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To estimate the velocity of a boat or ship in knots by casting overboard the knotted line to whose end is attached the lead and thereafter counting the knots in the line as it goes aft along the side boards of the vessel.

Additional definitions for 'go by the board':

go by the boardTo be superseded, rejected, or obliterated; to pass by with little consequence; to amount to nothing.
go by the boardTo fall or to go overboard; to be cast over the side of a ship.
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"go by the board." Phrases.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2018. Web. 19 Oct. 2018. <https://www.phrases.net/phrase/go-by-the-board_4032>.

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