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I'm looking to buy one, but I have no clue bout them. What are the pros and cons. All I no is you lose speed, and they run the same in shallow water. I'm looking at a pro drive. What is ta best brand to buy? Also does the boat really make a difference. I saw where the bottom of some of the boats wur smooth. Does this allow you to run in shallow water.
 

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you get the right combo, there not as slow as everyone thinks. pro-go where no out board will go and sounds bad a_ _ when modded. con- cost a lot of money to get the speeds of an outboard. 16/48 legend, extremely modded 23 mud buddy.:up:
 

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There are more Pros than cons in my opinion. If you are talking speed with a little bit of mods you can make them run good. (Mine will run around 30 to 32 with me and another person in it with hunting equipment). I would test drive them all if it was me. You do lose speed when you start putting a lot of weight in them and try to run deep water. You will be able to get places you never thought you would be able to go. You will tear up the boat before you tear the motor up in most of the rigs they are built solid. I am running a 35 gtr I love it (the main selling point to me was reverse)! If you go to MudMotorTalk.com you can find out all you want about these rigs.
 

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I have been looking at these too. Only 2 that have reverse are Gatortail and Prodrive. Gatortail reverse works like an outboard reverse where the prop spins in an opposite direction. Prodrive reverse is different in that the skeg actually rotates 180 degrees so the prop is always spinning the same way. With the Prodrive they have manual reverse which is standard and hydro reverse which is a 1500 option. These motors are expensive the 35 hp tiller versions for both brands run about 7K with reverse. Mud Buddy is cheaper but its because they don't have reverse. Gatortail is belt driven and Prodrive is shaft driven. GT will be a little faster since it is belt driven. You can mod these motors because they are just large lawn mower engines. When you mod them you lose reliabilty. People have trouble with oil leaks and stuff from blowing head gaskets and the case gasket will start to leak because the compression is higher when you mod it. Buddy had a 35 hp modded that was estimated at over 70 hp and he blew a head gasket quite often. He told me not to get a modded motor and just stick with stock because you won't have as much trouble with it. The boat does matter a lot. These motors are designed to run on boats that are completly flat on the bottom. They run like crap on a mod V boat. They will run ok on a flat jon but they run best on a mud boat. Flat jons usually have ribs in the bottom and the mud boats are completly smooth on the bottom and they are made much better and are at least .125" thick in the hull. Also a longer boat runs better with these motors. A 1848 should run faster than a 1648 with the same motor. Not sure why that is but ask any of the people who make these boat/motors and they will tell you the same. Both prodrive and GT make boats and motors. A new rig with a 35 hp will be at least 15K so that is a con. From what I've seen a 35 mud motor rig runs about like a 25 outboard as far as speed. I mean there going to run in mid 20's with a load and maybe close to 30 mph unloaded. But the difference is they will run that speed in shallow water where an outboard will be slow.
 

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DO NOT put a prodrive on a hull that does not have a smooth bottom or the whole shootin match may end up at the bottom.
Not entirely true brother. Plenty of none smooth bottom boats running Pro Drives that are not on the bottom of the lake or marsh. Yes they are not the Ideal combination, but they still work and can be done safely.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for the info guys. I'm not worried bout speed, as long as I'm going round mid 20s I'm good. I was mainly worried about how reliable the motors are. I'm looking at ta pro drive boat or the excel f4. Do any of you have one, and what do think.
 

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Thanks for the info guys. I'm not worried bout speed, as long as I'm going round mid 20s I'm good. I was mainly worried about how reliable the motors are. I'm looking at ta pro drive boat or the excel f4. Do any of you have one, and what do think.
Talking specifically boats, I've been around a lot of Pro Drives. IMO stay at or under 54" whether it's an 18' or 17'. I've put some time in on a 1760 and that is just too much surface area. Just need to decide what kind of chime you want. They're great boats and take a beating. I've heard good things about the excels mud boats but haven't been in one. I've spent a lot of time in Go-Devils as well, I'd take a pro drive any day.
 

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the excel f4 shallow water is a nice boat but i think it is heavier than a similar prodrive boat. I'm not sure because pd doesn't post their boat weights, but an excel boat has floatation, full floor, and multiple boxes. A typical pd boat won't have any floatation, a partial floor, 1 drivers box, and maybe a gun box. Also some think u shouldn't put a pd motor on a "hunt deck" or step down type transom which the excel f4s have the hunt deck transom. On the other hand a gatortail motor is thought to be better on a hunt deck because of the way the reverse works it keeps the boat cleaner.
 

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Not entirely true brother. Plenty of none smooth bottom boats running Pro Drives that are not on the bottom of the lake or marsh. Yes they are not the Ideal combination, but they still work and can be done safely.
You will learn one day. Hulls with chines hang on every stump, log, cypress knee, beaver dam around. They aren't meant to be put on those hulls.
 

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I have a mudbuddy 23 mini on a War Eagle 542 and love it. It will go anywhere there's water. Had a Merc 25 on it for years and loved the rig then, now that I put the surface drive on it, it's just rediculously fun to drive! If you want one, buy one...you won't regret it!
 

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At least you wont until you sink it. That motor will take a WE places it shouldn't go, and the results wont be nice. At least they weren't to me.
Inspector - Please tell more...what happened!? I try to be very careful with my rig and not take too many risks, but I can tell that it can get very bad in a hurry if I'm not careful with this motor...
 

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That motor will get you into more shallow places than a standard outboard. When you get there a ribbed hull wont slide off of cypress knees and stumps, but rather catch, hang and tip the boat over. Especially when motoring at slow speeds, which is required when you're turning tharound trees and going over beaver dams. I switched to a smooth hull and mine would slide over anything.
Not fun when you look up and the nose of the hull is 10 feet higher than where you are sitting, and then dumps you and your buddies into ice covered water. Take my word for it.
 
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