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Thread: Advice on jet or mud motor for shallow rocky river.

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    Default Advice on jet or mud motor for shallow rocky river.

    I'll be coming to the Forty Mile river this summer to do some gold mining and need to get a boat to run back and forth on the river with. Been doing a lot of research to figure out what I need but still can't decide. Looking at either a jet foot outboard or a 27hp or larger surface drive mud motor. Which would be the better choice for running a river that can get very low, with large boulders in it? I'm leaning toward the mud motor right now, because of the fuel economy and the simplicity of them. Does anyone run a mud motor in conditions like this? Also, what hull would y'all be running in very shallow water but where I can carry a load? Will be taking a gold dredge up and down river so it's going to be a lot of weight. Thanks for the help!

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    Moderator bkmail's Avatar
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    Airboat......hands down.
    BK

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    double hulled .........u better have some TIME driving the boat...or its going to hurt.........lol
    WHEN IN DOUBT> THROTTLE OUT.......

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    Quote Originally Posted by hillbilly willie View Post
    I'll be coming to the Forty Mile river this summer to do some gold mining and need to get a boat to run back and forth on the river with. Been doing a lot of research to figure out what I need but still can't decide. Looking at either a jet foot outboard or a 27hp or larger surface drive mud motor. Which would be the better choice for running a river that can get very low, with large boulders in it? I'm leaning toward the mud motor right now, because of the fuel economy and the simplicity of them. Does anyone run a mud motor in conditions like this? Also, what hull would y'all be running in very shallow water but where I can carry a load? Will be taking a gold dredge up and down river so it's going to be a lot of weight. Thanks for the help!


    Iíve wondered about the same question. Are there any surface drive advocates or experts reading this thread who could compare outboard jets with surface drive motors?

    Iíve read about rock guards for surface drive motors, but never seen one. How would a surface drive equipped with a rock guard perform compared to an outboard jet?

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    Member skybust's Avatar
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    Ive driven a 27 prodrive on the big-Su and it does just fine never been on Forty Mile I will tell you mud motors dont do well with rocks. Ive hauled out a moose and three people but no camping gear. The rock guard that comes with the prodrive is huge I never put it on mine and ended up giving it away. If forty mile is as shollow as your saying I would second the airboat opion.
    Is it opening day of duck season yet
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    Moderator bkmail's Avatar
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    A friend picked up a pro drive and tried to run it on the lil su, upriver from the Burma boat launch. He didnít get more than a couple miles before the benign lil rocky patches wiped out his prop and the spare on the way back down. Needless to say, he sold the prodrive and installed a jet in short order.
    From experience, this run was relatively easy in a jetboat.
    I would venture to say that a jet properly trimmed and a driver with experience would have fewer troubles than a similar setup equipped with a prodrive.
    Iíve never run the forty mile but your description sounds like itís rocky.
    I still stand by my recommendation of an airboat. They LIKE skinny water; you can slow down or even stop when the water gets skinny vs. a jetboat that you need to throttle up and be on your toes in the skinny H20.
    If it gets rocky, slow down and creep over, around, or through that section. The important part is you donít have to hit it at 30 mph and hope/pray you make it through unscathed.
    BK

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    I've had both jets and mud motors. Personally I prefer the go devil mud motor matched with a go devil boat. The rock guard for go devil is made of two small skegs and works well. The mud motor won't run quite as shallow at higher speeds as a jet, but with a properly matched boat and motor it will putt through inches of water. The mud motor won't be as maneuverable as a jet, especially on tight curves and turns. A 20' by 60" mud motor boat and 35 hp surface drive will carry over a thousand pounds efficiently in my experience. Feel free to pm me, or your best bet is to talk with Stu in Fairbanks or Don in Chugiak at the go devil shops. Ton of good info on mud motors and boats.

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    Thanks for the replies everyone. Anybody else got any advice?

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