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Thread: Need ideas for a prop river boat

  1. #1

    Default Need ideas for a prop river boat

    Hi all -- I need a new boat that can run up a large lake (that gets decent 3' waves) and then onto a river with fairly shallow water.

    Because of the need for open water use in choppy conditions I don't want a jet outboard (costs too much as well).

    Here are some of ideas:

    1) Just use the shallow water drive on a 25hp 2 stroke and 14' aluminum lund. Has anyone run rivers just using the shallow water drive?

    2) Put on a power lift transom jack using same setup as above. I'll be able to raise the prop but not by much as I still need to get water into the intake. Perhaps a low water intake would help, but no one around here has heard of them.

    3) Put the 25hp on a 14' Saturn inflatable (less draft?) and use the shallow water drive. Maybe the inflatable is better for running rivers, and in particular, floating down if not enough depth to run the prop?

    4) Somehow rig the outboard so it just bounces up if it hits something. No idea how to do this.

    5) Mud buddy or ProDrive shallow water drive -- expensive, and not sure it is suited to a rocky flowing river?

    Anyone have some ideas?


  2. #2
    Member Akgramps's Avatar
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    Apr 2008
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    Default Lift

    I had a lift on a 16 foot flat bottomed "green boat" and it worked real slick, it was a older johnson 35 hp and the lift was transom mounted.
    It had a side console and i could drive the boat w/ one hand on the wheel or throttle and the other could operate the lift.
    It had a big wooden handle and it was well balanced as it took very little effort to pick the motor up while under way. it I hit something the motor would ride up and I would simply push the lever back down to get the motor back in the water.
    It would work great on a lake, I dont know that I would want to be out in 3 foot waves w/ this kinda setup!! maybe an inflatable would be ok?
    It worked ok on rivers as well, as long as the current was not too strong and the shallow obstacles were short intervals. A fast moving rocky river is not the place for this.

  3. #3

    Default mud buddy is not a rock buddy

    Mud motors such as mud buddy & prodrive (long or short tail versions) will not run real shallow in hardbottom. Long tails need to have almost all of the propeller submerged and able to spin without bouncing up all the time off hard bottoms. Short tails get racked harder than long tails when you hit hard bottom, and their surface drive props need to be about 2/3 in the water to keep good thrust.

    I ran a twin 23 (i.e. 46 total) HP mud buddy long tail for several years, the main advantages were hardly used any gas, totally unaffected by weeds, grass and never have to pick rocks out of the impeller. The down sides were on a hard or rocky bottom you can wear down a $200 dollar prop in short order, they are very loud, and jet boats will go in shallower water until they suck gravel. Had the long tail on 2 foot waves no problem....I dion't know how the short tail performs in big waves. I upgraded to a larger outboard jet boat to get a windshield, canopy, and something big enough to go on the ocean with.....I do dearly miss the fuel economy of the mud buddy and now am on constant alert to sucking the bottom with the jet...


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