Mud motor question / mudbuddy owners

Discussion in '' started by fishing extreme, Jan 8, 2008.

  1. I'm thinking of purchasing a mud motor, and have a few questions for those of you who own one and use one on Lake St. Clair:

    The boat I'll be using is a Lowe 1448 weighing 260 lbs. The motors I'm looking at are 14 and 18 HP surface drive mudbuddy hyperlite minis.

    1. I've heard that any size mud motor will get through the shallows on plane, but a larger motor is needed to "dig you out" when stopped or going slow. Does it make a big difference when trying to get through super shallow water from a stopped position or slowly? Should I lean toward an 18 for that reason? Usually only hunting 2-3 guys and small amounts of gear.

    2. Has anyone run a mud buddy surface drive in shallow, hard sand bottoms so common in the bays of St. Clair? Can they get through sand like I see them get through mud? Does it tear up the motor?

    3. I was told that the super heavy duty props that come with this motor (stainless steel manufactured by Mercury) are extremely tough. Has anyone ever tore up a prop running in our conditions? A buddy in Wisconsin says the props are almost indestructible, and he has 30 years experience.

    4. Has anyone ever had their mudbuddy serviced by Freeway Sports here in Michigan? What's your thoughts?

    Thanks for any info.

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  2. i have the same boat and was running one of the original 13hp hyperdrives on it. It was a longtail, but had the same prop and gear reduction. I'd get 10mph MAX with just me and nothing else in the boat. 6-9mph average depending on load.

    1448s are hard to power in the first place because the weight vs. displacement is usually high. I wouldn't waste your time with the 14 and would strongly consider something in the 20-25 range.

    I would also check with the dealer to see if they can put one on your boat for a test drive.

    The props are pretty tough. Don't hit any rocks with them and you'll be fine. A lot of running in the sand can wear them down pretty fast though i hear.

  3. I am by far no expert so this is just my 2 cents worth. I have a 31hp Go-Devil long shaft that I bought at Freeway. I have several friends that also have Go-Devil motors but they are all long shafts. I've had mine for 3 seasons now and this is what I have found. The long shafts are better to me in the muddy shallow stuff. You can use the tail shaft to pry out of the thick spots. NOT ONE OF THESE (long or short shaft)is good on hard packed sand and shallow water. The props won't dig into the sand to move you. They also aren't very good for picking up decoys because of the limited manuverability. But I will never, ever switch back to a regular outboard.

    The Surface drives and Hyper drives are a little more friendly for picking up decoys but not as well suited in the thick and nasty stuff once you stop. According to Jim at Freeway you have to turn the surface drives 90 deg to get you going again. On open shallow water I'd you the surface drive. In the rivers and swamp holes I hunt I'll take the long shaft. Buy the biggest motor your boat and wallet can safely handle. To much horsepower never seems to be a problem for duck boats. And your buddy is correct about there props, they are tough puppies. I've bounced mine off of rocks, stumps, ice and sand and it still looks great after 3 seasons of use.

    As far as my Freeway experience goes... lets just say nobody else in Genessee county sold mud motors when I bought mine. (PM me for more details if you are interested). Not bashing nobody here, just there are more places now than when we all bought ours. These machines are pretty easy to maintain and Go Devil has a GREAT customer service department. Again just my 2 cents.
  4. Hyper drives suck for picking up decoys!!!! they can't do it. if you just need go in shallow water the hyper is fine but if you want more there are better options!!!

    I would also rather you P.M. me for details on Freeway sportcenter.
  5. Have a long tail Mudbuddy and love it. I agree with the previous post and get the biggest you safely can get. Hyper drives are faster.
    One note about indestructible props. A buddy of mine hit a rock on Saginaw Bay 2 years ago with a BRAND NEW prop and broke his shaft. Yep, prop and 6 inches of the end of the shaft were GONE. Lesson, don't hit them if you can aviod them.
  6. mud motor....means mud motor. the mechanics of how they work is what kills it for sand. shallow water needs also means you need mud to dig the props in. You get beached with a mud motor on a sand bar/shallow sand, your in a world of hurt.

  7. Out of curiosity what are the better options?:confused:

    I may look to upgrade from conventional outboard in a few years.
  8. Eric Bronson from Spring Lake has a business called Midwest Mud Motors. He deals with a few different ones I think and also some boats. PM me if you need more info.
  9. Fishing Extreme,

    I have had a 14/48 Polar kraft with a 20hp Honda Go-devil long tail with floation pods on it since 2002 and love I. With a new prop and 2 guys no gear the boat will run about 18mph. The boat with the pods on it only drfats about 3 inches of water,and will go through major ****!!! Im on my 4th prop already, the boat is used year round and has many hrs on the motor and have never had a lick of a problem with it. I put the float pods on it after the first season because the boat just drafted to much water in the rear for what I wanted it for (about 7-8 inchs). The props are bad to the bone but like anything if you run the motor wide open and start jamming down into sand its going to where out, or if your like me and use the boat like a 4x4 for water and just try to get stuck all the time you will ware down the prop just because you using it so much. If your going to run in alot of thin water I would go with the long tail it is alot more user freindly for getting out of places. If you running in mainly 2ft of water and more and you might get into the thin water here and there then go with the surface drive.
  10. AIRBOAT!
  11. I don't have one myself, but have hunted with lots of guys who do (including Shi Kid), and I can only second what he said here. But I would suggest you PM "Kevlar" from this site for his thoughts, because he uses his on the bay a lot...I've been with him, and he would have some good insight on how they do in sand vs. mud. I'm sure lots of others here use them on the bay, but Kevlar is the only one I have hunted with there.
  12. Seeing that someone added pods to there polar craft. Are there companies that sell flaotation pods for other boats or are these made specifily for manufactued boat ie: War eagle polar craft gator trax etc. I have a 1472 flat bottom landau that I was looking at putting a 29 kaw mud buddy long tail on. I know it weights like 188# that's heavy. I think it would draft way to much water in the stren. I run a 25 mariner on it currently.

    My question is could I add floatation pods to my boat. I can fab most anything so maybe I could add an after market set of pods, or make my own and rivet or weld them in place. I have 3 sheets of .035 aluminum which may be a bit light on gauge but i'm not sure since all it does is act as floatation? Has anyone done this or know of it being done?
    Thanks for any info.
  13. Look at beavertail boats. They sell the Pods, they are reasonably priced. They can sell them for any boat. With your expertise at Fab work, you might be able to look at the pics on their website and simply make some up.

  14. I've had a 20 hp go-devil (long-tail) for about 3 years now and like it a lot. The props do wear out fast in the sand, but are indestructable otherwise.

    If you go with the newer / faster surface drive motors be careful where you go - you can get into a bad situation easily becuase they are go so fast that when it does finally stop it will be impossible to get out with a guy or two. The longtail motors are slower and therefore don't biuld up as much momentum so they don't get as stuck.

    As far as the horsepower issue goes get the most you can afford and be aware of the weight vs horsepower comparrison. An 18 hp and a 20 hp probably are the same motor just a bigger carb on the 20 so they will weigh the same - why by the 18 hp when you can have the most hp for the same weight
  15. I put a 23 horse Hyper mini on my 1448 before season started. Before that I ran a 9 hp Go Devil longtail for about 5 years.

    Either style motor seems to get me through the stuff I find myself hunting in (thick weeds, occasional stumps) but the extra guts in the 23 hyper is much appreciated. Once the boat is loaded down with gear & guys I loose a lot of speed. For a 1448, I think a 23 hyper is about as small as you want to go, and I would recommend bigger if you feel your boat will handle the weight.

    We use the boat for picking up decoys most of the time and the tighter turning ability of the Go Devil was nice. It is also a lot easier to lift the prop out of the water with a longtail. It was also easier to force the prop down deep into the silt/mud if needed.

    If I had to do it again, knowing what I now know, I would probably just buy a bigger long tail. That is not to say that I am unhappy with the hyper though.

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