Join Date: Apr 2006
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Look around for your local "power squadron" boating safety class. May not be until spring at this point, but in order to operate a motor vessel in Florida you will need a boating safety certificate, and that's about $45 for a Saturday course. It will be taught by local boaters (sailors, not just power boaters) and give you a good fast education--and an introduction to local folks who can probably take you out on the water and answer your questions.
Many states are requiring the same certification these days, and the one you get will be good for all of them.
As to boat size, engines...boy is that a wider topic. :-)