crew could get a share of the prize money for capturing the ship; a practice that was still going in WW1.

Close quarters was also a fortified defensive position on a merchant ship which was closed up.

See also: Buccaneers   

By SailingQuiz November 2019   Category: Nautical Saying              

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Definition of the nautical phrase "Close quarters".

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