That's a positive thing to say. On the other hand, sailing is done in the real world, and there is a limit to the applicability of free advice
to one's own situation. I learned to cruise
at the club level and in some distance races. Best thing I could have done, as it allowed me to compare and contrast skippers who knew what they were doing with the various boat
controls (the winners), skippers who were largely clueless or lacked specific techniques (not the winners) and the Captain
Bligh types who knew their stuff but were utterly incapable of teaching, or indeed of speaking to their volunteer crew in anything but a curse-filled yell (the winners, but with crews in heavy rotation).
So I would encourage you to crew as many boats and in as many situations as possible, including helping older cruisers work
their boats perhaps more expeditiously than they are able to at this stage. You may find some amazing "old salts" who will allow you to contrast from experience some of the notions people have around here.
A lot of sailors in my experience make the mistake of extrapolating what is tried and true in their weird old boats sailing in their weird local waters to every boat in every water
. It doesn't necessarily make them incorrect, but you need to pick up on who's actually experienced all sorts of real-life conditions and how they sailed up to the boat's full potential without breaking things or having situations become dangerous.
That's how I have come to appreciate the advice
for passagemakers: "Sleep as often and as long as possible, because you need to be well rested to stand watches". Having now done this, I agree.