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Updated: 4/18/2007 10:42 am Published: 4/18/2007 10:42 am

The fastest speed for an outboard-powered vessel is 177 miles per hour, and while you probably won't be going that fast, if you're looking for speed on the water, you'll have plenty of options to choose from. To begin with, you'll need to make sure that you're ready to handle the boat that you want. Your boat dealer can be a big help in suggesting boats that will meet your requirements and match your skills. This may include offshore performance boats, outboard sport boats, or even the latest jet boats. Once you've decided on a boat you'll want to test-drive it. When you get this opportunity, you need to make sure this is what you had in mind and the only way that you can do that is by running it at the speed you'll most often be traveling. You'll need to do this in order to get a true feel for the boat. Does the boat feel solid as it's cruising over the waves? What about the windshield? Does it flex or just rattle? Are the hatches solid, or are they flapping? In general, as you're running at high speed, you'll need to ask yourself, do you feel in control? Of course, this is subjective, but if you don't feel safe, secure and in control, you're in the wrong boat.

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