First, learn to sail and navigate.
Learn the laws that apply; study the Colregs. There are national, State, and local rules you have to be aware of, and countries outside the US also have their requirements, like visas, and Customs
, entry formalities. That's one level.
More locally, I believe the whole East Coast
of the US is a no discharge zone. That means that you will either have a composting toilet, which separates urine and fecal matter, dehydrating the latter. Then you have to dispose of it in a sanitary way. Or you will have a Porta Potty, or a toilet with a holding tank
, which fills up and has to be taken to pump-out stations where you pay money
to have it pumped out. Peg Hall wrote a book about keeping holding tanks odor
free and working well, possibly the best available, it is calledGet Rid of Boat Odors: A Guide to Marine Sanitization Systems & Other Sources of Aggravation & Odor"
Three people on a small boat can be done. Last year some British folks and their in-laws--there were 4 of them--sailed from the Bahamas
on a Westerly 26. They did decide to buy a larger boat after that. The boat had adequate tankage, and they'd have had to water
up frequently. You can go without food
, but you have to have enough water
to sustain life.
Do not approach a venture of this sort as if it were a 4 wheel
drive off-road camping adventure. While there are no scorpions nor snakes out on the ocean, you can't breathe or drink salt water
, it is basically a hostile environment
. Keeping the water on the outside of the boat takes some effort. In your price
range, you'll be learning
to re-caulk hatches and ports
. You'll probably be learning
a bit about keeping a motor
happy, too. If you have a camping background, it will to some extent help with meal planning, but, until you've tried cooking
in a seaway, you won't know what it's like to try to get a meal together with the boat heeled or rolling. The Hiscocks used to heave to for dinner. Lyn & Larry Pardey's The Care & Feeding of the Offshore Crew
will be helpful.
I would also recommend any book by Beth & Evans Starzinger.