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Tack (to tack)

Published Sources
To tack is a nautical term for changing the direction of a ship by turning its bow through the wind, and arranging the sails to make the best use of unfavourable winds to move forward.

In sailing against the prevailing winds, a ship often has to tack repeatedly, moving forward in a zigzag pattern.

In the eighteenth century, sailing a course requiring a ship to tack repeatedly was called beating to windward - a name that vividly captures the strain sailing against the wind placed upon the ship and its crew.

For further information, see the South Seas's edition of William Falconer's Dictionary of the Marine


Created: 19 September 2003

Published by South Seas, 1 February 2004
Comments, questions, corrections and additions: Paul.Turnbull@jcu.edu.au
Prepared by: Paul Turnbull
Updated: 28 June 2004
To cite this page use: http://nla.gov.au/nla.cs-ss-biogs-P000322

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