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Old 06-12-2001
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Tender is the Vessel

Is there a definition for the adjective "tender" when used to refer to how a boat handles?

SailNet responds:
Thanks for your question. One of the final entries in Webster's Ninth edition under the adjectival form of the word "tender" is the definition: "inclined to heel over easily under sail." Essentially what tender denotes is that a vessel isn't very stiff, or doesn't stand up well to wind or other forces. If you were to step aboard a boat and it were to heel excessively under your weight alone, that boat could be characterized as tender. You can see how it's an easy extension of the main definition of the word ("having a soft or yielding texture").

We hope that information helps you.

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