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(of a sailing ship) fail in an attempt to go about from one tack to another.
- ‘You don't want to miss stays and be stuck dead in the water as a frigate fires a full broadside at your small sloop.’
- ‘In working out, the ship missed stays, and was driven amongst the rocks, where she was wrecked.’
- ‘A vessel is said to miss stays when she fails to get through the wind whilst going about and ends up hung in irons.’
- ‘She was in charge of the pilot, but missed stays when too near the south sands, and struck where the Shark was wrecked 2 years before.’
- ‘A wind change to the north about thirty minutes later forced the captain to tack, but the vessel missed stays and hung in the chains owing to a lack of way and a heavy swell.’
- ‘She missed stays near the new harbour and was driven ashore on the north side of the bay where heavy surf was breaking.’
- ‘In beating through the entrance to the bay, she missed stays and struck the rocks on the north side, opposite Fort Point.’
- ‘Despite carrying topsails she misses stays when we try and come about and I am forced to wear ship.’
- ‘At about 9 o'clock the wind hauled ahead and in missing stays she went ashore about a mile and a half below Port Sanilac.’
- ‘When in 4 miles of land we attempted to tack but she missed stays, tried again and we went round about and we tried again to bout ship but whe missed stays twice over and then, wore ship.’
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