the tower and pulpit set up is actually quite stable....for running on days when you can harpoon. the setup comes off when its time for serious rod and reel action and the weather gets rough, or the thing would roll over in 4 footers probably. the flat bottom with quiet engines, as presumed above, does make it stealthy....but the increase in pulpit length from 14 to 20ft put a lot of weight forward. and now i am only 6 feet off the water, which is terrible because i see all the tunas looking at me instead. they speed up and keep ahead of us until they spook. in the 2011 season the fish were running in the bay and we made a go at it with the 14ft pulpit and no tower. i must have launched 50 throws for one lucky hit. last season, 2012, the fish were running 50 miles out and we brought in a mere 5 out of 70+ throws. we plan to angle the bracket and raise the pulpit up off the water a few feet to get a better throw in. we are also installing a zapper because we wasted a lot of time chasing polyballs around and pulling darts. i may also have a flight instructor try to fly for us this season more regularly, but on a few experimental days last season, it was a difficult learning curve for him to find anything smaller than a whale or basker. you dont need a plane, but the best harpooners in the game use em, and have equally experienced pilots able to contribute to the effort. in my opinion, it really comes down to throwing a spear like a epic greek warrior and hitting some tuna. i doubt mike pratt had many more chances than i got this season.....he just hits a lot more shots. same goes for sullivan, i hear his shot is the "best" (most accurate) from several sources and that many of his kills came without the plane around.
in conclusion, harpooning is the balls. looking forward to it more than getting my hands dirty trying to hook one. i complained too 10 yrs ago when i watched guys zapping fish on the high ground on the swc while all the rod and reel guys caught dogfish on the edge. if ya cant beat em, join em. i don't think i will even put the rods on the shadow line until august 1st. getting 4-6 bucks a pound for starving migrating fish all june and july sucks. beating yourself up for 2 months trying to kite fish mackeral or blues or check in on the nwc or motor up and down the west edge then check the golf ball....just to find some fish...sucks. it really takes the gas out of you to put in a solid effort for the fall months when the fish go down and get fat. i did not catch a tuna on the rod until the 2nd week of august or something last season (excluding that odd july georges bite), and not for lack of trying in between the harpoon days. i would almost rather go commercial bass fishing for a couple weeks there in july if the weather isnt nice enough to harpoon.
3 more months all you tuna wishers!