When I used to post on the internet metal detecting forums, I always made a point of staying out of the "What is the best metal detector for beach and water hunting" threads.
People on the detecting forums can get pretty bent out of shape about metal detectors, and always need the last word as to why you should, or should not use a certain brand of metal detector.
All unnecessary drama, with so many makes and models of metal detector you can use on the beach and in the water.
I believe, that your choice of metal detector is just as important as beach and water reading skills.
It is always best to choose a metal detector that you feel comfortable using, not the one other people say you need.
In my opinion, it is important to use a waterproof metal detector for beach and shallow water hunting, but If you want to use a land machine there are no rules saying you cannot.
I used a chest mounted Minelab Sovereign for years and did quite well with it, both on the beach and in the shallow water.
Because south Florida has a summer rainy season, it was always a hassle worrying about getting hit by waves and caught in sudden downpours, especially when metal detecting long distances from beach entrances.
For the last couple of years I have only used waterproof metal detectors for beach and water hunting
My Minelab Excalibur has always been a work horse for lower beach and deep water hunting and my very versatile waterproof Minelab CTX 3030 does everything my Sovereign did and much more.
I doubt I will ever take a non waterproof metal detector to the beach again, but that is my choice and it best suits my beach and water hunting plans.
I remember when I first got into Spanish treasure hunting on the Treasure Coast beaches of Florida, I met some people metal detecting that made a point of telling me I needed to buy this or that metal detector. I still do lol!
The old timers I knew had been searching those beaches for years, they were not so chatty and only used one or two makes and models of metal detector.
I knew certain veteran beach hunters had found some pretty impressive finds over the years, and that was one of the things I took into account when choosing my first metal detector for beach hunting.
Certain metal detectors have a reputation for being good metal detectors for beach and shallow water hunting.
Certain beach and shallow water hunters have a reputation for big treasure finds, sometimes its easy to put two and two together when choosing a metal detector.