The mud motor is a 20hp Bog Hog longtail. It is a smaller company...which was one of my concerns when buying the boat and motor. However, I can turn a wrench, my dad is a good fabricator, and my buddy's uncle is a good machinist so the motor can be easily fixed of modified to suite my needs. That is what is happening right now. I am getting a new drive shaft machined and upper bearing system machined because the current one is a poor design.
If you decide to go a mud motor route....Go name brand! godevil, mud buddy, backwater inc, ect. I had a terrible time dealing with the company my motor is from.
Both times I ran my boat with the mud motor before tearing it apart I had three people in the boat. We were running right around 11mph
. The prop is a bit undersized at 8x5. Most 20 hp mud motors are running 9x5. With a 9x5 and light load the boat should do 18-20mph and 12-15 with a hunting load. By no means will it win any speed race. But keep in mind that the 11mph I ran with three people was at times in no water, just soupy mud along the bank. That's the beauty of the motor, it just keeps going as long as the boat can float. Remember that run we had back after snow goose hunting on the del bay for the dhc hunt? I remember chip went to take us through some short cut but it was a few inches of water and nasty mud that the outboards were churning. The mud motor would keep going through that crap with little to no hesitation...just keep on the throttle and keep the prop down.
If you want to get there fast go for the outboard. If you want to get there fast but there is lots of mud, go for a surface drive. If you dont mind going slow but don't want to get stuck, go for a longtail.