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Surface Drive or Not (Help Please!)

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Surface Drive or Not (Help Please!)
I currently have an 1860 Lowe Roughneck with a 1997 rebuilt 60hp 2 Stroke Evinrude motor No complaints at all with the motor. Its still a very dependable motor but it is 22 yrs old. I find myself more and more hunting shallower, stumpier water to find ducks. Having to putt around with the motor tilted going 5mph is getting to be a drag. Do you think a 40hp surface drive would push my boat ok? My boat is rated for a maximum 60hp. Would a jackplate be a better option? Any help would be appreciated.
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Re: Surface Drive or Not (Help Please!) In reply to
Allot depends on how much you put in the boat - number of persons and gear.

It should run well empty or with a light load but if you haul allot of gear and people you may not be pleased with it.
___________________________________________

... a layer of burlap covers a multitude of sins

Located in Annapolis, MD
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Re: Surface Drive or Not (Help Please!) In reply to
After running a series of long tails starting in the late 70's my last mud motor was a Mud Buddy which I ran on an 18 foot gator trax from 2005 until 2017 when I switched back to an outboard.
On my 18' Jon the Mud Buddy would push the boat with two hunters, two dogs, 4 doz decoys and gear at 27 MPH as shown on my GPS. When I moved farther north I simply did not need a mud motor to get where I wanted to go. My boat is a tunnel hull and I currently run a 40 hp merc on a fixed jack plate. Once on plane the boat will run clean in 18" of water and cruise at 35 mph with just fishing gear onboard.
The outboard is simply much more versatile. Another option is to run an outboard in the deep water runs but put a little 8 HP stump jumper longtail on a kicker bracket for the final leg into the backwaters.
Good Luck
????.
"Laws that forbid the carrying of arms disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes" - Thomas Jefferson
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Re: Surface Drive or Not (Help Please!) In reply to
We have a surface drive boat at work. No one likes driving it. It?s loud, vibrates a lot and hard to get the tilt and trim just right. And burns the gas. Kinda like a long tail but faster.


Carl
Mobile, AL
DHBP Member since 1998

"Life is too short to drink bad beer."
Disclaimer: This post and/or report is not a substantiation of or reflection on the true accuracy of the present surveying methods. It is only a report on or comment concerning local observation and/or results. Your results and observation may vary based on your location, local water conditions, food supply, weather conditions and migratory patterns "
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Re: Surface Drive or Not (Help Please!) In reply to
You might want to consider a prop guard for the 60hp outboard. It would allow you to get through the stumps and rocks without damage to the prop.

High Strength Composite Not Plastic 13" Diameter Prop Guard 40-65HP Motors

https://www.amazon.com/..._api_i_oAPnCbW2N7GRC

Fred McIntire

Indiana Waterfowler
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Re: Surface Drive or Not (Help Please!) In reply to
Thanks for the feedback. The guard would be ok but it wont solve the issue of having to move so slow from having to tilt my motor so much in the shallows.
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Re: Surface Drive or Not (Help Please!) In reply to
What size motor did you have on your 18ft jon? If I could get 27mph out of a surface drive I would be happy. With my 60hp Evinrude I only get around 31mph and more times than not I'm running in the upper 20's just to keep the rpm's down.
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Re: Surface Drive or Not (Help Please!) In reply to
Hi Tom,
I do not have experience driving the larger surface drives but in general you should expect to significantly lower your top end speed. Not only are you lowering by 20hp but changing to a motor that was not built for speed. My best guess would be low 20's for top end speed with a load.
That being said to be able to move 15mph+ without the fear of ruining a motor is well worth it in my opinion. I think you will find that new surface drive motors are easier to drive & offer electric trim/tilt to make your travels even easier.

A dealer should be able to give you a general idea of speed as well.
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Re: Surface Drive or Not (Help Please!) In reply to
Thanks Andrew......That's kind of what I was thinking. I talked to a guy at Go-Devil and he was saying with an average load I could get 25-27mph. With a full load I'm looking at lower 20's. Sure I'd like to go faster but I'm starting to explore/hunt waters that are shallower and stumpier. I wouldn't want to go fast in those situations if I could. I hunt the Arkansas River a lot where I run the main navigation channel for 2 or 3 miles and then get into back water that is like driving through a mine field with submerged stumps and logs. Many of which are just a couple of inches below the surface. The river is so murky that you can't see them till you hit them or get stuck on them. With my current 60hp set up, I have to tilt the motor and creep along for hundreds of yards that requires must of my travel time. Seems like from my preliminary research, Go-Devil has the best price on a standard 40HP EFI motor without reverse. With reverse the cost jumps up $1500-2000 and the motor weighs around 70lbs more. I really don't think I have to have reverse. I can't think of any situations that a push with a paddle wouldn't suffice to get me started. Anybody have any experience with Go-Devil?
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Re: Surface Drive or Not (Help Please!) In reply to
Just to qualify the speed I quoted previously the speed was recorded in approximately 32 degree water. It was right at freeze up. I suspect the denser water gets the boat higher once on plane and gives the prop a better bite. The motor was a 2005 Mud Buddy HD Sport with a new aftermarket Tiger prop on a tunnel hull boat and trimmed to the sweet spot. I think the cold water gives you an extra 2+ mph.
Although the long tails are pretty immune to underwater strikes the surface drives are not. I hit a stump spot on perfect once and damaged the trim / tilt. On the 2005 Mud buddy's the trim/ tilt were made by merc and a $700 part.
Have fun

........
"Laws that forbid the carrying of arms disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes" - Thomas Jefferson
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Re: Surface Drive or Not (Help Please!) In reply to
My old hunting partner had a go devil 16x56 boat with a 35hp GD ponytail. With the two of us, dog, 8dzn decoys and gear, in deep water we?d go 15mph tops a little faster in shallow water.
Now this boat was a tank, heavy welded AL a lighter longer boat might be faster.


Carl
Mobile, AL
DHBP Member since 1998

"Life is too short to drink bad beer."
Disclaimer: This post and/or report is not a substantiation of or reflection on the true accuracy of the present surveying methods. It is only a report on or comment concerning local observation and/or results. Your results and observation may vary based on your location, local water conditions, food supply, weather conditions and migratory patterns "
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Re: Surface Drive or Not (Help Please!) In reply to
Do you think a kick up, jack plate might work ok? Also, I was reading on another forum some people saying surface drives are high maintenance compared to an outboard. What's been your experience?
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Re: Surface Drive or Not (Help Please!) In reply to
I?m not sure but have heard the same about surface drive too. Long tails definitely are more maintenance


Carl
Mobile, AL
DHBP Member since 1998

"Life is too short to drink bad beer."
Disclaimer: This post and/or report is not a substantiation of or reflection on the true accuracy of the present surveying methods. It is only a report on or comment concerning local observation and/or results. Your results and observation may vary based on your location, local water conditions, food supply, weather conditions and migratory patterns "
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Re: Surface Drive or Not (Help Please!) In reply to
I'd assume I have more surface drive time than most (ran one today, yesterday, Monday, sunday). We need to know more about your boat? weight, mod -v? If you only get 31 with a 60 hp outboard you will not get 30 with a surface drive. Do you run alone? Here are some numbers on a boat I switch back and forth between a 35 hp surface drive and a 60 four stroke

60 outboard
1 person light 38-39 mph
2 people 38
2 people hunting load with a canoe 36
3 people hunting load canoe 35-36
4 big people ice chests etc 35

35 surface drive
1 person light 28
2 people 25
2 people hunting load with canoe 22-24
3 ppl etc. 20
4 people won't plane 12-14 mph
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Re: Surface Drive or Not (Help Please!) In reply to
Tom jack plate will certainly help you but dinging a stump is still a concern to ruin a lower unit.

Long tails require very little maintenance. Grease the shaft & changing oil & spark plugs is all mine has needed in 2 years. Have not owned a surface drive only tested them so not sure of the maintenance on those.
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Re: Surface Drive or Not (Help Please!) In reply to
If you're looking for a mud motor then a long tail is the way to go in my opinion, they are a bit slower but way less finicky than a surface drive. Longtails were developed in the US specifically for hunting areas that you're talking about, shallow and stumpy. They are WAAAAAY cheaper than a SD or outboard also! Just my .02




------------------------------------------------
"We base our hopes upon a willingness to go to difficult-to-get-at places, to work hard, to freeze if need be, to rise early and stay late." -Gordon MacQuarrie

Avery- the K-mart of waterfowling gear
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Re: Surface Drive or Not (Help Please!) In reply to
Kris Schaumburg wrote:

60 outboard
1 person light 38-39 mph
2 people 38
2 people hunting load with a canoe 36
3 people hunting load canoe 35-36
4 big people ice chests etc 35

35 surface drive
1 person light 28
2 people 25
2 people hunting load with canoe 22-24
3 ppl etc. 20
4 people won't plane 12-14 mph


Good comparison - from a performance perspective that's your choice. Your boat may be a little slower since it's not a boat designed for a surface drive.

I have a surface drive just so I don't have to worry about low water, obstructions, or freezing water in an outboard.
___________________________________________

... a layer of burlap covers a multitude of sins

Located in Annapolis, MD
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Re: Surface Drive or Not (Help Please!) In reply to
Thanks for the info Kriss. How big is your boat? Mine is an 1860 Lowe Roughneck. With my 2 stroke 60hp with a couple of people I get around 27-28 mph at 5200rpm. I might get a couple more mph if I give it full throttle but don't won't to overwork my engine. Are you using the same boat for both type of motors?
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Re: Surface Drive or Not (Help Please!) In reply to
18x48 smooth bottom alum flat with a crimp. its a sportsmans fabrication. much heavier gauge than the lowe, but smaller so maybe same weight
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Re: Surface Drive or Not (Help Please!) In reply to
I've just about decided to go with jack plate set up. I saw one that had a kick-up function that would give me some protection as long as I'm not going too fast. off the top of my head I'm not sure about the weight but I know its a lot better/stouter built than the Tracker Grizzlie I had before it. I think the jack/kick plate combo is made by Vance manufacturing. Looks like a good set up for me. I'm afraid a surface drive is going to be too slow for me.
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Re: Surface Drive or Not (Help Please!) In reply to
Andrew L. wrote:
Have not owned a surface drive only tested them so not sure of the maintenance on those.


MAJOR PITA.....always something going wrong with them. They sure are nice to use but they are constanly in need of something being fixed. My experiences anyway.