Bumping back. I've been where you are, so please take my comments as helpful suggestions from experience.
Cruisers and Liveaboards are busy following their own agendas. There are too many tire kickers and time wasters out there and we've got a lot to do to follow our dream. If you want to get on a boat, go to a marina and talk with the dockmaster. He can direct you to the people willing to give you a little time.
We had never been on a sailboat either when we started our journey. We signed up for a day cruise
on a monohull
and then a catamaran
. Both were owner operators making a buck on the side so they could get back to the open ocean. We spent our sail time with the owners asking a ton of questions and learning
what we could. The other passengers were......passengers. We on the other hand made friends and followed the advice given. We now own our own 36' Cape Dory
and are in the process of "50 and Shoving Off".
If you get to Corpus Christi, TX and are willing to lend a hand for your "boat time", look me up. I'll take you out and we can put the rails in the water
. Corpus is ALWAYS 20+ knot
winds.......Bring your own Barf bags.