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tight ship

A well-managed organization, as in The camp director runs a tight ship. This metaphoric term alludes to a ship in which the ropes are taut and by extension the ship is strictly managed. [ Second half of 1900s ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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  • Past experience had taught him that the three cadets kept a tight ship.

    The Space Pioneers Carey Rockwell
  • A tight ship, he thought, a ship that was ready for anything.

    Decision Frank M. Robinson
  • She's a tight ship, and she's got as good officers and crew as ever I sailed with.

    A Final Reckoning G. A. Henty
  • I'd never really felt comfortable around the old man, who'd been a Navy radio operator and ran his household like a tight ship.

    Little Brother Cory Doctorow

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