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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Boat Review and Purchase Forum > Sailboat Design and Construction
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  #1  
Old 09-28-2008
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Tender

What is meant by the term "tender?" Unstable? Anyone have any opinions on a 1974 Sabre 28? Good reviews but Horner has labelled the boat as somewhat tender. I was wondering what exactly that referred to.
Thanks,
Dan
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Old 09-28-2008
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A boat that is tender has low initial stability, but may harden up as it heels over. This is often the case with older wineglass shaped hulls, since they have little form stability and often have narrower hulls than more modern designs.
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Old 09-28-2008
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painkiller will become famous soon enough
"Tender" basically means the boat is tippier than other boats. If true, you'll probably just want to reef a little sooner or be more active in keeping the boat on her feet when the wind picks up.

A buddy of mine had a shoal-draft O'Day 272 that would go over on its ear if you sneezed into the sails. That's tender. The boat was a lot of fun, though. Once its rail was wet, it was quite content to stay there and behaved quite nicely. In fact, he never reefed, preferring instead to just slide a little more sideways. :-)

People have different opinions of what tender is, though, so look at Horner's description as subjective. If you're used to a heavy full-keeler, that Sabre might seem skittish. If you're used to a race boat, it might seem tame. If you're not familiar with either, pay Horner no mind and enjoy sailing her.
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Old 09-28-2008
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Funny..where I come from, tender means the opposite..like soft...slugghish to sail, stable, slow, confortable.
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Old 09-28-2008
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No.. there are defiantly sluggish to sail, stable, slow, comfortable boats that are not tender. West sail 32, Hans Christians etc...
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Old 09-28-2008
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Tender and stiff are common terms used to denote initial stability or "GM". They do not apply to ultimate stability nor to range of stability. Much depends on how the vessel in question derives her stability. Is it from form stability or is it from a well ballasted design? A boat with large initial stability derived from form stability may prove to be inadequate in heavy weather while a vessel with large weight stability may be initially more tender yet offer a greater range of stability.

GM, or the height of the metacenter above the center of gravity, is a measurement of initial stability and will be reflected in the "tippiness" cited above. But it is a small and potentially misleading portion of the overall stability picture. For a more complete picture one must look to righting arm and righting moment at various angles of heel. A relatively flat bottomed fin keel boat may have the same GM as her long keeled 'V'-shaped hull brethren yet her righting arm, GZ, and righting moment, RM, will likely be substantially less.

Little can be determined by just stepping on board and finding a boat to be initially stiff. And it is also quite possible for a boat to be excessively stiff, which can come into play in heavy weather sailing or in a hove-to condition. Much depends upon the intended usage of the boat as to what trade-offs in stability and hull form design can be labeled as desirable.

There are numerous books on the matter of yacht design as it relates to intended usage. Two good ones on the subject are C.A. Marchaj's Seaworthiness: The forgotten factor and Lars Larsson and Rolf Eliasson's Principles of Yacht Design.
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Old 09-30-2008
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Sometimes I drag my TENDER behind!!!







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Old 09-30-2008
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"Tender" is a derogatory term used by cruisers to describe a sailboat that has acceleration you can feel through your seat and may move well in light air. Usually applied to designs know as cruiser/racers or racer/cruisers. ("Unstable" or "Death-traps" is a cruising term for racing sailboats).

Our Pearson 27 threw herself on her ear to about 15ļ in much of any wind but hardened up solidly and would only heel a bit more thereafter. When you know it's coming it's not bad but we did startle a few guests who were used to more beamy modern or older heavy displacement sailboats.

And yes, that boat would broach and round up if you tried to stretch the full main and were too lazy to reef early (or were charging for speed). All boats are compromises.

Having raced Thistles the Pearson felt like a rock to us and we loved it.

"Tender" can be synonomous with "responsive". You don't call a car with sport suspendion "tender". Same concept. Sailboats are built to perform different functions in varying conditions. Choose wisely. ;-)

The Sabre 28 is a heck of a lot of boat in 28 feet. If you want long range cruising maybe not the best choice as it will suffer from being heavily provisioned and will not track well in heavy seas, but it will also harden up from the added weight and folks do take them all over. If, however, you want to pick of Catalina 28's during the day and sleep in a slip or anchorage at night it is a primo 28 footer.

You also have to consider that in the , late 60's, 70's and early 80's there was a handicapping system for racing that rewarded boats with overhangs or short waterlines and angled entrys. To get these boats to perform they had to quickly lean over, effectively lengthening the waterline and getting some lift from the wetted hull-shape. Some of the designs went too far and were not very capable cruisers at all. Nothing like the sensible race sailboats of today with their "surprise-detach" keels and twist away rudders. The rules changed and now you see beamy, fat arsed boats with bluff bows. Flat bottomed boats are not tender, but neither are they especially pleasant to ride in roused wave conditions.
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Last edited by Delirious; 09-30-2008 at 11:30 PM.
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Old 10-10-2008
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Old 10-10-2008
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Rockter will become famous soon enough
Tender = wobbly.
Stiff = not wobbly.
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