JT again welcome.........as a United States Power Squadron Member............go to www.USPS.org........and
from there look for the ABC safe boating course. They do offer a on-line course but there should be a squadron in your neck of the woods that is putting on this course in person. The better deal. This safe boating course depending on how the squadron will present it might a one day or 5 or 6 week to complete. Your insurance company will love you for this and plus all the good and helpful info that your get..........gee you might want to join us and continue your education. Look over the website and have fun!
All those things that seapuppy reconmended is a good idea!......... being a boater of over 30 years myself..... make sure your boat is in A-one condition before it hits the water. It will be money well spent. You don't want your day out on the water ruined because of lack of maintenence.
Beside getting a owners manual( very general info) from Maxum (out of business I hope you know) look into either merc service manuals $$$$$ or a Clymer service book. Your looking for a that year of your boat with a alpha drive. You can find these on line very easy.
Hope all this helps