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Power Boating for Dummies

Learn to boat the Dummies way

Hesitant about making the plunge into powerboating? Fear not. “Power Boating for Dummies” ($21.99, Wiley Publishing Inc., 2009) by Randy Vance will bring that perfect-storm-sized wave of a learning curve down to a gentle swell.

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Packed with information, this book is designed to motor from the showroom floor to the open water.

The book begins with advice on selecting the proper boat for your needs, complete with eight pages of color photos. You’ll then learn how to safely operate and take responsibility for your boat, as well as how to keep up with maintenance. Lastly, the book discusses how to enjoy your boat, how to whip up a meal in the galley, entertain friends, and even how to “get your feet wet” at a boat club. No exception to the rest of the Dummies line, the book also includes a “Part of Tens” chapter, with tips to elevate your boating to the next level. If you’re shy about keeping this book at the helm (it might give the crew the wrong impression of your competence), there’s a helpful tear-out cheat sheet at the front of the book that can be stowed away from prying eyes.

If there’s one thing that salty dogs know, it’s that a bout with idiocy is never more than an unsecured-anchor’s-throw-over-the-bow away. So this book can also serve as a helpful refresher for veterans.

Randy Vance is the award-winning editor-in-chief of Boating Life magazine, and his experience includes being the operator of a small resort and marina in Missouri for more than 20 years.

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This article originally appeared in the June 2009 issue.