I believe they start with a rigorous line of courses such as:
- Pink sails: where to locate, how to fly
- Sailing harnesses and breast management
- The effect of estrogen on winches
I haven't taken a women-only sailing course but my understanding is similar to what others have posted - that they are simply "normal" sailing courses taught by women to women. Some women will find that a better learning environment so I'm glad the courses exist.
I've had informal instruction in rock climbing by women and it was useful in eliminating my own baggage and limitations that I brought to the sport as a woman. In a sport with many fewer women than men it was freeing to see women kicking arse and pulling down hard and it was useful to me to have female climbing role models.
YMMV of course.
I think that the reason that I don't feel the need for a woman only sailing course is that the men I hang around with are open to expressing emotion, are relatively non competitive and are comfortable with female leadership...and I hang around with tough, take charge, get dirt under your nails women. I've emphasized the non-traditional aspects of each, I guess I should say that the men and women are more alike and less like separate species than other people's groups of friends.
Rather than taking a women only class, I chose a woman friendly sailing partner (my fabulous husband)
I think some of the differences in gender needs are cultural and generational.