from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The state of a ship when she is merely in ballast or has no cargo on board: as, she is in ballast-trim.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
They came down from Honolulu in ballast-trim, save for the liquor and firearms, and went back full of a sweating mass of black-haired, copper-coloured Line Islanders, driven below at dark to take their chance of being smothered if it came on to blow.
We left much behind that was valuable, it is true, especially the copper; but Marble wisely determined that it was inexpedient to put the vessel deeper than good ballast-trim, lest it should hurt her sailing.
She was now only in fair ballast-trim, and being admirably provided with sails, in the light wind we had, she actually went four feet to most-of-the-other-vessels-in-sight's three.
When he was ready to tack, an operation of some time with a vessel of her great length, the Swash was barely visible in the obscurity, gliding off upon a slack bowline, at a rate which nothing but the damp night air, the ballast-trim of the vessel, united to her excellent sailing qualities, could have produced with so light a breeze.