As a retired Delivery Skipper
, I trained up a fair number of female crew and must say I always found them to be attentive, focussed and generally easier to get on with than their male counterparts. They were particularly valuable in tight situations like heavy seas, engine
failure and unforeseen events
that always crop up at the worst posslible time. This made up for their lack of physical strength in most cases.
Since moving ashore, I've taught skiing as a retirement
activity and found that some women are more comfortable in a predominantly female class while others want to be the only woman in an all male class. Much of it has to do with their learning
style, I believe. The old, 'watcher, doer, feeler, thinker' types.
Sailing seems to attract the doer, feeler types and I've found there are particular teaching techniques that are more successfully adapted to their learning
The main objective in both activities is to have fun... everybody is nervous when starting a new activity so the instructors job, after making it as safe as he or she can, is to ensure that everyone is enjoying themselves and the learning experience. If it is all business, then you might learn the basics but it won't be recalled as an enjoyable experience.
Women seem to be more willing to give each other emotional support in all female groups of skiers, I've found. Whereas in male groups the support is more challenge support. On the water
women appear to be much more focussed on exactly my expectations for performance than how to do the job mechanically.
My comments are only those from personal observation and experience... my guess is that some women would prefer a female instructor if only to up the chances that the female instructor would more intuitively understand how they preferred to be taught.
I feel I've been really fortunate to have found a couple of activities that I enjoy and have been able to pass on what knowledge I've amassed over the years to others so they can get as much of a kick out of life as I have... cheers, Capt Phil