Besides us reading books & blogs about cruising oceans & planning places we would like to see we've also been taking sailing prep trips with different kinds of boats and ships. The last prep trips where with our small SV the Swallow.
The first ship I made was build from a wooden crate used to transport engine parts to the project my parents worked for in Libya. My vessel was a bit boxy and the sails where made out of bedsheets but it was sailing on sanddunes long before Jack Sparrow tried that with his Black Pearl.
The last 15 years I've been building the Orion-3. It's 31 meters long, 5,50 wide, 3 stories high (including the Bridge Deck) and it has cost me a lot of sweat, tears and even blood to create it into the monster it is today. It's almost finished but we probably won't take it on the World Tour around the world as it's just to big and frankly I would be very frightened leaving it for a couple of days bobbing around unguarded while we explore the inlands.
We are now planning to build a catamaran and fit it with solarpower and wind turbines to go on an electricly powered / sailing trip.