Wasabe, I donít know of any barriers here that is prevent you and other women of OSO from becoming more knowledgeable. I think it is fantastic that you seek all there is to know about an activity/hobby that you love and you are at the right place to gain this knowledge. You can browse the tech section for just about anything related to boating as far a repairs, maintenance, upkeep. And donít forget all of the various boating magazines and organizations you can subscribe to. You donít have to have a boat to learn; for instance you can go to: www.usps.org for a world of information.
As far as your concern about comments that you find insulting or hurtful you have to understand that some people are just like that. Whether they mean it or not you have to let their comments roll off. No one will ever go through life without being insulted and you need to remember those who put you down only do so because they are incapable uplifting themselves. If you want to communicate with the other women of OSO then start a ďwomenísĒ thread for example. In my opinion it isnít needed because you are free to be a part of any discussion.