Boating Fun?

I've been kicking around the idea of buying a boat the past year, but when it comes to what I would like to have or how to run one, I'm at a complete loss.  However, after spending this past weekend up north on a beautiful lake with my "surrogate" family the Sterns,,, to borrow a line from Favre, "I've got the itch" to buy a boat again.   LOL

I had decided to not buy one, but came rather close about a month ago.   I think the biggest thing for me, is I know NO THING.. nothing about boats!  However, that never did stop me from buying my first motorcycle... I just grabbed my friend that I worked with and had him check it out and take it for a ride.  (thanks Z, I still owe you a sammich for that I think)  In any case, it's a bit different for buying a boat.  You can't just test ride it anywhere, need to be around a water source.

So, here's my dilemma... what should I be looking for with a boat?  I"m not looking at anything too terribly expensive and am looking at getting a used one as well.  I wanna be able to entertain and have some fun with it and at the same time be able to fish and maybe pull a tuber or something.  I've pretty much ruled out a pontoon boat, but am open to anything else.

What kinds of things should I be looking for when checking one out, etc?  For instance, with a car purchase, you can take it to your local mechanic and they can run through it. 

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