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Mud motors.

SOME OF THE biggest advancements in waterfowling equipment have come in the motor industry--specifically surface-drive mud motors. Hunters across North America are learning these engines are worth the money when it comes to convenience and longevity. What was once only admired by many has now become commonplace in the marsh. Manufacturers are taking advantage of our relentless passion for bigger and better, adding more horsepower. Others bring us smaller versions, producing convenient mud motors suited for nearly every duck boat. And the continued pursuit of true reverse, now offered in several models, goes on. If you've never owned a high performance rig, now may be the time to take the leap.

Regardless of your budget or size requirements, there is a boat and mud motor out there that can take your hunting to the next level. Whether you chase after ducks in flooded fields, timber, or on the big water, we have you covered.

MUD MOTORS

Mud Buddy Sport V 4500

Mud Buddy enters the race for a surface-drive with true reverse, utilizing a Mercury Marine transmission in the new Sport V, offered in 36-to 50-hp. The Sport V has no clutch, pumps or hoses, so it's a simple shift from neutral into forward or reverse. The drive is oil-filled, all cast aluminum--just like an outboard--and the motor is designed to run to marine outboard standards. The electric hydraulic trim unit is an 8,400-pound rated Mercury, used on 115-hp engines. Bearings are built to withstand 500-hp, and the new prop, a 12 3/4-inch Hammer propeller, is designed for superior traction in mud without jeopardizing top end. The Sport V 4500 has been dyno-clocked at 44.6-horse.

$8,495 (4500) | www.mudbuddy.com

Pro-Drive X36 Vanguard

Over the past decade, Pro-Drive has extensively tested several methods to achieve the Holy Grail of mud motors--reverse. While traditional reverse (spinning the prop backward) worked in open water, the engineers at P-D felt this method suffered in mud and thick vegetation. Their solution: Allow the entire lower unit to be turned backward, beneath the boat, spinning the prop forward while pushing the boat in reverse with a push of a button. The motor then performs as a surface-drive should, lifting the boat up and out of the mud. See a video of the true potential of this method on the company's website, as a duck boat is run on plane in reverse.

$7,545 | www.prodriveoutboards.com

BPS Black Death CDI 5500

BPS builds some of the meanest mud motors in the industry. If you're the type of gear nut who needs to have the boldest of everything, these are your motors. The new Black Death 5500 standard features include Mikuni carbs, stainless exhaust and a massive 50-amp charging system. Mud Buddy's big blade propeller is also standard, as is the custom Black Death intake manifold. These motors are pricey, but there isn't a bigger, faster rig anywhere in the world.

$7,497 | www.backwaterperformancesystems.com

Gator-Tail GTR25 Subaru

Gator-Tail is using the new Subaru EFI engine to build its motors with impressive results, worries of reliability on cold mornings are a thing of the past with the electronic system. A list of features on this engine includes a special oil pump to ensure all moving parts are sufficiently bathed, a high carbon crank shaft for longer engine life and a pretty impressive looking air filter. The GTR25 also includes reverse and power trim. Expect to see more Subaru engines soon.

$5,995 | www.gatorstail.com

Go-Devil 35-hp Vanguard

Go-Devil's interest is in performance, and with a mud motor designed to push speeds over 30 mph for most rigs, they just may be in the lead. The core of the power is the 35-hp Vanguard--G-D's largest motor. A stainless muffler and CDI electronic ignition are standard on this new, improved beast, and a lighter flywheel is tailored for speed. The 265-pound motor is intended for the largest of duck boats (16-20 feet). The most functional feature is the load carrying capabilities, allowing groups to add more weight without sacrificing the boat's ability to plane off.

$5,495 | www.godevil.com

Copperhead 18-hp Vanguard

Copperhead made a strong move into the mud motor market recently, offering a scaled-down version of a surface-drive motor. They're the first commercial grade company we've seen to make a true surface-drive in sizes as small as 6.5-hp. It's certainly an option for a solo hunter who wants to take a lightweight rig, but not sacrifice the convenience and ease of a mud motor. This year, the focus is on the 18-hp Vanguard, an all-aluminum unit that weighs just 135 pounds. With a fairly lightweight 14- to 15-foot boat, it's possible to keep the entire rig far below 400 pounds, allowing for big boat performance with small boat portability. The motor also comes with a beefed up 20-amp charging system, electric start and a three-year factory warranty.

$3,895 | www.copperheadmfg.com

Orion Kratos 22

Orion's mission is to build a product that performs like top-of-the-line mud motors, but reasonably priced. Enter the Kratos 22. Kratos series motors are built on Liffan engines, another newcomer to the motor market. Orion insists the only thing different about these motors is the name, performance is the same, and they offer a three-year warranty on all of their engines to back it up. These motors are also available with Orion's new automatic transmission. This advancement functions just like the transmission in an I/O boat, and can't slip between forward, neutral and reverse.

$3,875 | www.ononoutboards.com
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Author:Balog, Joe
Publication:Wildfowl
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Aug 1, 2013
Words:927
Previous Article:Blinds.
Next Article:Duck boats.
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