Guys, thanks for all the help!
I just drove a boat for the first time yesterday (Xmas 2014 Yay!), and it was, hmm, "educational".
Me and my friend went to Capitola Wharf to rent one of their skiffs. They are about 14.5ft with 65in beam, 4 stroke 8h Yahama tiller motor. I attached some photos.
I couldn't really tell the sea condition, but I figure the wind chops were 2ft at their strongest, and the swells were maybe 4~6ft?? Definitely not a calm day for a beginner.
The first thing I did was to drive the boat under the wharf .... what a great start!
Anyway, we survived and managed to get 1 rock fish for more than 5 hours, and neither of us puked. So I call that a success, but not an enjoyable experience. Plus, the flat bottom of the skiff kept slapping on the chops and we were very wet, and very very slow.
So, with a 430 Mercury Ocean Runner + 20hp motor, will it feel much better than the skiff? The Mercury has a 76in beam and 19in tubes.
I really don't plan to go out on any condition worse than yesterday, and will limit myself to a 5 miles radius from the port (Santa Cruz).
Alternatively, I am considering a new Zodiac PRO 500
Zodiac Pro 500 With Yamaha F50 EFI 4-Stroke
but will that boat do much better than the Mercury 430 in the same condition as yesterday's?
This is going to be my first boat so I want to keep it fun, safe and cheap.