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New to Boating

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Looking for some reading on boating. I have been wanting to get a boat for a while now but have ZERO experience. Well I did get my canoeing merit badge in boy scouts... I have been going through some of the online safety classes listed on the USCG boating site. Those are all well and good but I don't feel like they really prepare someone that has never been on the water before.


I guess what I'm really looking for are some tips from buying a boat (probably used), to making sure it is safe, to getting it on the water. Any resources tips etc would be appreciated!

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I would say to start with I would be looking for a skiff and start with fishing the inlets and near shore on good days. If you can learn how to handle a 14-19 foot skiff in shallow water, read your electronics and dock reasonably well, then you can look at something that drafts a bit more. A skiff is a shallow drafting boat that is fairly easy to get unstuck and not easy to harm. Use this and your lessons to learn how to read channel markers and your GPS/sonar unit which is essential to navigation and when you are comfortable and confident- move up. You may find you have all the boat you want! There is no substitute for experience so find a boat within your abilities and budget, find a friend that may know something to help and get out on the water. If common sense says you shouldn't do something, chances are, you shouldn't!

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