Since you've posted this in the sailing forum I assume you are interested in a sailing boat.
Going on this assumption, you can buy books on sailing basics in English, buy a cheap little sailboat, and teach yourself how to sail. The "point-A-to-point-B" requirements of sailing in fair weather are rather low, and if the wind is blowing onto the shore you launch from, you'll get back there one way or the other.
If there are english-speaking racers in the area, they're likely looking for crew. At the very least you can be intelligent ballast and get a feel for how big a boat you think you'll be able to handle, or be comfortable on.
For one person, 30-40' can be quite comfortable. For two people I'd say 35-40' would still be comfortable. This is relative, of course, as few boats will be anywhere near the comfort level of a land-based dwelling.
The boats with large open spaces that are so nice at anchor... are the last boats you'd want to make a passage in. There will be fewer places to brace yourself, fewer things to hold on to, and longer distances to fall. The exception to this rule is a multihull, and if you can find a good, comfortable blue-water catamaran in your price range, I'd recomend that over any monohull.