Full to the gunwales

What does "Full to the gunwales" mean?

Today it means: Full up, no more room, packed tight.

The gunwales (pronounced "gunnels") is the upper edge of the ships sides; on a modern yacht could also be known as the toe-rail. It probably comes from a man-o-war "gun walls" where the cannon stick out from the side of the ship. Wherever it is on a ship, it means its full up and cannot take any more.


By SailingQuiz September 2019   Category: Nautical Saying              

Reviews and comments

No reviews or comments on "Full to the gunwales" yet.
If you can see a problem or you want to add something to our explanation or you just want to let us know what you think, then click on the pen and papar icon above.

There are 423 other nautical phrases, sayings and sailing terms listed on this website today. "Full to the gunwales" is just one of them. Many have been around for years and have entered our everyday use; but do you know what they mean and where they came from? This is where you find out.

Nautical sayings and phrases

Why not use our sailing quiz to build your understanding of sailing terms and boat trivia whilst you tackle the questions designed to help you pass your next sailing course.

Try our Free Sailing Quiz

What does Full to the gunwales mean?

What is the nautical origin of the phrase "Full to the gunwales"?

Definition of the nautical phrase "Full to the gunwales".

SailingQuiz Works on: All platforms
Rated: 4 stars - 46 reviews.

Review SailingQuiz

Advertising for sailing professionals | SailingQuiz 0,