Definition of under bare poles in US English:

under bare poles


  • With no sail set.

    ‘if it really blows you'll end up under bare poles’
    • ‘It's powering under bare poles on a day which is ideal for all sail aloft and, unless I've forgotten what she looks like, that's surely Crusty Lady Lily heading for the Gap.’
    • ‘Sails were down and it was running under bare poles before the wind.’
    • ‘Even under bare poles a sailboat will heel right over, at least to decks awash, in hurricane force conditions.’
    • ‘It was indeed the coldest day that Challenger had yet experienced and in the violent seas she lay to under bare poles, just trying to survive.’
    • ‘Moreover, economic storms can sometimes bring fortune to those who can ride with them provided they can still steer a course when driven under bare poles.’