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Thread: Longtail motors

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    Default Longtail motors

    I am thinking I need a longtail or a shallow drive motor on my 18' flat bottom. I know next to nothing about them but think they would be great for most of Alaska's backwaters and shallow rivers. Anyone have any experience out there?

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    Member akriverrat's Avatar
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    oh yea they work allright. i dont have any first hand experiance but they have always been at the top of my intrest for backwater travel. economical and minimal maintenence on the go anyway. no water pumps or cooling to worry about and goes through about anything. someone will chime in with first hand experiance and have great things to say im sure.

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    I was looking at a couple websites in the past for details. There were some videos I rembered looking at that were showing some on Jon type boats going throu swampy areas and mud. If that is what you want to be able to do then I dont see a better set up unless you have an Airboat.

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    Default Longtail motors

    Thanks Guys.
    Looking for any input I can get and of course first hand experience is the best. Have looked at many different options with different companies. Their demo videos are helpful, but then I am sure they would not point out any product limitations. Not sure if the industry standard is 4 stroke or 2 stroke. Any ideas there? The demo video's and web info do not seem to metion that on any web sites I have looked at.

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    Member AK DUCKMAN's Avatar
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    With an 18 foot flat bottom I would look a a surface drive mud motor. Try asking a ? on the refuge forums web site. You will have a lot more brains to pick, From guys that know.

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    http://www.scavengerbackwater.com/ This is the one I've been looking into. Looks like it is pretty easy to maintain and they have packages for larger and smaller boats. I don't think you could go wrong with any of the longtails out there

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    I've got one of the old go devils with a 16 hp b&s engine on a 14 ft flat bottom ,it has it's good & bad points. Guess if you run shallow water enough it would be hard to beat without going to an air boat. Alex

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    I have a mudbuddy longtail with a 27hp Kohler ( I thing) motor. Takes me anywhere I want to go..but is slow. I would look at the suface drives. Much faster and carry more weight. And you don't have to stand up and risk tipping over while steering them. They are more like an outboard

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    Default Longtail motors

    AK Duckman......the refuge form? How and where is that form? Thanks

    I was thinking the longtail motors would be better in the rocky streems. Anyone with experience with rocks and the surface drive rigs? Also, I have a 28" transom on my flat bottom and the surface drive motors I have looked at seem to stop at 25". Thanks guys...

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    Member AK Ray's Avatar
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    skybust deals the Prodrives so he should chime in soon about those.

    No prop powered motor likes rocks, not even the mud motors. They handle mud OK since that is what they are designed for.

    I remember reading an account on the 'Fuge about a guy running his new mud buddy surface drive in a sandy Texas river. In one day he ground down the prop to stubs and needed a new one. They have so much torque that they can tear themselves a part. They don't have shear pins or hubs to deal with hitting stuff so when you hit a rock you know it right away due to the banging and jumping the motor does.

    All commercial mud motors use 4-cycle motors to get the power that they need to make the prop push the mud. Most folks don't realise that mud motors don't work great in clean water. Sure they work, but their props are designed to push semi solid material like mud. A standard outboard pushes water best and does not push semi solid stuff well.

    Mark from AK Backcountry Mud Buddy has taken his boat up some of the shallow rivers in the Tanana Flats to hunt moose and had no issues. They were up in air boat land and well past jet boat water due to the mud and alders in the slough.

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    Default Longtail motors

    Thanks Ak Ray. I will be looking for Skybust if he answers. Is he in the Anchorage / Valley area with a show room?
    Don

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    The mud buddy guy is usually at the Sportsman's Show. He is great to talk to. I saw a 35hp surface drive motor on a silty river last year and he kicked some serious arse, it was impressive. Just like any boat/motor combo in Alaska, each has waters in which they thrive while struggle in others. I wouldn't take a mud-motor in a rocky river but in muddy, weedy areas (Jim creek area) they would be fantastic. Also in the interior rivers I have heard they do well.
    Go to the mudbuddy or prodrive websites, pretty cool videos.

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    Member AK Ray's Avatar
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    Default These guys work out of their homes.

    Show room? That is funny. I think they are way too busy in their real jobs to be real salesmen. Find one of sky busts posts and PM him.

    Sybust is in the valley and if he stops doing what ever he is doing to read this thread he will contact you with a PM and you can go see his rig or his buddy's rig.

    AK Backcountry Mud Buddy will more than likely be at the Sportsmans Show in a month. Mark ususally has a small spot in the ice rink and will be more than open to talking about his stuff.

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    Member AK DUCKMAN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duckdon View Post
    AK Duckman......the refuge form? How and where is that form? Thanks

    I was thinking the longtail motors would be better in the rocky streems. Anyone with experience with rocks and the surface drive rigs? Also, I have a 28" transom on my flat bottom and the surface drive motors I have looked at seem to stop at 25". Thanks guys...
    Try here. You have to join to ask a ? Kinda like this place.
    http://www.refugeforums.com/

  15. #15

    Default Mudmotors

    You might check with Stu's GoDevil Outboards in North Pole. http://home.gci.net/~godevilalaska/
    I have heard he will give demo rides after the water gets soft.

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    Default Stu's Godevils

    I would second the motion to get in touch with Stu at Stu's GoDevil Outboards in North Pole. http://home.gci.net/~godevilalaska/

    I have been tremendously impressed with his helpfulness and knowledge of the longtails and surface drives. He will actually try to talk you out of buying one if its not going to be a good fit for what you want it/expect it to do.

    He was instrumental in my conversion to go-devils - word to the wise, get enough horsepower early on so you don't have to upgrade right away Once you start going places you never dreamed a boat could go, you will start wanting to carry more people/stuff to those places, which begins the vicious spiral of bigger boat -bigger motor upgrades...

    Aside from I want a surface drive now, I LOVE my go-devil!

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    Quote Originally Posted by AK Ray View Post
    Most folks don't realise that mud motors don't work great in clean water. Sure they work, but their props are designed to push semi solid material like mud.
    seems like they would have different pitched props for running both. like for crossing lake louise then changing out props once you get into tyone river. the scavenger motors use an auger type prop and they say it takes to the rocks much better. wonder about the weeds though?

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    Running the longtails in rivers is a bit different, they do OK but you must remember your pivot point is a ways back so every turn requires you to start a bit early going downstream is the most fun till you get the hang of it. If you can get to the valley this spring Your welcome to try mine on Mud lake.Alex

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    Member AK Ray's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by akriverrat View Post
    seems like they would have different pitched props for running both. like for crossing lake louise then changing out props once you get into tyone river. the scavenger motors use an auger type prop and they say it takes to the rocks much better. wonder about the weeds though?
    Consider where the technology was developed: Water filled sloughs that have shallow spots that a nornal outboard won't get you through. Rather than constantly changing props during the run they found something that works great in the hard spots and good enough in the easy spots. The manufactures are going to go with the majority of their customers needs and not the smaller percentage of folks that want to do something different.

    There also is the RPM issue. These motors typically don't turn as fast as a regular 2-cycle outboard. Prodrive would have the best option for making a change for prop speed since they are a geared shaft. Scavanger uses pullies to change the RPM and thus the power they get out of their motors.

    The one surface drive boat I have been in was an interesting day. We set up in a spot that I had hunted out of with my normal outboard. I put the bow against the same log I "anchored" my boat on. When we went to leave we were stuck on the log. We could shoot a rooster tail of water and loose weeds 10ft in the air and over 20 feet behind the boat, but with the bow resting on that 4 inch log and the boat at a dead stop we weren't going anywhere. This same log I have hopped over wiht ease in my boat with its 25hp outboard. I just have to watch the outboard as it skips over the log. However that surface drive boat can run through stuff at spead that I either have to pole through, or use my skills and jack lift experience to get the outboard through at a much slower speed. The difference being that the surface drive bites into what ever it wants to without a problem.


    The auger system is a great idea and is reported to work well in the vegitation since there are not blades to catch the weeds and hold them bogging down the motor. I whish I had a machine shop to play in and I would make an collar for my outboard to replace the flange on the output shaft with something with some cutters like a rope cutter on a large vessel. A company in AU was making them for large outboards, but nothing for little ones like mine.

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    Member Limetrude's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Some clarifications

    Hey there folks,

    Figured I should interject with a link to some good videos that show what the Go-Devils are known for.

    http://godevil.com/Movie_Gallery.html


    As to getting over trees etc - I love my longtail for being able to "park" on trees and then crawl over it when done fishing the tail of the hole. One thing I have noticed, a lot of the sheet metal hulls have a sharp almost knife edge where the bottom meets the sides, which in effect will act like a machete blade and actually get you stuck on the tree to the point where no matter how much horsepower you have, you won't push over it... better to hit it with some speed and not end up fighting that mechanical bond.

    If I were to give a quick summary of the Surface Drives vs the Longtails, it would be simply that the longtail is the 4x4 low of the water world. They are not as fast, they are extremely manuverable, will go anwhere, over anything, but will wear you out over the course of a day.

    The surface drives are the 4x4 high -- they do much better on open water in my opinion (ie with waves etc) than their 4x4 Low counterparts. They take minimal effort to steer over the course of a day, and will go through some seriously swampy stuff. The only downside I would think is they are not quite as good at slowly pushing over logjams and such because you cannot apply power while still clearing the log at your transom the way a longtail can. Oh, and while they are extremely manuverable, the longtail is even more so pending on your transom design.

    Hope this helps

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