Join Date: May 2002
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This is most likely way too late, but there don''t seem to be many posts here lately. Anyway, it may be of help to someone.
I agree, male or female is not the issue, the ability and knowledge is key. I had learned to sail from males and had almost 10,000 sea miles under my belt before I met a wonderful woman in Naples, FL who has her own charter company. While stuck there for 4 weeks so some woodwork could be done, she invited me to go out on her day cruises for a business convention. There she showed me one of the single most important things I have learned in my almost 40,000 miles. While raising the mainsail on a 42 footer, I was about at the point where I was going to have to go for the winch handle when she told me to haul overhand, not underhand. I shrugged and thought, "Um, OK", then went overhand. Was able to raise the mainsail with no problem. The fact is that if you haul underhand (as shown me by men) you are using basically only your upper arm strength. If a woman switches and hauls overhand, it utilizes not only the upper arms but also the shoulder and back muscles. I was so thrilled I was grinning the rest of the day. Since then I have sailed with many women who appreciated the advice. And when a 115 pound woman can raise the mainsail on a 45 or 52 footer without going for the winch handle, it is impressive. So, little things mean a lot.
Best of luck,