Tunnel Hull with Prop vs Flat Bottom with Mud Motor

Discussion in 'California Flyway Forum' started by LeakyW8ers, Feb 8, 2018.

  1. LeakyW8ers

    LeakyW8ers Senior Refuge Member

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    OK, I know this is going to stir some stuff up, and I've searched in the Boat Forum already, but I'd like to hear what local guys think vs guys running the swamps in Louisiana and TX.

    I currently hunt the bay, sticking to sloughs and not venturing out into big water with my 14' Klamath and 15 hp motor. Tried it once and decided that I didn't want to do it again. (Although the day we tried wasn't exactly ideal for a setup that small). I'm looking to upgrade. 17'-18' boat, minimum 48" bottom but thinking a 54-60" would be ideal. The mud where I hunt is soft, but not the gooey soft that you see in mud motor ads. More of a firm enough to walk on, if you don't mind sinking in 6-8" with each step. There are places where you could sink in up to your hips, but for the most part the bottom is not hard, nor gravel/rock.

    My first instinct is mud motor, but looking into it further it seems I'd be going through possibly 2 props per season. Then I started looking at a tunnel hull setup. I liked the idea of being able to run in 6" of water, but still have the outboard for more horsepower for the motor out and back. However, at slow speeds maybe the tunnel isn't of that much benefit. A Jet is out of the question as the mud would definitely clog it up.

    I know lots of folks run the delta with normal outboards and with mud motors. I know it's a matter of picking your time and places depending on tides and weather. I know the limitations of my current setup, with the same issues. But a bigger rig would open up more opportunity in the area I hunt, as well as other possibilities.

    So I ask the folks here, which setup and why?
     
  2. #1wingnut

    #1wingnut Elite Refuge Member

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    I have a tunnel hull. 1648 60 outboard.
    Fast set up. With the rock guard on the skeg not much stops it. It'll slide over most obstacles. Draft 6" or so.

    Down side. Tracking.
    Going down river is always dicey. No control at lower speeds.
    The other down side is the ride. The tunnel is NOT A smooth ride. You will feel every ripple on the water. It's not a big water boat unless it's pretty calm.
    Not much freeboard.
     
  3. Big Daddy Gaddy

    Big Daddy Gaddy Elite Refuge Member

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    Having plenty of experience in bay mud with both, I’ll say get good with a push pole because neither works when the tide goes out.
     
  4. #1wingnut

    #1wingnut Elite Refuge Member

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    Note. I would not take my tunnel hull to the bay. It stays east of rio vista
     
  5. duckhunterx

    duckhunterx New Member

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    ......Or when you have to get helicoptered out of prospect island....
     
  6. Kevin Burroughs

    Kevin Burroughs Elite Refuge Member

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    1860 grizzly is what I run and it is a big boat. I run a 60/40 jet that is set up correctly and I can run in about 3 inches of water.
    I cannot run in the weeds !!!. Mine does well at low speeds because of a modified foot on the jet.

    A outboard with a hyd jack plate and a low water pickup on the lower unit will be a better setup than a tunnel IMHO.

    I hunt and fish with a guy that has a 1750 with a 36 hp mud buddy motor that runs real well because I set it up and maintain it. Not a good rough water setup but it will go thru any type of weeds and crap and slimy mud.

    There is no such thing as the "best" all propose setup.
     
  7. shooter

    shooter Elite Refuge Member

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    wait... what???
    Ain't a push pole in the world gonna help you if you're grounded out in the bay.

    You won't go thru 2 props a year in the bay, I don't care where you hunt. If you run the river where you're grinding in sand, yep... you will burn thru props. Of course, if you run smart you won't be grinding when you hit sand.

    Mud motors don't like a wide boat. Long, skinny and flat work best. But flat doesn't work in the bay. You'll want a modified V with as flat of a bottom as you can get. There's a learning curve running mud motors, very sensitive to load and distribution. Gator-Tail, fastest and reliable. Instant reverse is very handy. Pro-Drive, reliable and full power reverse (takes longer to engage) gets you out of those skinny sloughs when you're too stupid to turn back before it's too late (yep, I have history there). Mud Buddy... no.
     
  8. Big Daddy Gaddy

    Big Daddy Gaddy Elite Refuge Member

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    No, but taking all the weight out does. We get out and push. In places we can’t, motor up and push pole works before anything else. You can pole from the front and offset the sagging *** from the heavy motor.

    I took Outlaw and Mudhen to the bay one hunt on a nice little minus tide. Pro-Drive was no match for it. That boat wasn’t moving unless we were all in the mud pushing it.

    I haven’t tried the latest and greatest though.
     
  9. EL GURU

    EL GURU Senior Refuge Member

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    It all depends on your primary type of hunting. Not one good boat that does it all. Mud motors can take the abuse, outboards are turn key. My mud buddy is temperamental as all hell but it's done runs outboards can only dream of.
     
  10. EL GURU

    EL GURU Senior Refuge Member

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    That island can be the twilight zone
     

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