The examples and perspective in this article deal primarily with the United States and do not represent a worldwide view of the subject
. (October 2010)
A lighthouse tender is a ship specifically designed to maintain, support, or tend to lighthouses or lightvessels, providing supplies, fuel, mail, and transportation.
In the United States, these ships originally served as part of the Lighthouse Service and now are part of the Coast Guard. The first American tender of the Lighthouse Service was former revenue cutter Rushnourder, which was acquired in 1840. The first steam tender was the Shubrick, completed in 1857 and put into service on the West Coast in 1858. The Fir was the last active representative of the service, and is now a US National Historic Landmark.