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Both men turned round as they heard the screen door crashing behind them. A duffel-coated figure, cursing fluently, fought to shut the heavy door against the pitching of the Ulysses, finally succeeded in heaving the clips home.

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    No idea, but it's almost certainly a nautical term given that it takes place on a ship. Probably it's the locks on the screen door.
    – Andrew
    Jan 4, 2017 at 22:14
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    Is it this: goo.gl/ZKkPDu ? Jan 5, 2017 at 3:36
  • BTW, it's best to wait a day or two before accepting an answer. It looks like you accepted a wrong answer here. Luckily, StoneyB came by later and posted a correct answer. You might not always be lucky enough to get a correction posted after accepting a wrong answer quickly. For more about why waiting a day or two is usually wise, see here.
    – Ben Kovitz
    Jul 9, 2017 at 15:20

2 Answers 2

1

For your phrase

heaving the clips home

heaving - pulling
clips - physical means of attachment
home - secure firmly

The scene is on a ship in heavy seas here, and in heavy seas, everything needs to be tied down, otherwise it will fly around (as what happens below deck later in the story).

These are clips used for harnessing in heavy seas

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    Right idea, wrong clips. The text refers to a naval vessel.
    – Mick
    Jan 5, 2017 at 2:37
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    @Mick Since when did a naval vessel have "a screen door"? BTW there are plenty of uses for harnesses and "double locking snap clips" in the Navy here
    – Peter
    Jan 5, 2017 at 2:56
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    The text is from HMS Ulysses by Alistair MacLean.
    – Mick
    Jan 5, 2017 at 3:06
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    Now, I can only think about screen doors on submarines. Jan 5, 2017 at 3:22
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    Hahahahahahahaha (minimal length requirement, though it was also funny).
    – Peter
    Jan 5, 2017 at 3:27
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The "clips" are latches which must be manually "heaved", with considerable effort, to hold the door closed so tight that water cannot enter. Here's a photograph of a door on WWII battleship; as you see, the clips have handles by which they are rotated into place.

enter image description here

—Source: Dreamstime

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    I had thought the same, but they seem to be called "dogs" not "clips".
    – Peter
    Jan 5, 2017 at 3:08
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    @Peter See this: "damaged some of the clips on the watertight doors". Jan 5, 2017 at 3:10
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    I see, "clips" appears to be a BrE term which makes sense since it's a British novel, also here (British firm)
    – Peter
    Jan 5, 2017 at 3:26
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    Men often turn round, whether on terra firma or at sea. Jan 5, 2017 at 3:27
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    @Peter ... and I've found many references in older literature to "dog clips", but haven't been able to track down exactly what those are. They seem to be something other than "bulldog clips". Jan 5, 2017 at 12:01

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