Plain sailing

What does "Plain sailing" mean?

Today it means: Easy, smooth progress, without problems

Plain sailing was a simplified method of navigation which assumed the world was flat or on the plane. This meant that distances were measured the same no matter what latitude you were on. As opposed to the Mercator projection system where the Earths curvature was used and distance measurement changed the further North or South you went. This would only work over short distances and was, at best, only approximate. Pre 17th century.


By SailingQuiz September 2019   Category: Nautical Saying              

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There are 423 other nautical phrases, sayings and sailing terms listed on this website today. "Plain sailing" 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

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What does Plain sailing mean?

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Definition of the nautical phrase "Plain sailing".

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