ob jet vs. ob surface drive
just wonderin what your opinions are on river outboards seems like surface drive would be the way to go but not sure about the air cooling just want to know your opinions on them.
What kind of rivers are you looking to run and what size boat and what application? Hard to answer such a broad question.
As far as the air-cooling, I have never had any problems with over heating at all. Even when running wide open for 8 to 9 hours straight on a hot day. But being air cooled they are bit harder on the ears.
I've got both. The surface drive is noisey as mentioned...though so are jet units on outboards. The surface drive has a prop to get dinged on rocks in the shallow water. The jet will suck up gravel into it's grate and impeller. The jet will be faster in general..until you go to shallow. The surface drive really isn't designed (in my opinion) to go shallow..it's designed to get youi through mud, vegetation, and leaves. So for the interior shallow rivers in general I would go with a jet.
im runing interior rivers chena, tannana im looking around at motors for a 2048 jon boat. i figured the surface drive would be faster being a prop but then again its a 2 blade prop versus a normal 3 blade i have been seeing more of the surface drives just wondering how people like them up here.
Spent some time running a 2048 or so allweld from the boat shop with a 36 hp pro-drive motor. It went ok, but was very very heavy if it ever got stuck. Also, the prodrive was a very heavy motor to have hanging off of the back of that boat. As far as hauling heavy loads, it was ok, nothing special. Top speed with two guys and not much else in the boat was around 22 mph or so. Like in a jet boat, you do go a little faster in shallower water. Once on step it doesn't need much water to run but if the bottom is rocky you can expect to ding up the prop eventually. If you are planning to just stick to the rivers, I'd personally stick with a jet. But if you want to be able to go exploring in the swamps and side sloughs the surface drive may be a better option. They are pretty amazing to see what kind of mud/grass/logs/dry ground/etc they can make it through or over.....just make sure you don't get stuck!
I bought a surface drive specifically for our sometimes shallow Montana rivers.
-Won't suck mud or ice/slush
-Air cooled and easy to work on for the mechanically inclined
-Heavy, my 35 Mud Buddy weighs like 300lbs.
-Prop can get dinged and they are like $200 to replace
-Typically have to have a boat designed for one, that includes beefy transom, flat bottom and generally a pretty heavy boat. My hull weighs in around 700lbs. This is a good thing if you like things that are way overbuilt. I fear little with .125 Aluminum hull!
-Price- nearly double the price for the same output from a jet.
-Only a few of them out there can push a boat over 30MPH and these are usually modified with all kinds of expensive parts
I have never seen a spot where a jet could go where I could not. I suppose that someday there will be a massive amount of current that I just don't have the high end power to take a run at that a powerful jet could cruise up. I have however gone to a bunch of spots that couldn't be tackled with a jet and I had no problem.
Here is a video of us screwing around with mine in Montana and Idaho, about midway through you'll see some stuff that you couldn't do with a jet. I am right now trying to figure out if I should plan on bringing this thing with me to AK or not. I am leaning towards bringing it, strongly.
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I have the 32 prodrive on a 1648 lowe flat bottom. Ive had the boat on the big su, littel su and deshka, jim creek. The motor goes well but isnt a speed deemen by any means.
I had a Mudbuddy 23 mini on a 1448 rivited jon.
It got really good fuel milage.
It was very physical to drive, alot of vibration and tiller torque both ways, especially when trimmed up high.
It couldn't run as shallow as a 35hp jet on the same boat, or as shallow as my 2175 Xtreme shallow.
I think I could run in 8-10" comfortably, any shallower and I was puckered waiting for a hit.
Got tired of dinging up props trying to take it to my cabin.
Didn't have to worry about over heating or plugging up the jet.
If I had kept it I was going to buy a 3 blade prop, which is suppose to help with the vibration.
I think I had 50 hours on it when I sold it and bought a 35hp jet.
Pods or a longer boat may have helped it run shallower.
In the right rivers/lakes it seems like a very efficient setup.
GPS speeds on the Tanana with 500lbs in the boat were about 17 up and 24 down, depending on current. In one spot with a heavier load it would go about 6mph up river, then turn around and you're doing 30. Burns 1.5-2 gph at WOT.
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Mud Buddy has a new three blade prop they are using. Not much info on it yet, but it is not the same three blade they had last summer. Suppose to be less tiller torque, smooth operation, better hole shot.
Originally Posted by akscotty