"The did have one good pro sailor, Ed Roach, for "beef on the rope" and shipkeeping and cooking."

  • 1
    "Beef on the rope" doesn't seem to be an idiom, but "on the ropes" is definitely an idiom.
    – Justin
    Aug 15 '19 at 13:13
  • try a google search!
    – lbf
    Aug 15 '19 at 13:38
  • There are a slew of related idioms in sailing where crew are commoditized humorously. Beef on the rope refers to hauling or grinding a winch, as opposed to rail meat that just sits there. beef on a rope. In general, this is a productive idiom that can be fitted to the situation. The stripped-out cabin of a racing boat is sometimes called the meat locker.
    – Phil Sweet
    Aug 15 '19 at 14:06
  • @lbf I did, and there were no relevant hits - zero - zip - nada.
    – Phil Sweet
    Aug 15 '19 at 14:16

Sailing boats (and ships) require a lot of hauling on ropes for various reasons; somebody with enough muscle to apply force (and enough knowledge to apply the force properly) would be not so much valuable as invaluable.

  • 3
    Your answer would be better if it explained that "beef" is slang for "someone with lots of strength/muscle"
    – AndyT
    Aug 15 '19 at 14:28
  • Not so much flammable as inflammable.
    – Mitch
    Aug 24 '19 at 18:15

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