Wildfowl's Best Mud Motors
June 11, 2012
There's no substitute for skimming across the water in a real duck boat, complete with a bad-ass mud motor jutting off the transom. Tow that sweet rig past any club and watch tongues wag the retrievers too!
If you have access to a boat and a high-power mud motor, then you know the benefits: getting to remote locations is easy and blind-hopping can be done with a pull of a cord or press of a button. Sea ducks don't stand a chance against open-water 25-foot rigs, just to name a few reasons to believe.
A good outboard or long-tail motor can quickly get you to any destination where ducks are flying unless you hunt a cut cornfield, of course. But if you're a waterman, here are some of the best motors money can buy.
These backwater surface-drive motors
sport a variety of unique features, including all-aluminum housing for improved power-to-weight ratio, external belt tensioner, extended drive shaft, one-hand operation of the controls, electric clutch, performance X-Series prop and a marine powder-coat paint job. The 35-hp motor is available in 16-inch and 20-inch transoms.
Gator-Tail GTR 35
The Gator-Tail GTR 35
features a reverse system that can be operated with one hand, thanks to a master cylinder, which can be locked into position. There are some add-ons this year with a brand new power trim unit, reverse propulsion plate and gear ratio, designed to meet the demand of large hunting loads as well as speed with light loads.
Powered by a 35-hp Vanguard Marine engine, it carries a three-year warranty. Other features include a tiller-handle-mounted control box, which puts the key switch, trim, kill switch, forward and neutral at your fingertips.
If you love all-terrain vehicles then the Briggs Vanguard motors will have a special place in your heart. Go-Devil
calls these bad boys 'œThe Four-Wheel Drive' of marine engines. Each of the 16-, 23- and 35-hp motors scoff at mud, stumps and rocks. The air-cooled V-Twin 35 Vanguard is a beast of an engine, reaching a top speed of 22 mph. It also weighs in at 225 pounds — about the same as a Wildfowl
editor we know, who spent the entire fall snacking in duck blinds.
Mud Buddy Sport
It's taken nearly a decade of research and development, but the Sport V and Sport H are ready. Mud Buddy
is calling these two engines the most technologically advanced motors to hit the market. The V (vertical) is the first outboard to have a mid-section transmission with forward, neutral and reverse, which hunters utilizing remote steer setups will like.
Long-time Mud Buddy motormen might find the H (horizontal) more appealing with its look and balance point. The motors are available in 36-, 44- and 50-hp.
Sirius line of mud motors looks small, but they pack a punch, and will get you where you need to go. Available in a pull-start 6.5-hp model and the higher-end push-button electric start 7-hp, both motors weigh about 80 pounds and are built on Kohler engines. They are ideal for solo hunters, who need to get a small boat and gear into remote locations.
The motors feature arched tiller handles, a twist-grip throttle, centrifugal clutch for better control when at idle and during setup/take down and a twin blade stainless-steel prop. Orion reports speeds of 16.2 mph with the 7-horse motor with one person in a narrow 14-foot boat.
Pro-Drive Big Block
The Marine Series 36-hp Vanguard Big Block V-Twin is designed for heavy-duty use in harsh environments. The engine features a digital CDI ignition, lightweight flywheel, stainless-steel muffler, high-capacity fuel pump and 20/50 Amp Alternator for running accessories such as a spotlight and GPS.
Pro-Drive's Full Power Reverse feature is available with the 36 as is the Automatic Full Power Reverse, which was heavily requested from hunters with console steering rigs. This feature rotates the prop 180 degrees, making for a high-performance motor.