Welcome to the forum, Barney.
Hang out where boat
people hang out (DIY yards, marinas
clubs) to make friends, contribute to their work
, and get opportunities, although this is not quite the time of year for a lot of that where you are.
Learn from posts, I certainly do even when the topic doesn't seem relevant, and remember that your experience from places other than boating
may be just what someone on the forum needs to hear about.