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 Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.
How to use tight ship in a sentence
Why would the Revolutionary Guards, known for running a tight ship, get involved in such a sloppy caper?
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
A brave tight ship, I tell you, bearing down directly for Barbadoes here.Inkle and Yarico | George Colman
A tight ship, he thought, a ship that was ready for anything.Decision | Frank M. Robinson
Past experience had taught him that the three cadets kept a tight ship.The Space Pioneers | Carey Rockwell