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Everything you need to know about Mud Motors

Mud Motors

For years, our team of mud motor specialists has been helping people have an enjoyable time out on their hunting expeditions. Some may say it is our years of experience navigating the backwaters of the South. Others suggest it is the countless conversations we have with our customers. Either way, we know a thing or two about mud motors. If you are wondering how a mud motor works or how you can the mud boat for you, here is a list of everything you need to know about the basics of mud motors.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below you will find answers to the questions we get asked by those looking to buy a mud motor.

What is a mud motor?

Also known as a shallow running boat, mud motors are uniquely designed to navigate the wetlands even as it is laden with hunters, gear, dogs, and hunting companions. What makes a mud motor deserve its name is its ability to get through shallow and hazard-filled waters. Whether you are tracking through a bog, marsh, or shallow water filled with dense vegetation, trees, stumps, and rocks, a mud motor is the choice for you.

What is a mud motor used for?

A mud motor is used for hunting waterfowl in the marshes, bogs, and waters where ducks are often found. Depending on the size of the mud motor, these shallow water boats carry large loads of decoys, guns, ammunition, food, fuel, hunting companions, dogs, and more, so you will never go without on any of your hunts.

What size of mud motor do I need?

Deciding which mud motor is right for you entirely depends on how you hunt. A good rule of thumb to keep in your back pocket is the wider the running surface of a mud motor, the better it can lift the hull of the plane. These wider boats also tend to draw less water and give the added advantage of navigating quickly through shallow surfaces.

Flat bottom or modified V hull boats are perhaps one of the most common mud motors. These boats perform well and also offer the space and weight capacity for large loads. At Mud Buddy Motors, we work with you to find the right size of mud motor for your load. Whether you need a 16-foot modified V with a bottom width of 48 inches or you need something different, our boats can handle whatever you throw their way. Read more about what to look for in a duck hunting boat.

How does a mud motor work?

The typical mud motor unit consists of an air-cooled engine mounted to an elongated direct drive shaft and steel prop. This single motor bolts directly onto the transom of the boat and doubles as a pivot point for the motor, making it easy to switch your navigation in a pinch. The bracket also balances the weight of the engines allowing the prop to shift with minimal effort on your part.

An average mud motor has no transmissions, offers only one gear ration, and has no reverse on board. Fortunately, Mud Buddy Motors changed how the typical mud motor works. Now, you can buy engines that include a reverse function and other features that will make your boat nimbler than ever before.

What is the best mud motor?

Here, at Mud Buddy Motors, we are a bit partial to the mud motors we manufacturer. We carry the World's largest selection of mud motors and have been helping duck hunters, and mud motor enthusiast finds everything they need for more than 25 years. Here are a few reasons why Mud Buddy Motors is the best mud motor on the market:

  • Power
  • Toughest Outdrive
  • Controls
  • Fastest Surface Drive
  • Dependability


If you are looking for power, then Mud Buddy is the right manufacturer for you. Our engines feature, unlike any of our competitors. Choose from our HDR 5000, HDR 4400, or HDR 40 to find your perfect power supply.

When you are out on the water, you are going to need an outdrive that can outlast the severe conditions of shallow water. That is why all of our motors include stainless SKEG, stainless drive tube, and a cast aluminum belt housing.

Controlling your mud motor is a lot easier with Mud Buddy too. You can find all that you need in a convenient location, which also includes our momentary pulse forward controls and twin trim controls.

Navigate the backwaters with ease thanks to our Raptor Propeller. This propeller has a sleek and compact profile design that also sits in the water at the lowest point possible.

Ask around the block a few times, and you will hear our name come up more than twice. The reason for our reputation comes down to our dependable mud motors. Every mud motor we build includes our award-winning engineering tactics and the highest-grade components.

How much is a mud motor?

Most mud motors sit between $7,500 - $11,000. This solely depends on the type of features you want to be included in your mud motors and the upgrades you select.

What is a mud boat?

A mud motor boat is a boat that features a mud motor. These boats are typically used in shallow water hunting for waterfowl like ducks. Choosing the best motor design for your excursion depends on the specific areas and applications you hope to use it in. A mud motor boat is great for maneuvering through swamps and muddy bayous thanks to its power and easy navigation.

What is a surface drive boat motor?

Surface-drive motors are a form of mud motor preferred by hunters that like to take longer trips in slightly deeper water. This type of mud motor performs well in mud, weeds, and stumps, especially compared to long-tail motors. This is mainly due to the shorter driveshaft. The advantages of surface-drive motors are that they can reach higher speeds. However, if you plan on hunting in rugged conditions, surface-drives don't offer the leverage needed to navigate as shallow of water as other types of mud motors.

Mud motor vs. outboard?

No matter how you slice it, mud motors are the ultimate choice for duck hunters that like to voyage through shallow waters. Outboard motors don't do well in shallow water, particularly if that water has mud, muck, or other debris in it. This is mostly in part of the outboard design, including a water-cooled motor. Since mud motors are air-cooled, they can get through shallow waters with ease.

Whichever type of motor you choose, just know that today's motors are better-built than ever before.

Mud motor vs. surface drive?

Let's look at the difference between a surface-drive motor and a long-tail motor. Long-tail motors can have a driveshaft up to 72" long. This longer driveshaft makes it easy to maneuver through tricky waters. The long propellers help the driver move the prop or lift it out of water when submerged or bound up in weed. If you tend to go through conditions like these, a long-tail motor is probably your best choice.

Surface-drive motors are great for those who tend to take longer hunting trips in slightly deeper water. This mud motor type can reach higher speeds, but it doesn't have quite the leverage that a long-tail mud motor does. Working with the experienced customer service team at Mud Buddy Motors, we can answer all of your questions regarding which mud motor is best for you. Contact us today to get started.

How fast do mud motors go?

Mud motors are less built for speed as they are for the sly maneuvering of a duck hunt — speed averages between 20-30 mph for most stock mud motors. However, there are upgrades and higher-end engines that can reach higher speeds depending on which type of motor manufacturer you choose.

Other things can be done to make your boat run faster. These include having the best boat you can afford, load distribution, new propeller, proper gearing for engine and load, and keeping your engine in top running condition - spark plugs, good fuel, and routine drive service.

Do mud motors have reverse?

Most mud motors do not feature a reverse option. A full power reverse makes it excellent for new hunts where exploration is a top priority. Plus, you can quickly get around areas that are typically tricky for most mud motorists.

Where to buy a mud motor?

The Mud Buddy Motors site has a Find an Authorized Mud Motor Dealer feature to help you locate a store near you. If you are unable to locate a dealer within your area, you can also contact our national sales department.

For additional help, please browse our FAQs page or contact our customer service department. We are always here to help our customers learn more about mud motors and what makes them the best choice for duck hunters and waterfowl enthusiasts.

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