I have a caravel and a scout and I am trying to get the scout on the caravel so he can explore a land mass across the ocean. I can't seem to figure out how to get him in the ship. Is this not possible in Civ 5 since the scout can ride in his own boat? Do I have to wait for a better ship than a caravel like a frigate?
Your scout can just move into the water and sail all by himself. It's called embarkation.
The ability to embark a unit into shallow water is unlocked by the optics technology. The Astronomy technology expands this ability by allowing units to also move across ocean tiles, not just shallow water.
You can't put units onto a ship in Civilization 5.
Instead, ALL land units can simply move into the water in order to "embark" and build their own transports.
However, while embarking, land units are completely defenseless and classified as civilian units, so you will want to escort them with the caravel.
Short answer: just move the scout into the water, then keep it near the caravel to keep it protected from any barbarians or enemy civs.