Except aboard the shallowest of craft, venturing beyond narrow or familiar waters means you need a chart. If you are not acquainted withcharts, they can look intimidating, but their mystery cannot survive 10 minutes of study. To learn about charts, buy one for the waters you want to navigate.
Nautical charts are different from maps in that they specifically depict water areas, while maps concentrate on land area, roads, landmarks, etc. Land areas and features on charts are sketchy and are noted only for their interest to the boater.