I was 10 - and my Dad was just consumating the deal to buy his boat - a 24' Reinell - the owner asked if I wanted to drive. I asked if I was allowed? I thought I needed a license, or at least be 16. it was no problem (at least back then).
By the time I was 11 ( next season) Dad would let me take the boat out from the dock - out to the harbor light , and back - (including Docking!!). I learned early how to handle a boat around the docks, How to watch the wind and the current.
Some of my best memories are when it was just Dad and me in the boat ( Mom got too nervous with me at the helm..) ( kinda a speed thing....)
Because of that teaching, I have no problem around the docks, I can put a boat in a slip easier than I can parallel park a car.
There were plenty of times we went out and he never touched the wheel or the sticks, - great memories, and a great learning experience.