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Thread: Proper shallow river motor

  1. #1
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    Default Proper shallow river motor

    I have a 16' Alumacraft flat-bottom riverboat in need of power and am wondering about good points vs bad on 50hp w/jet & tiller vs/ remote console or mud buddy or small airboat for Big Su. Anyone have comparrison info?

  2. #2

    Default Shallow river motor

    Quote Originally Posted by Timothy View Post
    I have a 16' Alumacraft flat-bottom riverboat in need of power and am wondering about good points vs bad on 50hp w/jet & tiller vs/ remote console or mud buddy or small airboat for Big Su. Anyone have comparrison info?
    Don't buy until you try. I've run them all, plus a hovercraft, and settled on the 35 hp GoDevil Surface Drive. I like the reliability, shallow operation, ability to push a load and especially the fuel economy. If the dealer won't give you a demo, walk away. He's either not very proud of his product of he'll be too busy to help if you need service.

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    Moderator AKmud's Avatar
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    I ran a 16' Lowe tunnel hull with a 40 hp jet (console steering) for years. It worked well with 2-3 adults and moderate gear. It wasn't very fast, but it ran quite shallow. It was perfect for the Little Su and OK for the Big Su.

    You need to provide a few more details about how you plan to use the boat to get a worthwhile answer. Are you hauling heavy loads, going long distances, going really shallow a lot, etc... If I get another jon boat I will definitely be running a tiller. It allows much more room for gear and is a LOT quicker for sharp turns.
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    Member alaskanmoosehunter's Avatar
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    I ran a tiller for years and after running a remote I'll never go back to a tiller. (Unless it's a scanoe.)

    To each his own though. I perfer not to sit sideways and feel restricted on movement when running a tiller vs. remote steering I can move in any direction, stand/sit to steer.

    As much as I want a surface drive (Prodrive to be exact) I still think a outboard jet is the way to go for alaska rivers.

    If your underpowered look into the 65hp Honda Jet Unit. Light weight, power and low fuel consumption hands down. The powerhead is slightly smaller than the 105 hp and slightly larger than the 90hp. I plan on replacing my 80hp merc.on my 17' for this motor.

    I was on the Tannana last year and a 16' with that motor passed me like I was standing still. Had a lot more gear too.

    Just a thought.
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    You can run a small airboat on the Big Sue. It just not safe.

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    Here is a 20 ft boat with a 90 Yami tiller, it is a great combo. Before I bought the 90 I borrowed a friends 40 Yami Jet (two stroke) and it pushed the big boat quite well. The 90 does a great job!


  7. #7

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    I have to plead complete ignorance. What is this "GoDevil Surface Drive"? Thanks.

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    Member alaskanmoosehunter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sasquatch View Post
    I have to plead complete ignorance. What is this "GoDevil Surface Drive"? Thanks.
    Here check this website and it will give you an idea.

    http://www.godevil.com/35hp_VANGUARD_SD.html
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  9. #9

    Default Shallow river motor

    Quote Originally Posted by Sasquatch View Post
    I have to plead complete ignorance. What is this "GoDevil Surface Drive"? Thanks.
    If you are ever in Fairbanks, after breakup, give me a call and we'll go for a ride. 907 488-8601.

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    Member skybust's Avatar
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    If you live in Anchorage or the Valley you could call my hunting buddy Shannon he sells prodrives which is also a surface drive mud motor I have a 32 hourse prodrive works great on the Big-Su had it on the Deshka and the Yetna Shannon run the 36 hourse on a prodrive boat. My boat is 16-48 Lowe with a center counsel and the 32 prodrive. I think no one mud motor is better than the other these day I think they are all built well and can take a beating I think it come down to price and which one you perfer. Just by two cents worth Chris

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