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Old 02-12-2018, 08:39 PM   #1
TeamAmerica
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Default Boat advice

Considering buying a used boat that would be used for duck hunting and fishing. Let's say about even time for each. Of course the flat bottom and mud motor/long tail setups sound awesome. Looking at 16 ft minimum (48 in bottom width) and a few thousand bucks. My general questions are:

1. How much difference between a flat bottom and a V bottom for draft? How stable are the V bottoms?
2. How much difference between a mud motor and small outboard (15 to 20 HP) as far as draft.
3. Does anyone fish much out of their duck boats? Does the mud motor get in the way?
4. Is simpler always better? Just wondering if I should avoid trim/tilt setups, steering wheels, batteries, etc...

What else should I consider? I've done a little reading on the mud motor talk forum but not sure they aren't a little biased.
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Old 02-12-2018, 08:41 PM   #2
brnhtown
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These are good questions, interested in buying one as well. I really like the jet boats but boy are they proud of them. Good luck on your search
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Old 02-12-2018, 08:44 PM   #3
Chase This!
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I’d only buy a mud motor if absolutely required. They suck from a reliablity perspective and require lots of maintenance. I would really look for a four stroke tiller. I’d go flat bottom as well.
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Old 02-12-2018, 08:50 PM   #4
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There's no way I'd consider a mud motor on a fishing rig.
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Old 02-12-2018, 08:55 PM   #5
rvd
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chase This! View Post
Id only buy a mud motor if absolutely required. They suck from a reliablity perspective and require lots of maintenance. I would really look for a four stroke tiller. Id go flat bottom as well.
Agree with this and would add sponsons.
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Old 02-12-2018, 09:21 PM   #6
Lungbustr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chase This! View Post
Id only buy a mud motor if absolutely required. They suck from a reliablity perspective and require lots of maintenance. I would really look for a four stroke tiller. Id go flat bottom as well.
Yeah they are terrible, it's like maintaining a lawnmower engine!!!

If you don't need a mud motor though, seriously don't get one. An outboard is so much quieter and more relaxing to drive.
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Old 02-12-2018, 09:23 PM   #7
glen
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4 stroke- electric start with electric tilt trim. Flat bottom- use it for both and set it up for comfort
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Old 02-12-2018, 09:31 PM   #8
justintyme8303
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Ive been looking a Jon boats and have read once you get to the 16' range the V hull is pretty stable and you dont get beat up in the rough waters like a flat bottom.

I had a 1860 Mod V that got in the shallows and handled rough water well too.
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Old 02-12-2018, 10:38 PM   #9
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If going outboard, what would be your minimum HP? Is 15 enough assuming it would be two people most of the time?
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Old 02-12-2018, 10:46 PM   #10
hopedale
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Where are you planning on duck hunting vs fishing?

If you're going to hit a river, longtail is the way to go.

If you're going to hit the coast and get into some shallow falts, you want a mud-motor and mud boat; has a different hull design to get you through some bad stuff and not stuck.

For me, I'd think a 16' flat with a modified V and a 20 HP tiller handle. 20 HP is fast enough for that rig to get you to most fishing spots. And with a 16' flat, I could easily get a 23 longtail to put on it during duck season. Will be more of a work out than a mud-motor, but will be able to get into the duck holes just the same.

Good luck and post up pics of what you do.
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Old 02-13-2018, 12:41 AM   #11
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I fish out of mine more than I hunt out of it.
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Old 02-13-2018, 01:22 AM   #12
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I've got a 17 54 excel w a 55 mag mud motor. It's a surface drive. Maintaince hasn't been anything I can't handle on my own. My hull is a semi v, so it v,s up front but is flat mid frtony to rear. The semi v is a life saver in rough water. I can split the waves and run as shallow as I want. My boat we fish out of but don't fish deep water, usually areas w cover for the fish. I've been really pleased w the boat over all. It gets us anywhere, and can get us home safely.
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Old 02-13-2018, 08:38 AM   #13
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As mentioned where?

I've had tin boats from 16' with 15hp tiller to 18' center console and 90hp and duck hunted out of each. Tilt and trim was way better for running shallow and jumping up quick. My fav for hauling a load and getting skinny was a 17 foot semi v with a 50 johnnyrude all electric. Stumps to oysters reefs but it was wet!!

I'd like to have a 16-17' by 52ish with an electric start,tilt and trim 20 to 40hp (maybe jet) and welded hull to run creeks and rivers. A short tail would be fun but hard for me to justify since I rarely duck hunt now days

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Old 02-13-2018, 08:45 AM   #14
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Love my gator tail. All of mine are easy to maintain . My motor is a modded 25hp big block . I can hunt all the restricted areas and still run 30 loaded down or empty it doesn't change. Have had 3 big guys and my lab and get up on step and run upper 20s easy . Haven't fished it much since the cold weather won't drift away yet!
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Old 02-13-2018, 08:56 AM   #15
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This is what you need. Just buy it, you can thank me later.

https://youtu.be/QzuZuQdCQG4
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Old 02-13-2018, 09:02 AM   #16
texaslammer
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Originally Posted by MadHatter View Post
This is what you need. Just buy it, you can thank me later.

https://youtu.be/QzuZuQdCQG4
that thing is pretty bad, throw some EFI Live on that bad boy and ride like a bass boat
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Old 02-13-2018, 09:54 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hopedale View Post
Where are you planning on duck hunting vs fishing?

If you're going to hit a river, longtail is the way to go.

If you're going to hit the coast and get into some shallow falts, you want a mud-motor and mud boat; has a different hull design to get you through some bad stuff and not stuck.

For me, I'd think a 16' flat with a modified V and a 20 HP tiller handle. 20 HP is fast enough for that rig to get you to most fishing spots. And with a 16' flat, I could easily get a 23 longtail to put on it during duck season. Will be more of a work out than a mud-motor, but will be able to get into the duck holes just the same.

Good luck and post up pics of what you do.
Mostly would like to hunt and fish in Richland Chambers lake (maybe do some fishing in the two major creeks which are decent size "creeks"). Also would like to get it on the trinity river some. i don't have plans to run it on marshes/costal areas at this point. I have seen some flat bottoms with the "V" front. makes sense they would be the best of both worlds. i figure the key with an outboard is just going to be slowing down when you get the shallow waters and trim up a bit and probably wade in on foot if I'm wanting to hunt any super shallow areas. maybe i should get a jet ski for duck hunting!

thanks for the info. i'll update if i can find the right deal!
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Old 02-13-2018, 10:12 AM   #18
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I've ran all kinds of boats and for a multipurpose rig, I would be looking at a timber hull aluminum rig with a tunnel, Run a hydraulic jack plate with an outboard. It'll get skinny and into anywhere you need to if you don't need a mud motor. Better performance as well. I fish a ton when I'm not duck hunting so my ideal rig is an 1860 with a 200 SHO on it


If you're looking to go minimalistic, a 25 horse Yamaha 4 stroke and an Edge 1648 will fit your needs just fine.
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Old 02-13-2018, 10:28 AM   #19
agtex42
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Boats are all about compromise, particularly in the used market. You said your budget is a few thousand, that could mean different things to different folks but I'm assuming you're talking about the 4-6k range.

Your biggest consideration should be what load you anticipate to run the majority of the time ,and make sure you pick a hull size/design and horsepower combination that will get you the performance you desire/need. As a rule of thumb a wider bottom will draft less and a longer overall length will improve your planing performance with a load.

That being said, you still need the right HP to weight ratio for it to work well. You can make almost any hull/motor combination perform with just you in it, but when you throw in a buddy or two and a cooler of drinks/gear performance can drop off quickly.

A 15-20 HP outboard will weigh anywhere from 100-150 lbs depending on your options (electric Tilt/Trim, 2 stroke vs 4 stroke, etc). A mud motor will be around 150-250 with similar considerations as the OB when it comes to "nice to have items", a bare bones mud motor won't have neutral or reverse so if those are a requirement you're looking at hanging over 200 lbs on your transom. (which will require a vastly different hull to get performance equal to that of lighter outboard)

I would echo the suggestions of an outboard with a tunnel, jackplate (electric preferred), and sponsons for overall performance and driving comfort. (25-40 hp min on a 16-17' hull). The only way I'd consider a surface drive or longtail would be if running vegetation or mud was an absolute requirement. Southfork makes a solid tunnel hull as do alumacraft/seaark/weldbilt, although I rarely see them come up for sale used. I've been on the hunt for a similar for a couple of years now and I've almost come to the conclusion that in order to get what I "want" I'd need to have something built which is presently out of the budget.

Last edited by agtex42; 02-13-2018 at 10:33 AM.
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Old 02-13-2018, 12:52 PM   #20
FVR JR
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My dad and I have a boat on order right now, so I did a lot of research on this topic. We ordered a 1548 flat bottom with rear float pods, 25hp tiller with electric start. We looked at mod v, but for that small of a boat, there's no real difference on how it'll ride. Any chop is gonna be rough. The flat gets you a slightly larger usable deck on the front and slightly less draft all things being equal. This boat will be used as an all around coastal fishing rig and for hunting on marsh refuges where hp is restricted. As far as mud motors go, unless you are using it in a place where you absolutely need one, an outboard will be an all around better performer. Good luck with your search.
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Old 02-13-2018, 01:28 PM   #21
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30hp would be minimum for me. With trim would be even better.. Ran that setup for years. You can get away with less but if you want to fish on rougher days it's really a detriment to be underpowered especially in something that already takes waves like crap.
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Old 02-13-2018, 02:47 PM   #22
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For a few thousand bucks your not going to have alot of choices. I've owned several different rigs. Currently still have a 2005 ProDrive that's a beast to maintain. I've changed the oil at least 4-5 times since I've owned it and replaced the battery once....

Outside that turn the key and roll. But if a tiller outboard works where your at and you fish as much as hunt I would go that way. And I'll go against the grain. I don't like smaller 4 strokes. Too heavy.
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Old 02-14-2018, 07:17 PM   #23
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Any opinions on outboard makes to avoid?

Great info and appreciate the input from everyone. I had to do some googling on what sponsons and Jack plates were! I'm slowly getting educated!
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Old 02-14-2018, 07:59 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TeamAmerica View Post
Any opinions on outboard makes to avoid?

Great info and appreciate the input from everyone. I had to do some googling on what sponsons and Jack plates were! I'm slowly getting educated!
force, (Im sure Ill get flamed at least once) mercury and apparently the gen1 e-tecs had some issues.
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Old 02-14-2018, 09:28 PM   #25
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force, (Im sure Ill get flamed at least once) mercury and apparently the gen1 e-tecs had some issues.
I'm right there with you, those force engines are complete junk and hard to get replacement parts.


Ideally if you're looking for something refuge legal, my top pick would be a bored over Suzuki DT 25, then a 25 horse 2 stroke Yamaha and then a 2 stroke 25 Merc.
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Old 02-16-2018, 12:47 PM   #26
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I'm scouring the craigslist and facebook markets now! A few great deals that popped up and called and they were sold within a day.... so will have to be patient and act quickly at the same time.

If anyone has something they are looking to sell in the neighborhood of $3K, please PM me! 16 Ft + and 25 HP +. Thanks.
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Old 02-16-2018, 01:01 PM   #27
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I ran a 16'x48" mod V grizzly with a 25 hp 2 stroke for years. It was a very good knock around general use boat. It floated shallow and was light enough to pole or even paddle a little I needed. It was set up with bass seats and a trolling motor. I used it a lot of the east Texas lakes and the Sabine River (a lot). I've taken it to Port O'Connor and fished pringle lake with it and crossed Espirito Santo bay in a squall. It was a good rig with the little 2 stroke. I switched to a Yamaha 4 stroke 25 hp and the boat just wasn't the same. The motor was too heavy and didn't have enough low end grunt to get up on plane early. Top speed was about the same but the boat dug deep getting up. A lot of load shifting later, ie battery in front and fuel moved forward, the boat was better but still not the same. IDk, pontoons might have helped but adding them to an existing boat is pricey. My opinion is don't get a 16x48 unless you plan to get a 2 stroke. I would plan to get a slightly bigger boat maybe 18x60 for 17x56 that could handle the weight and then around a 40 hp.
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Old 02-16-2018, 10:30 PM   #28
brokeno
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Best boat advice don't buy a boat. Find a friend that has one.
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Old 02-17-2018, 06:31 AM   #29
kevin nicholls
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brokeno View Post
Best boat advice don't buy a boat. Find a friend that has one.
Best advice yet. That coming from a guy that has always owned at least one boat my whole life. For an outboard check the Tohatsu's out. Very reliable and not expensive. As said earlier two strokes are lighter with better acceleration then the fours. Look at storage space below the deck, there's never enough, for anchors and things. Buying used look the trailer over real good, I've had more trouble with trailers than any boat I've ever owned. Good luck.
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Old 02-19-2018, 11:14 AM   #30
TeamAmerica
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Well I took some advice and ignored others! Settled on an old Craigslist find. Specs:

16 ft alumacraft MV Angler 1982 model.
25 HP mercury 2 stroke 1990 model

I only paid $1500 so have some budget to clean it up, maybe Add a jack plate down the road. The trailer is ugly as sin but is solid.

Maybe starting a DIY thread on the improvements.
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Old 02-19-2018, 11:21 AM   #31
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Congrats on the boat, those two precious little girls will love it.

Rwc
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Old 02-19-2018, 11:36 AM   #32
ultralite09
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For $1500 and if it runs good, I would say you made out like a bandit. Congrats!
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Old 02-19-2018, 11:52 AM   #33
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For $1500 and if it runs good, I would say you made out like a bandit. Congrats!
Yep
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Old 02-19-2018, 01:40 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by ultralite09 View Post
For $1500 and if it runs good, I would say you made out like a bandit. Congrats!
Who said it was running!? I paid for the boat and trailer so didn't put too much value in the motor. Will be replacing fuel lines and filter, spark plugs, and battery and try to get her running soon. Probably will run some seafoam through it and hope the motor doesnt need much.
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