I am a 56 yr old woman ( 5'0"), who "solos" my Bristol 30 footer.
I can not do it without my autopilot
. I set my auto pilot into the wind
to hoist and bring down sails.
Second, for practice when I was just learning how to handle my boat solo,
I worked my way up to gale force winds. Every time there was a good wind I jumped on board to get the experience. I would accept help to come with me, at first, but found I always leaned on someone when they were there. Therefore, not to lean on crutches, I would go out, knowing they were on shore (ALWAYS
have a handheld radio for safety), and made myself better by doing. I always encouraged myself to just do it.
I also used the wheel brake to hold my position, if you don't have a wheel, then may I suggest getting an autopilot for a tiller.
I have been solo sailing for 3 years.
Hope that helps,