Hi all. My friend has a chance to buy an 8ft zodiac raft with a 5 horse motor and would like to use it for the wall. do you guys think that this can be done saftly from a raft of this size? What do you all think? Hardfish'n.
Boy, that seems small. I think it would fish the inside OK, but getting there might be fun.
My thoughts about wallbanging boats is that they should have two different sources of propulsion. On an 8 footer, an electric trolling motor would be great for general positioning and it would get you out of trouble--FAST!
Last weekend, we wrapped a big ol industrial-strength trash bag on our prop while 10 yards from the wall. Thank God we had the other motor to move us to safety.
I used to do it all the time in a raft roughly the same size with a 4hp engine. I would launch off the dock at Marina Sportfishing. The only problem was the time it took to get out there. The small boat enabled me to get in real close and I never encountered any problems with boat wakes. I would head out and fish most of the evening all by myself and at times it can get a little eerie, especially when a seal would pop up out of nowhere and scare the crap out of me. Bottom line is I had a great time with that raft and I would recommend it highly.
I used to do it all the time in a 10.5' Zodiak with a 15hp. Had some great times. The stability of an inflatable is a huge plus and I could really get in close. The ride to and from the wall was always an adventure. Once had the lifeguard boat totally swamp me by cutting across my bow at very high speed. They were looking right at me when they did it. Wearing a PFD at all times while running is a very good idea.
I have two small boats, a 9ft and a 12ft, My 9ft has a 4hp and my 12ft has a 15hp,
I use both on the walls, The boat with the 4hp really takes a long time too get out there, once your out there, Its pretty cool, you can get super close (you should know your structure before you get close with any size boat)
Fishing the inside is never a problem (except with other boaters going too fast and too close)
The outside is great on a calm day,
but can be sketchy when the weather is not so good,
Another problem with the small moter is not having the power the get out of harms way quickly i.e.(Boat wakes, swells, wildlife and weather). That being said, a small boat is a great way to get on the water without spending a ton of money. IMO everyone should start with a small boat, it teaches you ho to handle a vessel on a moving body of water (ocean with tides and currents), Its like learning to drive in a Honda instead of a Hummer, Most importantly, operating a small vessel around many larger boats, teaches you to have a lot more respect and concern for others when you upgrade to a bigger boat.
Here is my small boat set up in live bait mode
The small boat in Bug mode
A small boat is deadly for fishing the walls, harbors and bays, shut your motor off and use your oars and the fish dont have a chance. Good luck with your boating, whatever size it is.