If you peruse/haunt some of these websites, you'll be privy to a wealth of knowledge.
singlehanded sailing society - Bing
Also, get to know as many sailmakers, sail lofts, & riggers/rigging shops as you can, as they tend to be;
- Full of guys & gals with a wealth of sailing knowledge, and...
- The people who work there have LOTS of sailing contacts; for ALL things sailing.
But especially, open positions on boats, for; racing
, cruising, sailing schools ~ sometimes to include sailing schools which need fill in sailors on their teaching & racing
I attended a multiplicity of J-world schools for free, via such contacts, as I; had the free time to crew on a "trial horse boat'. Which is what the paying customers sail/practice against.
And it was known that I could shuffle my sked to go & "play" when they needed crew. Plus, I had a good attitude, & wanted to learn.
*People skills & networking are important. On the water
, & afterwards, when telling tales, & knocking back a few (cocktails) at the yacht club. And no, you needn't be a member
to attend such gatherings. They're the norm, post race/post sailing events
And if you can manage the time, following the racing circut around is LOADS of fun. And a great networking, & learning environment
. Whether it's the local circut, or starting with Key West Race
Week, in mid Jan, & following the racing fleet around all Spring.
As from there, many of the boats island hop around the Caribbean
, doing a different regatta
series on different islands, every week, or couple of weeks, from Jan. until the beginning of Hurricane
Season in late Spring.
That, or you could even head
over to Europe
about now, & find a ride on an ARC
boat... paid, volunteer, or paying for your food
& daily expenses, and stick with the fleet for anywhere from a month or three, to half of a circumnavigation
And there are many, many opportunities like this. You can find the skeds, & boats to crew on online, or dig up the skeds, rallys, & regattas in books
PS: Get the USCG forms which help you to document your sea time, in case you want to pursue some liscences down the road. As well as hitting up skippers that you sail(ed) with, for letter of reference & recommendation.
And it doesn't hurt to hand them a note card with the bullet points of what you want such to say. Specifically, what your skill set is, attitude, learning
abilities/what you learned, what your job(s) were onboard, etc.