I thought I would start a discussion about how comfortable we women are on a sailboat. I take out some women first timers and some old timers on my boat and find we have our concerns, fears and handling abilities.
Concerns and fears. The biggest one is heeling. I find especially first timers is healing scares them to death. They think the boat will tip over. I explain to them how the boat won't (unless you are sailing a dingy), using the fat boy on a teeter-tatter and if I am by a boat yard, take them out and show them the keel. Secondly, most men take the boat to the edge of the envelope without regard to who's on board, screaming "The boat is fine get over it!". Of course this lead to most women never returning to sailing. Next is for us, women with short legs, bracing when the boat heels can be a challenge. If the boat has stern seats, I usually put my first timers in there. They feel secure and have a place to hang on to. For the rest of us that are used to sailing, bracing can be a challenge to say the least and we make the best of it where we can.
Abilities - What I find here is us woman sailors who's husbands/partners/boyfriends tend to delegate us to "Pink duties." When it comes to docking, helmship, or making decisions on sail plan/trim, it is usually the guy that does it all. Unless, we are assertive, we usually tend to give in and avoid the argument. This argument tends to go away with what I categorize as bluewater/racer sailors. Here we women tend to come up to par with the guys. Also the rare single hand women also will rebuke this argument as well.
This is not to start an argument but an general discussions how what you have observed or feel about this topic.
Hunter 36, Rhapsody in Blue