A boat with a mud motor is great for those looking to use their boat to hunt and fish in hard to reach locations. A great boat with a mud motor is one that’s sturdy, sleek, and made for speed.
Below, we’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite types of boats with mud motors.
Things to know about boats with mud motors
The main reason you’ll want a boat with a mud motor is to navigate your boat into the perfect conditions for hunting or fishing through wetland areas. It’s often too difficult to navigate a standard boat through treacherous mud, tree limbs, and shallow waters that a boat with a mud motor can sneak through easily.
Boats with mud motors are also known as shallow-running boats or surface-driven boats.
However, many boats are designed to be run with both mud motors and regular boat motors. These boats offer flexibility by allowing you to run in both shallow and regular water levels.
However, the best boats to use a mud motor with are specifically designed for them.
The main features of a good boat for use with a mud motor are:
- Sleek design with a focus on maneuverability and speed
- Lightweight and sturdy construction
- Storage space for hunting and fishing equipment
- Structural integrity that can stand up to difficult terrain
- Functional camouflage or muted material color
There are a variety of different boats that are designed to work with mud motors. The best boats are those that combine speed, maneuverability, and durability to create the ultimate wetland boat.
Below, we’ll cover some of the most popular options for those looking to purchase their shallow running boat new.
5 Popular Boats for Use With Mud Motors
For those looking to customize their dream shallow running boat, purchasing a new boat may be the best option. Boats that are designed for use with mud motors make great boats for waterfowl hunting in shallow waters across the country.
Many companies offer customizable boats designed with these conditions in mind.
When purchasing a new boat, it can help to come prepared with specific questions to ask the dealer.
What is the maximum horsepower that each boat is designed to handle?
What material is the hull made out of and how thick is it?
These questions can help you determine if a boat will be able to handle your needs.
While purchasing a new boat for your mud motor may be the most customizable option, it also runs a bit more costly than purchasing a used boat would.
With that in mind, we’ve gathered several of the most popular boat series below at a variety of price points.
GT Model by Gator Trax
Gator Trax’s most popular boat type is their standard GT Model. Featuring a sleek hull design and sturdy construction, these boats make the perfect vessel for a mud motor. These durable boats are known for their flexibility and ability to maneuver through a variety of water conditions.
The standard 15’ boat is made from a single piece hull. The lack of seams or connections lowers the chance of the boat leaking. The sleek one-piece design makes navigating through choppy waters or rough conditions easier.
The GT Model is a good choice for those looking for an affordable boat that can handle a mud motor.
For those who are just beginning their journey into difficult terrain boating, this durable boat will give you a good foundation to hone your navigation skills.
F4 Pro Hull by Excel Boats
The F4 Pro Hull has roots in a boat design over 20 years old. Known as one of the lightest and quickest duck boats on the market, the F4 Pro Hull works with the most powerful mud motors that can get you through the shallowest of waters for duck hunting.
With a range of models available from the 17′ 1751 model to the 18′ 1860 model featuring a max of 70 horsepower, these boats are designed to maximize storage and safety. As one of the more high-end options on our list, these boats are for the hunter and fisherman who spend more time on the water than they do on land.
These boats make the most of their space by offering safe floatation above the water line in both the transom step deck and the bow of the boat.
The F4 Pro Hull series features a sleek design that makes navigation a breeze.
With the ability to turn on a dime coupled with the power of a mud motor, these boats are a good choice for anyone looking to maximize their efficiency out on the water.
Gator Series by Gator Tail
The Gator Series features well-made boats with everything you need to get going with a mud motor, and nothing that you don’t need. Designed for flexibility while still allowing you to find that perfect spot in the hardest to reach waterways, these boats are great for hunters and fishermen alike.
The Gator Series comes in lengths between 16’ to 18’ and features a full 4’ floor by default. This highly customizable boat series allows you to build the perfect boat for your hunting and fishing needs.
These boats are specially designed for use with Gator Tail’s powerful mud motors.
With under the deck storage and an open floor plan, these boats allow you to bring everything you need to have a successful hunt.
These boats are made with high quality and sturdy aluminum that can take a beating. Whether you’re trying to make it through the backwaters in Louisanna or the winding rivers of Texas, these boats will make navigating through uncertain waters a bit easier.
X Series by Pro-Drive
The X Series by Pro-Drive uses a lightweight design with shallow water speed and maneuverability in mind. Since they first began making shallow-running boats in 2003, Pro-Drive has worked to innovate out on the water. These boats feature a triple taper chine that’s designed to allow boats to turn on a dime without having to sacrifice speed or stability.
Featuring designs from 16’ to 20’, the X Series has plenty of storage while still staying true to the sleek design of a traditional shallow running boat.
These highly customizable boats are a good option for the boater who knows their water conditions and what they need.
X Series boats are made from heavy grade aluminum that is perfect for hunters who plan on taking their boats through rough wetlands. Additional supports are added to boat to keep the strength of the boat intact even when you’re navigating difficult shallow water.
16 x 44 Duck Hunting Boat by Go-Devil
This all-aluminum construction boat is one of Go-Devil’s most popular options. Featuring plenty of thoughtful design considerations such as round chines, these boats make a great starter for those looking to try their hand at shallow water boating.
The standard boat focuses on providing smooth turns and does so through its use of round chines. Because of the often dangerous conditions out in shallow waters, it’s important that your boat is able to turn on a dime.
The boat’s clever design also features a grab bar for when the terrain gets difficult.
A good choice for those looking for a low-cost option for their mud motor boating needs, Go-Devil’s duck hunting boat offers a lot of the same features as more costly shallow-running boats. Without having to sacrifice the main features of a good mud motor boat, this boat provides speed and durability at an affordable price.
Mud Motors Get You There
A boat with a mud motor can get you to that exclusive hunting spot that only you and your buddies can reach. The best mud motor boats are those that are built with this end goal in mind. The faster your boat gets you to your hunting or fishing spot, the more time you can spend relaxing and enjoying your hobbies.
Mud motor boats are designed to turn on a dime in the most dangerous shallow water conditions. Careful design considerations, most often in the chines, allow these boats the maneuverability you need in the wetlands.
These design innovations are why many choose to buy new boats to use their mud motors with.
Overall, it is possible to get a customizable boat just right for your needs at a reasonable price. Although purchasing a new boat is more expensive than purchasing used, because mud motor boats need to consistently handle rough conditions, the price may be worth it. Purchasing a new boat for use with your mud motor means that you know it can stand up to the difficult shallow waters it needs to.
For hunters and fishermen alike, a boat with a mud motor makes a great investment in their hobby.
These boats can get you from the dock to your hunting spot without any fuss. The ability to find your own hunting spot far away from anyone else alone makes a shallow running boat worth it.
Morten is the founder of GoDownsize. He has filmed and interviewed people living in tiny houses and RVs since 2011. He grew up on the coast where his dad took him boating from a young age. He has completely rebuilt two RVs in which he travels with his family for months at the time. Read more about Morten here.