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Known as the ATVs of outboards, mud motors are engineered to propel waterfowlers and loads of gear through just about any weed-infested backwater swamp or stump-choked shallows to get to ducks and geese. These specialized outboards can be split into two categories: long-shaft motors and surface-drive motors.

Long-shaft motors have a solid reputation as no-nonsense, rugged and reliable motors designed to take an incredible amount of abuse.

Surface-drive motors are becoming increasingly popular. These short-shafts are easy to trailer and maneuver in tight quarters. More tandem units and higher horsepower ratings highlight the new offerings.

From improved kill switches to newly designed propellers, mud motor companies continue to improve their models to provide hunters safe, reliable, hard-running units.

BEAVERTAIL As surface-drive motors continue to grow in popularity, Beavertail (previously called Otter) has catapulted the concept to the next level by creating a surface-drive backwater motor that lives up to the Beavertail legacy. With a geometrically reinforced all-aluminum frame and drive housing, frame weight is minimized to deliver an outstanding power-to-weight ratio. Beavertail spent countless hours on the water, pushing and perfecting the frame and drive system to ensure the most optimized surface drive available. The 2009 line consists of three surface-drive motors from 27 to 40 horsepower and a half-dozen long-shaft motors ranging from 6 to 35 hp.

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BEAVERTAIL

(877) 466-8837

www.explorebeavertail.com

GO-DEVIL Go-Devil Manufacturing Twin Surface-Drive motors are powered by 23 horsepower Vanguard engines. EZ trim and three-blade props are standard on all 23 hp engines. These units are available in high transom, and recommended on 20-foot boats to get the proper weight distribution. In performance tests using a 20-foot, 60-inch-wide boat, top speeds reached the high-20s mph.

They require a battery only for starting. The motors have no electrical components to fail and leave you stranded. In the event of dead battery, or starter, solenoid or key switch failure, the motor can be started with the standard equipment recoil system.

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The Go-Devil surface-drive engine features the toughest frame in the industry, consisting of the perfect mix of steel components to dominate all environments. The drive train contains high-performance gears connected through precision belts that mechanically reduce the engine's revolutions, thereby generating more torque to turn a larger mudslinging propeller.

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Warren Coco, owner of Go-Devil, has more than 30 years of hands-on knowledge and experience in manufacturing technologies and engineering design. He created one of the most powerful and best performing surface-drive motors. Go-Devil has continually improved and simplified the original design. Since Day One, the Go-Devil has been designed to allow for improvements to be retrofitted. You can keep your motor equipped with the latest enhancements, even years down the road.

As a true manufacturer, Go-Devil makes nearly all of the parts used to build their products. They maintain a full inventory of parts, as well as a full line of replacement parts for all of the engines.

Go-Devil is currently working on a 72-inch bottom boat with 22-inch sides to better accommodate the 23 hp and 35 hp twin surface-drive models.

GO-DEVIL

(888) 490-3254

www.godevil.com

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GATOR-TAIL

Gator-Tail mud motors are specifically designed to provide the driving comfort and reliability of an out board, with the shallow-water performance capabilities of a longtail mud motor.

Gator-Tail owns, operates and maintains a fully equipped ISO 9000 certified shop, so it can provide the highest quality products at very competitive prices. The engineers are highly skilled and hold several patents for unique and innovative designs.

Gator-Tail is offering backwater motor fans three new features: A new switchbox design, manufactured exclusively by Gator-Tail, this switchbox is located directly on the tiller handle, providing easy access to the trim, key start, clutch and kill switches. A new propeller provides 30 percent more reverse thrust to get out of tough spots. The full-throttle reverse provides more power for better performance, whether in the mud or in deep water.

GATOR TAIL

(337) 229-4864

www.gator-tail.com

MUD BUDDY Mud Buddy offers a full range of backwater outboards and builds the largest horsepower mud motors in the world--a 45, 50 and 60. New for 2009 is the HD7000.

Mud Buddy motors employ flat-drive frame technology, a combination of design and engineering that allows the prop to run more parallel to the surface of the water, resulting in the ability to move larger boats and loads.

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Mud Buddy offers 85 models--from 6 hp to the HD7000. They build short tails from 9 hp to HD7000 and the traditional long tails from 6 to 35 hp. Mud Buddy carries Vanguard, Robin and Honda engines. The Kohler big block 40 horsepower is new this year.

Also for 2009, Mud Buddy offers three separate short tail frame designs--the HD Sport, Hunter and Mini HD Sport. The HD Sport features an easy-to-steer, full-feature frame with power heads from 23 to 45 hp. The new Hunter model is available from 23 to 35 horsepower and is equipped with the industry's lightest full feature frame. The Mini HD Sport has five motor selections, ranging from 9 to 27 horsepower. Its tough, lightweight frame is designed for small boats, but still packs power.

MUD BUDDY

(801) 352-8011

www.mudbuddy.com

MUD BUDDY BACKWATER PERFORMANCE SYSTEMS

Mud Buddy Backwater Performance Systems add power and speed to the mud motor equation. New muscle motors, single and twin Mikuni bolt-on carburetor kits, stainless performance mufflers, propellers, gear sets and a host of internal engine components highlight the season's offering.

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Leading the BPS pack of power proliferation is the new HD 7000 engine, a combination of twin Mikuni carburetors, cam, quad roller rockers, billet rods, decked heads, stainless exhaust and a dose of serious attitude. The stout and spunky HD 7000 adds a power bump to your backwater experience.

BPS offers three additional big block powerhouses: the legendary HD 6000, the HD 5000 and the versatile HD 45 Mag performance engines. These high-energy variants adhere to the new stop, go and run-fast era of mud motoring.

In addition to making your mud motor rumble, BPS offers performance accessories, billet throttles, custom power and cruise gearing, K&N and Tau Ceti air filters, velocity stacks, roller rockers, valve shims, rev limiters, pistons, stroker rods, X7 Tiger props, oversize stainless valves with triple seats and more.

BACKWATER PERFORMANCE SYSTEMS

(801) 352-8011

www.backwaterperformancesystems.com

PRO DRIVE It has been four years since Pro-Drive introduced its Full Power Reverse to the mud motor market. Now, Pro-Drive has released the first ever Automatic Full Power Reverse. Customers with steering console rigs prompted the new feature's development.

They asked for a full-power reverse that could be activated by the touch of a button on the console. Keeping in mind the poor performance of reversing the prop, as with standard outboards, Pro-Drive realized that it would not do the serious sportsman much good, especially in vegetation and mud-choked backwaters where it is needed. The power and thrust capabilities of the company's Full Power Reverse could not be matched, so they went back to the drawing board to attempt to achieve both.

The result, after three years of trial and error, is the Automatic Full Power Reverse. The touch of a button rotates the lower unit 180 degrees to reverse in 2 to 3 seconds and back in about the same amount of time by hydraulic cylinder and gear. The new design can be retrofitted to any unit Pro-Drive manufactured since its start in 2003, and is available for both steering and tiller models.

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PRO-DRIVE

(337) 229-0034

www.prodriveoutboards.com
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:Mud Motors; all-terrain vehicles
Author:Zappia, Tony
Publication:Wildfowl
Article Type:Buyers guide
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Aug 1, 2009
Words:1265
Previous Article:Off to the hunt.
Next Article:Warm and dry.
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