Many knew it could be done - adding a belt drive to a longtail mud motor. We all thought the added power would make the traditional longtail even more difficult to run, a disaster in tight turns, and the price would be way too high.
I overcame all that. I designed a new frame, lowered the drive, changed the skeg and cav plate and found a way to make these new motors economical.
And best yet, they run smoother, balance nicely, have great hole shots and even in tight turns are a dream to drive. Tiller torque is completely gone and the new cav plate finds its own level right out of the chute.
Having a neutral on a longtail is more than sweet and the gear reduction allows us to run a 11X10 blade subsurface at speeds within 3-4 mph of our short tails.
I am using the same clutch, belt, drive tube, bearings and seals as the short tails. The handle will be located on the side and rigid, but be adjustable to fit all users.
The new gear box is overbuilt and rock solid.
The drive shaft is 24mm, massive compared to the current longtail drives.
The new style universal joint clamps to the drive and is well balanced.
We even have a new Super Longtail big blade to go with the package.
We have employed a new style belt adjuster that makes building and changing a belt a breeze. Not saying you will need to carry a belt, but with simple hand tools and 30 minutes, I changed one in my driveway this weekend while chatting with a neighbor.
The controls are located on the end of the handle just like the sport. The trim switch slot be used as a light, accessory or bilge switch.
I ran the motor for three hours straight with the squeeze throttle and I love it. I don't dare put a fixed throttle like we use on the traditional longtails on this motor - it flat out hauls and being able to get off the throttle instantly is necessary.
Justin warned me to not pull the handle towards me in a tight turn when I first ran the super longtail - like a never ran a mud motor before. He was rightfully concerned. However after a half hour of running I just had to try it. All I can say is sweet. It is a little harder to turn than a short tail, pure physics says it will be, but each time I moved the handle the new drive locked in place and didn't require nearly the leverage of the traditional longtails or even a short tail to keep it in the tight turn. I never expected the new frame to act like this, but I can live with the bonus. But then again, it didn't have a HD7000 on its back either.
So, as you can tell, I am very pleased with the SLT and we will put it into production for July.
We initiated the patent(s) documentation last Wednesday in that this design is worth protecting.
The cost will be $100 less than the current 35 longtail. We will begin distribution in early July, and begin taking orders May 15th.
The SLT drive will come with a 35 Vanguard, however it is available with a 35CDI or Black Death 4500.
Most likely I will go to a stainless frame within a week. Plus I didn't mention but the drive assembly will be bolted on making a short transom frame easy to convert to a tall transom, etc.
In summary, the Super Longtail is here to stay and will in short time command its spot in Mud Buddy's lineup this year at roughly $100 less or more than our or competitor's longtails.
And, finally, I must extend a thanks to the staff and engineers at ARKMOS, here in Salt Lake for helping me design the new Super Longtail (SLT). This is only the beginning for our new R&D team at ARKMOS and our customers will see much more to come this year. For those of you that have not heard of ARKMOS, it is a new company consisting of engineers, designers, marketing, advertising, sales, manufacturing, and business consultants that we formed last year to launch a new line of outdoor products the next few years. Mud Buddy and other companies will distribute their products.