Short tail vs long tail


Well-Known Member
We are upgrading this year to a mud motor :). Any opinions which drive is the best - short or long - for the inner marsh area? We are thinking about a 12 kohler long drive mud motor that will go on a 14'
I've never owned a mud motor but I've been out with people who do and the long drive seem to handle at least the Crown Marsh better than the short drive. In open water the short shaft seemed superior.
I own a long tail. It is better suited to mud and slop where the short tail works great in open water, weed choked waters and moderate amounts of shallow water with a soft bottom. If you get stuck it is easier to grind out using the leverage of a long tail. Short tails are faster on open water. Neither works well in very shallow, sandy areas like in front of blind #40. Get out and walk.

Hello WFW,

At that HP level you do not have much of a choice and a short tail may be your best choice as the others have suggested for the reasons given. However you may want to check out:

1) Mud Buddy's 14 HP Mini HD Lite.

2) Mud Buddy's 9 HP Robin Mini.

The 14 HP Mini HD Lite runs on the surface with a surface piercing Tiger propeller.

The 9 HP Robin Mini runs subsurface like a traditional longtail.

I hope that will help you with your decision.


PS Talk to Clint at Mud Buddy for more information on your needs.
We were down south last year in the Lousiana swamps and travelled with a guide that was using a long tail. The water left the swamp (tidal) and we were left literally in black water whatsoever. We travelled about 300 yards through this junk....amazing.

The guide commented that they don't work as good in sand as they do in muc...but what an experience.

I've been close to getting stuck in the crown marsh but nothing even close to what we saw down south.

I'm still partial to my outboard as I can use it year round.

Just my two cents.
Hey Camoguy when's Yamaha going to make one ? Are you at the show next week ?If so we'll see you there.
Originally posted by camoguy

I'm still partial to my outboard as I can use it year round.

A mud motor is not a substitute for an outboard for sure. That's why I own three outboards and a mud motor. :D

Hi Sonny:
It would be a cool addition to the motor line-up for sure. Yes, I'll be there Wed. Saturday and Sunday.
Look forward to seeing you there

Everything I've read points towards "buy" as much horsepower as possible.Also what type of boat you put it on makes a huge difference. I recently picked up a 16 HP Vangaurd [V-Twin] to be put on a 14 foot Starcraft aluminum. The boat has more of a flat bottom in the aft section so it should work great for one man hunts and OKay for two. It's the old "power to weight" formula.

I plan on reinforcing the transom due to the way that the torque is applied to it.

Good Luck and Good Hunting !
Thanks for the info fellas - want to buy the right outfit for our rig -(older 14' crestliner)- it seems the long shaft is all we will need for the type hunting we do though putting such a motor on a 14' does reduce our space. The more I read the short shaft is getting more appealing due to turning and space issues with the long shaft. I have corresponded with Clint from mud buddy and he has suggested the 12Kohler gear reduction long shaft mud buddy. Again thanks guys and any other suggestions are more than welcome.
OCL, That 16 hp should work well. I like my 23 hp vanguard Go-Devil.

If you brace from the seat to the transom and deck it over it should stiffen it enough to take out any flex.

I love my old Ron Banks' Chesapeake and not really looking to change anything from the 30HP outboard I have on it now but I just am curious if anyone has seen or tried a Mud Motor on one of these great boats?

This time of year not much to do but dream about new stuff!


I love that boat of yours. I haven't seen one used with anything but an outboard but I have seen a similar style boat from another manufacturer used with a surface drive (short tail) motor. It worked very well. My biggest concern would be how the force is applied to the transom. It might be best to have a chat with the Banks folks before considering it further.

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