Boats, obviously enough, are stationed in the waterways of San Andreas; most of the docks in the game will have a boat or two somewhere nearby. All you need to do to get one is climb aboard and press the triangle button. If youre attempting to board a boat while swimming, use the square button to climb out of the water. Note that boats dont play nearly as big a role in San Andreas as they did in Vice City; planes are where the real actions at now.
Not much to it here; just hit forward and try to avoid really sharp turns, which will send the boat spinning. Rather, use small adjustments to your steering to keep yourself oriented where you want to go.
Drive-By: As with cars, you can perform drive-bys (float-bys?) in a boat with the R1 and L1 buttons.
Planes and Helicopters
San Andreas is the first entry in the GTA series where you can truly take to the air. Although GTAIII had its Dodo, and Vice City had the Sparrow, these were difficult to control and had limited uses. With the sprawling size of the game world, though, the designers of San Andreas have seen fit to give players a quick way to get between cities.
You wont be able to get a plane right away, though; in fact, you wont be able to fly until you complete a set of flying tests before you reach the third city in the game. After you get your pilots license, though, the airports in each city will unlock their gates, letting you roam in and find a vehicle to your liking.
There are numerous different planes and helicopters in San Andreas. You wont use helicopters as often as you will planes, though, and there are usually a few different kinds of the latter at any of the airports in the game. For our money, your best bet for transportation is the Shamal jet, which is extremely fast and very easy to control. Theres also a jetliner available at the Las Venturas airport, for the pilot who likes his planes big and massive; its in a large, enclosed hangar in the southeastern corner of the airstrip. It doesnt always appear when you open the hangar doors, but if its not there when you arrive, let the doors close and try again. There are also a few more flying machines that youll come across as you complete the later missions in the game, but we wont spoil the surprise by listing them here.
Planes and helicopters have vastly dissimilar flight controls, but, luckily for you, theres a lengthy tutorial youll have to pass before you can actually gain access to the beasts of the sky. For planes, all you need to know is that X speeds you up, Square slows you down, and clicking R3 will retract or extend your landing gear. Helicopters are a bit more difficult to control, and will require you to use the R2 and L2 keys to rotate them while they fly.
Parachute: If you exit from a plane while in flight, you'll be able to parachute by holding the O button. You don't need to have a parachute in your inventory; one will automatically be given to you when you leave the vehicle. You do, however, need to be fairly high in the air, or you'll hit the ground before the chute opens, with predictable results. While chuting, you can steer yourself somewhat by moving the left analog stick, and you can pull your feet up in preparation for landing by pulling back on the right stick.