GoDevil, MudBuddy, ProDrive, ect.....



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  • GoDevil, MudBuddy, ProDrive, ect.....

    I'm looking at buying a surface drive mud motor for my 1448 jon boat.

    The boat will be used mainly in shallow gravel bottomed creeks. It will see some time in Minto Flats too.

    I have never driven or been in a boat powered with a mud motor or know anybody that has.

    What manufacturer would you reccomend? What HP engine for a 1448 boat with 2 guys and some camping/fishing gear the the weekend?

    What are the pros and cons of these guys? How many GPH do they burn? Are they hard/tiring to drive? I read somewhere that the surface drive models are alot easier to drive than the longtails, is that true?


  • #2
    Bad time of year to ask boat questions, everybody must be out hunting

    I'll be doing the same in a few days, woohoo!


    • #3
      I currently run a 27 hp Prodrive on a 1848 rivetted. In terms of which of the big three surface drives is the best, that's a can of worms I won't even try to open. I used to run a Mudbuddy 25 longtail. I certainly enjoy the increased speed and ease of driving which the short tail element offers. Especially when I'm running down stream on narrow rivers when the current picks up, the quick response of the short tail is much safer option. I can also sit down most of the time now.

      Jets will run a little shallower but they don't offer the same flexibility of options. Jets in marshes just don't work.

      It did take me awhile to get used to not being able to pick up my prop and move it to a different area of the marsh to get traction. The Pro drive is equally effective for me, just different to use. I don't have the full power reverse option but there have been times when I'm really stuck where I wish had it. I'm very happy with my Prodrive. No regrets with the change from long to short.

      Now you also mention that you plan to put it on a 1448. I initially had my 25 longtail on a similar dimensioned boat. It did not work well. The weight of the motor made the transom awfully close to the water. I also didn't get the speed I expected. I put pods on the back which made the boat safer but made the boat even slower. I talked to Glen, the owner of Mudbuddy, about my problems. He said that the 1448 was a real problem length for mud motors and recommended against that dimensioned boat. I have seen similar comments online echoing his sentiments.

      Lastly, all styles of mud motors sip the gas from what I've experienced and heard.

      Hope this helps


      • #4

        I had a 6HP Beavertail on my grumman sport boat........

        The thing that attracted me to Beavertail as opposed to some of the other mud motors was weight........it was about 60% of what other brands were

        I would think a 9 or 12 HP model would be fine on a 14' jon, but you're not going to be screaming along


        • #5
          Thanks for the replies.

          I'm just checking out all the power options for this hull. Not sure what I'm going to do yet.


          • #6
            FarmerGrant -- Are you looking for a long-tail like the original Go-Devil or the newer shallow water type outboard motors?

            Before I write about them, let me qualify myself by saying this...I live in Louisiana where Go-Devil, Pro-Drive and Gator-Tail are produced. In fact, I'm 1 hour from Go-Devil's shop, and 15 mintues from Pro-Drive and Gator-Tail's shop. During my 26 years of duck hunting, I've become familiar with all of them. In fact, I am currently running a 24hp Honda long-tail Go-Devil on a 16'X48" Go-Devil boat. However, when my long-tail goes out then I'm switching to a shallow water outboard.

            Now, if you are interested in the newer models then you can choose between Go-Devil's surface drive, Pro-Drive & Gator-Tail. In my opinion, there isn't anything better than those three. Pro-Drive was the originator and if I'm not mistaken the guys who started Gator-Tail were at one time working at Pro-Drive. Pro-Drive and Go-Devil have somewhat the same design while Gator-Tail is belt driven.

            With respect to Go-Devil, they were the inovators of mud motors. I service my Go-Devil long-tail once a year at Go-Devil in Baton Rouge and I've never been disappointed in the boat, motor and service. Therefore, I'm kind of partial to Go-Devil.

            Those are the only 3 that I would buy but before you do I would call each one and tell them where you are, what you want to do with it and then you can make an educated choice. A lot of people around here (who really know about duck hunting) are switching to one of these 3. I won't endorse one over the other but I will say that I think you cannot go wrong with any of the 3.
            "The days a man spends fishing or spends hunting should not be deducted from the time he's on earth. " Theodore Roosevelt


            • #7
              From what I have read, the surface drives would be better for my uses than the longtail.


              • #8
                Check out these sites.




                These motors are amazing for starting in just mud and in skinny water.
                "The days a man spends fishing or spends hunting should not be deducted from the time he's on earth. " Theodore Roosevelt


                • #9
                  Stu's Go-Devil in Fairbanks/North Pole


                  If I may, I'd like to give a plug for Stu Varner's Go-Devil sales

                  Stu is probably off hunting, but you couldn't find a nicer guy and someone more knowledgable about go-devils used in Alaska. He sold me my longtail many years ago and I can't say enough good things about him. Check out his website when you get back from hunting. He will gladly answer all your questions about what motor is right for that hull.

                  Best, Mark
                  Mark Richards


                  • #10
                    Bushrat, I talked with Stu a few days ago (caught him right before he was leaving town), and I agree he is a great dealer that knows what he is talking about. I'm probably going to go for a test drive with him when he gets back. Thanks for the tip.


                    • #11
                      mud motors

                      I have a 1436 and run a longshaft Mud Buddy, it's a 12 horse kolher and has plenty of power and ruggedability to pound the rocky bottoms around here. I studied a little before buying this one, weight ratio vs. power this has a 2:1 reducer and a modified prop to give the torqe of a larger motor with less weight. I added a 4 cubic foot air filled pontoon to the rear to lift the transom due to the added leverage of the motor. I have been very impressed with the motor and the hunting rig
                      Visions Steel/841-WELD(9353)
                      "Rebellion is in my blood, I was born an American"
                      Μολών λαβέ


                      • #12

                        I have used Go-Devil long tails and now a 35horse Mudbuddy Hyper drive sport. My boat is a 16x54 lowe. I love it the short tail is great for steering and the new Hyper is faster then the old long tails. I can still pick my prop up if I need to. It has electric trim and if I wanted to I could have remote steering like the pro drives. It is all a matter of what kind of running you want to do and remember these mud motors are heavy. I have floatation pods welded on the back of my boat so that I can stay on step at slower speeds. Call Backwater Mud buddy. Marc can set you up and give you advice on what is the best performing motor for you. 688-4515. In fact he is hunting in Minto right now! Cant miss his boat..well if you can catch it! He is running a new supped up 45 Hyper sport...FAST! I know he did have a boat and motor all set up ready to hunt. It was his personal boat comes with a blind and everything you need to get started.


                        • #13

                          I have a 35hp Go-Devil Surface Drive on my 18x48 Lowe jon boat. Put simply, you'd have to pry it out of my cold dead fingers before I'd give it up.

                          Stu is the man to talk to for a surface drive. None better.



                          • #14
                            Hey guys,

                            To piggy back on this thread how would you compare these motors (35 hp surface drives) to a 50/35 jet. I would really like to know if these motors are a capable of running the same rivers a jet is capable of. Is the power enough for pushing a hunting load and is there enough power to safely run rivers like the Talkeetna? I am not looking for a speed machine, but rather solid denpendable boat to get back into the boonies and get me back out. The boat I am considering putting one of these on is an 18 x 48 rivetted Lowe, old, but does not leak at all.

                            Would this be a decent set-up for rivers up north (Haul Road) like the Ivishak?

                            From what I have read by others with these motors once they mount them they are more worried about putting holes in the boat rather than damaging the motor.


                            • #15
                              Jake_65_65, you really want to do this kind of stuff with your Lowe? (I almost made it across....)
                              As a test, I put a full 55 gallon drum plus 2 big 230 pound guys and me at 200 pounds, about 1000 pounds total, and my boat still ran 23 mph in the Chena. I went up the Ivishak about 10 years ago with the same boat but with an 18 hp Go-Devil long tail. I guarantee I can repeatedly go places a 35/50 jet can only go......once.
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