Onboard sailing ships the sails are controlled with sheets (ropes) and sometimes there would be occasions when they would have to be "let go" quickly i.e. when tacking the ship through the wind or in an emergency. Once the lines are "let fly" they flap around angrily, the sails make a lot of noise and the ship shakes until they are brought back under control again.Lesser ships in the Navy would let fly the sheets in salute to the flagship as she passed her by.
By SailingQuiz October 2019 Category: Nautical Saying
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What does Let fly mean?
What is the nautical origin of the phrase "Let fly"?
Definition of the nautical phrase "Let fly".