Good Morning Masters!
I have a pair of tights !
I love you, man, but this "history lesson" has no basis in reality.
Even before I researched this story on the Internet, which took me less than one minute, I knew it couldn't be true. The decks of sailing ships are constantly tilting and rocking from the action of the waves. The turbulence of the sea is very much greater than any contraction of brass due to low temperatures. This makes it obvious that any "brass plate with dimples" small enough to be affected by the temperature would be useless on the deck of a sailing ship.
"The Navy says there is no evidence that the phrase had anything to do with ships or ships with cannon balls."