Louisiana Sportsman
JGueldner Profile Photo
Waterfowl and Duck Hunting in Louisiana

Boat Question

Planning on buying a new surface drive next summer. I have spoken to Gator Tail and Pro Drive and will be visiting two different dealers to check out these boats and drive them. I have read everything I can get my hands on, but I would like to hear from people that own these rigs and see what your thoughts are. What do you like/dislike about your rig? What options did you choose and why? Any help would be greatly appreciated!!! Thanks...
December 06, 2012 at 8:41pm
24 Comments
FLiesitdies Profile Photo
Posted December 06, 2012 at 9:22pm
gator tail podnah

gator tail my man all the way its more expensive but i rode in one the other day and its crazy how awesome they are. My friend has a pro drive and its always in the shop. Im saving up for a gator tail at the moment hoping to split one with a friend because of the cost but trust me very worth it

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drake30 Profile Photo
Posted December 07, 2012 at 12:56am
...

This is one of the most opinionated questions in the outdoor world. I say Prodrive. My boats never been to the shop. Hell, I barely change the oil in it and its been running fine for six years now. The next guy is going to say Mud Buddy and the guy after that is going to say Go-Devil and they've all made their choices and stand behind their motors for good reasons. So I ask you, 'tomato or tamata'

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JIMMY W Profile Photo
Posted December 07, 2012 at 7:28am
Owned both

Have owned both and the GatorTail works best for me!Go drive them both and get what works for you!

http://www.gator-tail.com/

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JGueldner Profile Photo
Posted December 07, 2012 at 8:02am
Thanks

Thanks for the feedback so far.

I am certainly going to drive both of them before making the purchase.

What I am looking for is information about different upgrades you selected or the layout of your boat, and if there are any things you wish you would have put in your rig but didn't.

If anyone has owned both, what did one do better than the other?

• View Reports by JGueldner
CJB 3030 Profile Photo
Posted December 07, 2012 at 8:15am
Test Drive

Definitely drive both the Pro Drive and Gator Tail before you buy. The terrain in which you will be running is also a factor to consider. For example, a Pro Drive generally performes the best in lillies and vegetation whereas the Gator Tail does better in pure mud. The ProDrive will handle more like an outboard and be 'easier' to drive due to the shorter outdrive. Gator Tail has instant reverse whereas ProDrive has Full Power Reverse, either way definitely get a motor with reverse. It sounds like you've narrowed it down to the two best choices, as there are no other options in my opinion.

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catahoulaquacksmacker Profile Photo
Posted December 07, 2012 at 8:51am
GTR 35 for sure!!

I hunt everyday of Teal and Big duck season and in some of the toughest enviroment there is and of all the boat and motor setups that I have seen perform on Catahoula lake the Gator Tail setup is the way to go!! If it was not for the GTR ability to dig a rut in little to no water in hard ground then I would have been stuck on the lake numerous occasions. Gator Tail has come out with different shaft lengths so you can fit the shaft length to your unique situation and they are also making boats in 100 gauge now and one of my guides just got his in 1754 extreme series with a GTR 35 with a Stage 2 and that boat got on plane with three men averaging 230 lbs and a honda 500 foreman and ran 25.7 mph on my GPS. Call Gator Tail and tell Hoyt to take you for a ride in his 100 gauge boat.

• View Reports by catahoulaquacksmacker
jfitz49 Profile Photo
Posted December 07, 2012 at 8:53am
Surface Drive Boats

The most important thing is the most horsepower you can afford. Look into HD 5500 BAMF

• View Reports by jfitz49
Carnes01 Profile Photo
Posted December 07, 2012 at 9:34am
Engines

I agree with all these guys that everyone will have their own opinions on engines, this is just my .02. I looked at all of them last August when I bought my GD, what I

Liked is the simplicity, I.e fewer things to break down 8 miles out in the marsh, and having my 6 year old boy with me many

times, that was important to me. Not as fast as others, no reverse or idle but also no cylinoids, etc to break & strand u.....again, just my .02....GL!!

• View Reports by Carnes01
kajunkayak Profile Photo
Posted December 07, 2012 at 9:41am
cajunkayak

I have been running pro drive for little over a year. The Guys at pro dive are great to deal with, You can walk in an talk to owner right away. I broke a prop shaft and went over there with no hassle they cover it and I was back on the water the next day. The Owner Brian said that should not happen and took care of it,

I know that Pro drive are a little slower But there full powere rev, is the way to go. You will find there motors will last longer because they are not turned up at all.

I have been looking at stage 2-- 45 hp But it will shorten your eng life, Not sure I want that,

• View Reports by kajunkayak
cmk07c Profile Photo
Posted December 07, 2012 at 3:27pm
All the same

They all have a Briggs 35, some just have different options and strengths. Look at it this way they're all trucks, do you like Dodge, Chevy, Ford, Nissan Etc. All do the same thing go through places that outboards can't.

I will say this, if you want a Go Devil you could probably have it tomorrow. Have fun waiting on that Gator Tail. But then again you could always buy second hand and save some money. But like everyone else is saying get the most horsepower you can. I have a love hate with my 23. Love it when I'm solo and the other 70 percent of the time I wish I had a 35.

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duckhunter7777 Profile Photo
Posted December 07, 2012 at 5:36pm
23hp

How much speed do you get by yourself with the 23hp surface drive?

• View Reports by duckhunter7777
cmk07c Profile Photo
Posted December 07, 2012 at 6:01pm
Decent speeds

With blind grassed, cooler, and safety gear in boxes I do 22 all day and will bump 24. Running on a 16 48 go devil surface drive hull. 2 guys hunt load just below 20.

• View Reports by cmk07c
low bird Profile Photo
Posted December 07, 2012 at 6:22pm
Test runs

It's a lot of money to dump without test driving one. Going to the 2 shops is a great option,they are good people at both shops.

I us my GTR for hunting,bowfishing and whatever else I feel like doing and I've never been left stranded by anything on the frame,now I have had Briggs issues.

By the way gator tail is selling a 25 hp Subaru that out performs the 23 Briggs now.

• View Reports by low bird
low bird Profile Photo
Posted December 08, 2012 at 6:13am
Several years

My frame is right at 6 1/2 years old. How many hours I couldn't tell you, last year alone I had close to 200 just from bowfishing. I was averaging around 300 hours a year on the motor but i have gone through a couple of hour meter/tachs . I have had a couple of engine blocks on the frame now its just a stock engine.

My hours don't add up to much when you look at the hours those boys using them for crawfishing can put on a motor.

• View Reports by low bird
Duck_PluckerZ71 Profile Photo
Posted December 08, 2012 at 8:35am
Gatortail

I have a GTR 35 and I love it. It has 850 hours total on it. I did the second stage on the motor and so far have 300 hours on it with no problem. I've only had minor problems with it like my trim going out and changed out the master cylinder for the reverse but other than that never had a problem. I wouldnt trade mine for anything.

Just go test drive and see whats better for you.

• View Reports by Duck_PluckerZ71
MEV Profile Photo
MEV
Posted December 08, 2012 at 8:16pm
Go Devil 'KISS'

I have a 2008 Mud Buddy SD that I bought to replace a go devil long tail. I bought the sport model because I thought all the 'bells and whistles' would be nice. My next SD will be the Go Devil 35 because I want to 'keep it simple stupid'. So far after 250 hrs on the Mud Buddy, I have replaced the electric clutch, the wiring to the clutch switch, two power trim units, one stock muffler and one stainless steel muffler, and the drive tail system that cracked. I haven't been left in the swamp yet but came close. I don't care what brand of motor anyone owns, if it has any electrical devices it will break sooner or later. That's why Warren Coco won't use any of it. My go devil long tail never gave me a problem. The Go Devils are simple,rugged and have been around for a long long time.

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Blue101 Profile Photo
Posted December 09, 2012 at 6:54am
Gt35

Been having my GT35 since 2005, on my third Tach , lost track of how many hours I have on it..I run the motor year round & it's been thru the mill, never had any major problems with it. I have always had great service at gator Tail. Don't know much about the other Brands , But this motor has never left me stranded .

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mudboat460 Profile Photo
Posted December 10, 2012 at 9:28pm
2 cents

Depends what you like, me Prodrive, Have nothing against a gatortail,but for me prodrives are better for what i do , an what i want .Main thing is bolt any of them on a hull that is built for a mud motor,keep the weight down,remember their not 90 hp. motors. Main things for me ,prodrives reverse,gear driven,an prodrives vertical setup is not near as high as GT .

Also look at what the locals are running in the areas you huntin,that will tell u something.

• View Reports by mudboat460
 Coot  Profile Photo
Posted December 11, 2012 at 3:14am
Boat Question?

Since this thread is a boat question about options, I will answer. The best 2 options on my boat are a WIDE OPEN HULL (no gun boxes, benches etc, just one drivers seat/box) and my hunt deck which has many uses, but is the best dog platform money can buy if you hunt with a dog. The hunt deck conceals the dog too as I use fast grass from the blind to the motor.

Motor: They all have pros and cons and are all good motors and all will have minor mechanical issues over time due to the salt water environment and vibration. Best advice seen so far is buy as much HP as you can afford. I have owned a Pro Drive and MudBuddy and ran all of the others. Right now I have a MB with close to 500 hours on it.

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duk-huntiac Profile Photo
Posted December 12, 2012 at 11:39am
duk-huntiac

It all depends on your particular application. They are all good and have positives and negatives. I have owned the Pro-Drive for approx. 6 yrs and would not own anything else due to the areas I hunt. Gatortails are way faster but I am not concerned about speed. You CANNOT beat the full power reverse of the Pro-Drive. If I go in, I am coming out, I don't care how dry-docked I have been, no other shallow drive can make that boast. I have friends with the Gatortails that have hunted with me and witnessed what the Pro-Drive reverse is all about. They were extremely impressed and stated that their boats would have never gotten out of our situation until the tide came up. Hope this helped.

• View Reports by duk-huntiac
low bird Profile Photo
Posted December 12, 2012 at 12:57pm
Clip of mud running

I run a lot of mud that's why I run a GTR. It will walk the dog on a pro drive in mud. Seen it before here's proof!

http://youtu.be/na5hoO_L7Tg

• View Reports by low bird
duk-huntiac Profile Photo
Posted December 12, 2012 at 2:55pm
duk-huntiac

Let me clear this up...imagine setting up before daylight in a foot of water and by 9:00am there is 7ft of mud between you and the pond and your boat is so dry-docked, three grown men jumping in it can't even rock it. Well, my Pro-Drive was put in reverse before tide started falling. The amazing full power reverse starts sucking water to the back of the boat,,,from 7 feet away,,,then pushes that water under the boat and finally gets you free after 10 to 15 minutes. Gatortail=stuck like chuck untill tide comes up or untill a Pro-Drive comes along and pulls you out. Just hook up with an experienced Pro-Drive operator and be amazed like my Gatortail friends have.

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low bird Profile Photo
Posted December 12, 2012 at 3:57pm
Trim down

Well I guess I would have just trimmed my motor all the way down and walked it on out. 7' of mud doesn't scare me LOL.

• View Reports by low bird
hunt81 Profile Photo
Posted December 13, 2012 at 6:18am
Go with the Outlaw Rig

Outlaw Custom Boats is a new builder out of St. Bernard that builds an awesome mud boat with a lifetime warranty that is way more competitively priced, the guy is also a gator tail dealer, but will put whatever motor you want on the boat. And when it comes down to it, you will actually get your boat when he says you'll get it. I have had an Outlaw boat for over a year now and would not trade it for any of the other boats out there.

• View Reports by hunt81

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