catch the boat up
   British
   to have contracted venereal disease
   Naval usage. Jolly (1988) suggests a derivation from the days of pressing, when seamen were not allowed ashore for fear that they would desert. A sick boat would circulate among the fleet and take patients, with or without venereal disease, to a naval hospital ashore.
   On discharge from hospital, the sailor would be required to rejoin his ship wherever it was.

How not to say what you mean: A dictionary of euphemisms. . 2014.

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