Women and Boating – Women’s History Month

lady rowing child

Ladies Take the Helm Too – Women and Boating

Female Rowing Kayak - Women and boatingWhen most people think of women and boating, they picture muscular, swaggering rugged men navigating the wide blue ocean or taking part in intense competition. Many think women couldn’t tell a boat winch from an anchor winch. But nothing could be further from the truth. Women and boating has a rich history. For hundreds of years women have been involved in boating during dire emergencies at sea, doing their patriotic duty during wars, out of economic necessity, in search of adventure or just for the love of the sport. Even though society didn’t think it was feminine enough for women to be involved in boating during the era when sailing ships ruled the sea, some women were able to disguise themselves and take jobs on ships.

While many women were only able to get on a ship if they were married to or related to the captain, there is also a long history of women helping to run the ships. While most women aboard those ships were stewardesses, officers, navigators or medical personnel, some of them did more strenuous work. Continue reading