About half a million boats are registered in Texas, a state with a sprawling coastline and more square miles of inland water than any other.

Some residents rely on vessels for everyday transportation or to earn a living while others indulge on a purely recreational level.

Like cars, boats require skill to navigate in changing weather conditions and can result in serious, sometimes fatal, injuries.

But unlike cars, you can get certified to drive a boat without ever driving one.

Texas has had a boater education requirement since 1997, but it only applied to people 13-17 years old until 2011.

Boater education taken online or in a classroom is required for anyone born on

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