Welcome aboard CF Derek...
If you are not fixed on location get to a port where Atlantic journey's most start from and visit the marinas
and get your face out there.
Maybe the Atlantic crossers will weigh in about logical start points but I would guess England
. Look for boats with solar
, jerry cans on deck
, well weathered etc.
You will learn to spot cruisers vs. day sailers. It will help to have a really good personality, a go along-get along personality, a hard work ethic and manic desire to pitch
in and be helpful while not exceeding your skills and knowledge limits - i.e. ask before doing something stupid.
Read a book - Start Sailing Right, Sailing for Dummies or similar. Learn the 4-5 basic knots and learn the terminology of a boat.
It will help if you have a skill like cooking
. It will help if you volunteer to clean decks boat and do laundry
You have to understand as "last" mate your jobs on the boat are going to suck. You have to be cheery and helpful or no one will want you on the boat.
My brother has rejected 3 hitchhiker crew. All young and fit but not one of them had the work ethics I described above. One guy was a real carpenter
so it was agreed he would work on some boat projects. They got one done grudgingly and the guy was basically lazy and just expected free passage
. He ran out of patience waiting for the weather
window etc. and got grumpy. Bye-bye...
Living in a 40 foot tube with strangers is really challenging...
Oh - PS. I am guessing there are few winter crossings of the Atlantic so your timing is probably really bad...