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Old 25-08-2015, 10:09   #46
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Re: Sailing presentation and statistics on women sailboat owners

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I really enjoy hearing everyone's perspective and their own stories, especially Hamburking's daughter learning to sail on the tall ship and having her own Laser!
Girl sailor, for your viewing enjoyment.

https://youtu.be/0c2ed29Y630

Thats me on the bike bike towing the boat.

We bought the boat used, for cheap. First step was fiberglass repair in the cockpit. Home made trailer. No fancy gopro...fuji finepix waterproof camera "lashed" to the bow.
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Old 25-08-2015, 10:18   #47
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Re: Sailing presentation and statistics on women sailboat owners

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Hi Zeehag, you've got a point and the statement you made has a lot of truth in it. Certainly it's not that extreme where I am (Europe), and I was delighted about the change in attitude once I got to Portugal - or was it just that my knowledge and understanding about mechanical and technical stuff had grown tremendously by then? I don't know. Suddenly the pieces I asked to be made in workshops turned out to be exactly as the drawings and templates I made and they even welcomed me to help with the task and use their workshops and tools whenever I needed to.

In opposition to that, in Spain, things were very different. I don't think because they wanted to dominate and take things over, but because they wanted to please me and were convinced that they thought they had found a more perfect solution for the problem I was in the process of solving. Some of their ideas were certainly brilliant for a different purpose, but not for a boat and not for the sea. So, we had to start all over again and this took a lot of patience for both sides to get it right.

Many years ago, the moment my ex-husband lost his patience with changing the impeller on my raw-water-pump and had a tantrum, throwing the thing across the cabin, damaging woodwork and the impeller-shaft, I had enough. Nobody ever was allowed to touch any component on my boat, not even with the best intentions. I checked my whole boat for anything I might not be able to sort out on my own and changed matters. Nothing apart from the masts I can't lift on my own, I've got chainblocks if I need to get my engine out etc.

And if I need a hand (e.g. to tighten a nut situated behind a bulkhead where my arms are not long enough and I can't really fix the spanner to something), there are people around who are happy to give me a hand for just that without arguing about this or anything else.

For some reason, since a few years, I didn't get into any kind of trouble or discussions any more. At the moment I'm re-building my boat, right now it's about replacing my deck. Plenty of sailors come though here, sometimes we talk. "You mean you are re-painting your deck?"-"No, I'm replacing it."-"You mean new treadmaster or teak on the deck?"-"No, some new deckbeams, the supporting-bits, and a whole new deck." Some of them come over to have a look. And when they stand inside the empty hull and look through the deckbeams to the open sky they are shocked and say "so, you were not joking ... this is for real ..." After that, people who offered to give me a hand, boy or girl, they just did exactly what I asked them to do and even volunteer to do more.

If I was a clever person I would have to say yes. But I'm not a clever person. I prefer to continue on my own and make sure everything turns out to be exactly as I want it to be. Takes longer of course, but I can rely on it in a bad sea and won't get my life in danger too soon with homemade disasters.

Anyway, Zeehag, don't get too cross about the boys or girls trying their best to help you. As long as it's only to give you a hand for a task everybody else would be happy to have a second pair of hands nobody will volunteer to take over the business. Have it all prepared and there will be no arguments. Simple as that.

Cheers & fair winds x
Dody
Dody, great post! You sound like an excellent sailor and boat owner. All the best to you on your re-build. It is such an amazing feeling when you know you truly "own your boat" from the top down and inside out
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Old 25-08-2015, 10:56   #48
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Re: Sailing presentation and statistics on women sailboat owners

You will see more women in the audience than on the boats because male sailors tend to push it on their female companions to join them 'because it is gonna be fun'. You know we are supposed to do things together. Same old male centered social thing as you will not see men telling you the same about child care, house jobs, shopping for food, etc.

There are few women in sailing but (for the above given reason) more in cruising. There may be closer to some sort of impaired parity in cruising (maybe 60/40?)

Pick up a light subject and deliver with wit. They will love you.

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Old 25-08-2015, 11:09   #49
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Re: Sailing presentation and statistics on women sailboat owners

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I would like to make an observation and see if I can get consensus because I will be the keynote speaker at a women's sailing event at my club next week. I have been trying to find demographics about the number of women sailors out there and how many (married or single) own their boat. What I have found is that there are about 16 million boats, though only 12 million of which are registered, and about 87.3 million adults who participate in recreational boating. Of these totals, 1.5 million (~9%) are sailboats and a survey from the Northeast found 90% of recreational boating participants are male. So the best estimate I can come up with is that 8.7 million women in the U.S. participate in some form of recreational boating, with almost 800,000 involved in sailing. Based on anecdotal information, it seems that somewhere between 10 and 15% of sailboat owners are female, which would equate to 150,000 to 225,000 women in total in the US. Would anyone care to give some feedback on my assumptions here?

The audience will be mixed gender and so it needs to be of interest to all, but many of the women who will be there are older and some are just learning how to sail. The main theme of the presentation is about overcoming fear and achieving your goals, which in this case is skippering one's own boat, whether they own it or not, or whether they're partnered or not. So I am interested in hearing other feedback that people might be willing to offer.

Thanks!
Seems a reasonable hypothesis given the scarcity of good data.

Just last week on the UK H20 show podcast they were discussing statistics of women sailors.

It seems the girls and boys are equally represented in racing dinghies until late teens. Then the girls seem to dissapear. The data was derived from racing. Probably a more reliable source of statistics.

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Old 25-08-2015, 11:40   #50
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Re: Sailing presentation and statistics on women sailboat owners

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Originally Posted by hamburking View Post
Girl sailor, for your viewing enjoyment.

https://youtu.be/0c2ed29Y630

Thats me on the bike bike towing the boat.

We bought the boat used, for cheap. First step was fiberglass repair in the cockpit. Home made trailer. No fancy gopro...fuji finepix waterproof camera "lashed" to the bow.
I love it!!! I hope she sticks with sailing. She's a natural. But it's gotta be like riding a bike -- those skills will always stick with her.

It was great seeing the tall ship, too. And great wind. How fun
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Old 25-08-2015, 11:46   #51
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Re: Sailing presentation and statistics on women sailboat owners

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Seems a reasonable hypothesis given the scarcity of good data.

Just last week on the UK H20 show podcast they were discussing statistics of women sailors.

It seems the girls and boys are equally represented in racing dinghies until late teens. Then the girls seem to dissapear. The data was derived from racing. Probably a more reliable source of statistics.

Sent from my SM-N900T using Cruisers Sailing Forum mobile app
Yes, thank you! I am getting some info from the racing world. I also agree with your assessment that the girls seem to disappear after their teen years. As a biologist, it is the same -- if you don't keep their interest beyond 13 years of age, then there are too many other things that will. Which is fine, if they are more passionate about these other activities, but as a former young person who went "off the rails" for a while, sometimes these other things are not in their best interests. Having opportunities and resources are the keys to keeping them involved in healthy endeavors for life.
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Old 25-08-2015, 17:27   #52
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Re: Sailing presentation and statistics on women sailboat owners

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I agree insofar, most sailors use their boats for weekends just to have some fun in the bay and I'm very happy about them enjoying it. In a close-to-shore, well organized area you can get away with almost anything.

But, the moment you head off, you've got to be able to deal with your problems yourself. Whichever assistance you need is not just around the corner and alongside within 5 minutes. You crossed over to Noumea, so you know about these lovely open spaces.

Considering this, I don't think my definition should be called "rigorous". Boy or girl it does not matter, we've all got the same head on our shoulders. You've just got to be prepared to get it all sorted. The more experience, the less points you miss out in preparation and the less surprises are waiting for you out there - especially at times where you absolutely can't have any more surprises because you are in survival mode already. Even with a perfect timing and the best forecasts this can happen to all of us.
Hi Dody, and thanks for the thoughtful posts

My point in the earlier post was that all too many boat owners and even offshore cruisers do not have all the skills that are desirable. Listening to all the plaintive queries about "does anyone know an English speaking mechanic (sailmaker, plumber, rigger, electronicer, etc)on the visitors pontoon at marina Moselle (where one clears into New Caledonia) quickly dispels any notion that all cruisers are well versed in the skills you describe as essential.

I surely agree that self sufficiency is desirable and laudable. We strive to have those skills, and can get along ok in most aspects of boat maintenance. Modern electronics with surface mount components are beyond me to repair, and most of our sails are too big to reasonably work on on board, but we get through most jobs on our own. But it has taken us 45 years of sailboat ownership (for me) and nearly thirty years of full time cruising to reach this state. It's a big ask for a new cruiser to have all or even most of those skills, and few do. And of course, gender has no bearing whatsoever on these requirements. the successful cruiser will develop skills along the way, the others tend to drop out of the game when their inadequacies become an overwhelming burden.

Brief diversion: A cruising couple we met a few years back included a really determined female. She wanted, in a big way, to have a washing machine in their ~45 foot mono, and none of the ones she could source would fit down their companionway. Their dockmates were astonished one day to see her with a brand new washer on the dock, cutting it in half with an angle grinder! She successfully re-married the bits down below and finished her installation. What a woman!! incidentally, that couple are still cruising in SE Asia.

These matters have little bearing on the op's query, but are an interesting facet of modern cruising life.

Again, thanks for bringing up some interesting ideas.

Jim
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Old 25-08-2015, 21:57   #53
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Re: Sailing presentation and statistics on women sailboat owners

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....Brief diversion: A cruising couple we met a few years back included a really determined female. She wanted, in a big way, to have a washing machine in their ~45 foot mono, and none of the ones she could source would fit down their companionway. Their dockmates were astonished one day to see her with a brand new washer on the dock, cutting it in half with an angle grinder! She successfully re-married the bits down below and finished her installation. What a woman!! incidentally, that couple are still cruising in SE Asia.

These matters have little bearing on the op's query, but are an interesting facet of modern cruising life...
But it's very interesting, and funny, indeed! Just goes to show that when someone is really determined about something, how resourceful they can be to get it done. I just wonder how well it worked after that.
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Old 25-08-2015, 23:02   #54
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Re: Sailing presentation and statistics on women sailboat owners

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But it's very interesting, and funny, indeed! Just goes to show that when someone is really determined about something, how resourceful they can be to get it done. I just wonder how well it worked after that.
We lost track of them after they'd been using it for about 5 yrs. Understand that Chris had measured below that it would fit there, it was just that the cabinet wouldn't fit through the companionway. It's only a housing for the rest of the machine. The little twin tubs are not very large diameter, and the machines are small, as for an apartment, but a different shape: they are just a little over one diameter deep, and similarly, a little over two diameters wide, and a normal washing machine height. Cutting the shell and putting it back together didn't hurt it at all.

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Old 26-08-2015, 03:32   #55
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Re: Sailing presentation and statistics on women sailboat owners

For starters men are more "mechanical" than females and so when they take on the vast range of skills required to own, maintain and sail a complex machine such as a cruising boat... they generally have a leg up on females who have cultivated a different skill set. Of course this is not black and white and there are some females who can do diesel mechanics, wiring, rigging and so forth... and so men who can drive a nail with a hammer. And then people have different aptitudes for learning new skills.

The amount of knowledge and skills is daunting and probably few to none get all educated in everything FIRST and then buy the boat and begin sailing. Virtually all sailors are "learning" along the way and this is, in fact one of the main drawers to many - learning new things... and with sailing it seems to never end.

Physical strength usually gives males a leg up... but this is mostly an illusions since we have all these ways of gaining mechanical advantage with "tools".

My hunch is that the mechanical aspects of sailing are less attractive to most females and so there are fewer who take it on. I had one GF many years ago who loved boats and thought them so romantic. She was a great crafts person and artist and could sew and so on... but when it came to navigation, engine maintenance, repairing the windlass... for example... she was at a loss and needed to find a willing fella (me at the time) to do it for her... on her own boat! It's sort of the mentality that many woman have... bring the car to the service station and pay the bill. This applies to men as well... but a central dogma of sailing is... DIY. Isn't it?
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Old 26-08-2015, 10:29   #56
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Re: Sailing presentation and statistics on women sailboat owners

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....My hunch is that the mechanical aspects of sailing are less attractive to most females and so there are fewer who take it on. I had one GF many years ago who loved boats and thought them so romantic. She was a great crafts person and artist and could sew and so on... but when it came to navigation, engine maintenance, repairing the windlass... for example... she was at a loss and needed to find a willing fella (me at the time) to do it for her... on her own boat! It's sort of the mentality that many woman have... bring the car to the service station and pay the bill. This applies to men as well... but a central dogma of sailing is... DIY. Isn't it?
Not to open a can of worms here (tho I probably am stoking the fires a bit), but you (and others) are making GROSS generalities with these kinds of statements. Needing a fella is a learned response; mechanical aptitude and sailing knowledge are not gender specific. But also just wanting to sail or buy a boat doesn't necessarily require a full DIY mentality unless perhaps you want to cruise or don't have enough money to pay others. Someone who wants to learn this stuff, will. I know plenty a guy who doesn't have the know-all nor the interest in maintaining their boats. They will pay others to do it, but certainly won't tell you they don't know how. I grew up with a single mother who had no money so she either made or fixed everything herself. She traveled the US in her own trailer in the 50s and was met plenty of times by disbelieving men when she was looking for a part. It just seems natural that I would want to learn about engines, electrical and plumping matters, but even though I knew my way around tools when I bought my boat, it has been a steep learning experience to know how to do work on it, as I suspect it has been for many a first-time boat owner who's a guy. It is, however, going to be a lifelong, continual process to improve my knowledge and skills...something I am greatly looking forward to. I have no argument with you there!
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Old 26-08-2015, 14:31   #57
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Re: Sailing presentation and statistics on women sailboat owners

Gamayun,

I think possibly the most important bit for the older women attending the talk will be to pick up the feeling that although it is now unfamiliar to them, they just might find sailing a great pleasure.

There's no way an evening's talk, no matter how brilliant, can undo thousands of years of acculturation. The ones who are open will get it. Most adult women will not be surprised by the statistics.

I think Dody's got this one right, just make it fun for all of them; that's absolutely the best thing you can do.

Anyhow, have fun with it.

Ann
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Old 26-08-2015, 15:44   #58
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Re: Sailing presentation and statistics on women sailboat owners

I didn't mean to bring a can of worms to this effort. I don't consider females much different in basic capacity or competence at anything. But what happens is that little girls get into pink and boys blue. And years on a poll will show the sorts of things women feel comfortable with and men do.

Having said that I know many women who are amazingly skilled with their hands, artistic, strong have situational awareness etc. I know plenty of men who are incompetent duds around anything mechanical.

I suppose one has to present sailing as the right mix of what it is. For me it's a lot of hands on stuff, learning mechanics and so forth (anyone can learn that)... fixing, amd maintaining and problem solving. And to do this one needs a broad knowledge base... something that anyone can access with a search engine these days.

In my previous comment I wrote she NEEDED to find a fella do help her. This is not entirely accurate. It was more expedient to find someone who already had the requisite skills... she was capable of learning... but I think her issue was time and she needed a lot of things "fixed" / prepared etc. on the boat to take it across the pond. Both genders are lazy and will call the repair shop instead of tacking the job themselves for any number of reasons... but NB that most who show up are.... men. and that may be for the cultural reasons suggested.

In my own case I had to devote 6 years to learn before I felt confidence and competent to take off and sail offshore. Was that long or short? 30 years on and I am still learning in the school of hard knocks.
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Old 26-08-2015, 17:27   #59
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Re: Sailing presentation and statistics on women sailboat owners

That thing above: "sailing is about DYI, isn't it?".

Well, it is not. When you look at ARC participants it is clearly about 'take it to the garage and pay the bill'.

Nothing to do with what is considered more male or female style of sorting out things. More to do with boats becoming just another object to own in the ever growing catalog of tokens that any Westerner ought to display to his/her (less affluent) neighbours.

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Old 26-08-2015, 18:27   #60
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Re: Sailing presentation and statistics on women sailboat owners

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That thing above: "sailing is about DYI, isn't it?".

Well, it is not. When you look at ARC participants it is clearly about 'take it to the garage and pay the bill'.

Nothing to do with what is considered more male or female style of sorting out things. More to do with boats becoming just another object to own in the ever growing catalog of tokens that any Westerner ought to display to his/her (less affluent) neighbours.

b.
There are all kinds of people and all kinds of sailors.
Sure, some will write the cheques. Others will DIY. Each has its own rewards.

If I had the bucks, maybe I'd write some cheques too. But for now, I love the satisfaction I get from taking care of my own boat...the satisfaction of arriving safely at a new port, with no one to thank but captain, crew, cook, and bottlewasher...yup, all me. You can't write a cheque for that. And in my experience, as soon as you leave the dock, your money is useless...no malls out on the water last time I looked. Your wallet won't reef the mainsail. Your bank balance won't free up that tangled sheet.

I know some of those guys, with the big bucks and the bigger boats. And they can't understand how I can be so happy on my little rig, especially when they get little to no satisfaction from theirs...always griping with the mechanic, or the guy who installed the whatever. I have no one to gripe to. And not much to gripe about. Maybe thats why I like sailing so much?

Its not about the boats...its about the sailing.
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