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Stability

The force that holds a vessel upright or returns it to upright if keeled over. Weight in the lower hold is used to increase stability. A vessel is stiff if it has high stability or tender if it has low stability.

In a ship, stability is indicated by several characteristics. Initial stability is measured by the metacentric height; also known as 'GM.' If GM is low, the vessel makes long slow rolls, and is considered tender. When GM is too high, the vessel is considered stiff, and may return violently to the upright position when rolling, with possible damage to cargo and injury to passengers and crew.

Other stability considerations include the vessel's range of stability, maximum righting arm, and the angle of heel at which the maximum righting arm occurs.

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