Finding the Best Mud Motor for Your 1436 Jon Boat: A Comprehensive Guide

If you’re a passionate angler or hunter, or simply someone who enjoys exploring the great outdoors, you’ve likely considered the advantages of owning a jon boat. These small, flat-bottomed boats are ideal for navigating shallow waters and tight spaces, making them a popular choice among outdoor enthusiasts. However, to truly maximize the potential of your jon boat, you might need a mud motor.

Mud motors are specifically designed for the challenges of navigating marshes, swamps, and other shallow water environments. They provide the necessary power and maneuverability to ensure a smooth and successful expedition. But with so many mud motor options available on the market, how do you determine which one is the best fit for your 1436 jon boat? In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the key factors to consider when choosing the best mud motor, as well as some top recommendations to get you started.

Understanding Mud Motors

Before diving into specific mud motor recommendations, let’s first gain a clear understanding of what mud motors are and why they are crucial for jon boat owners.

What Is a Mud Motor?

A mud motor, also known as a surface drive motor or longtail mud motor, is a type of outboard motor specifically designed for shallow water use. Unlike traditional outboard motors, which have a submerged propeller, mud motors have a long tail with a propeller at the end. This design allows the propeller to sit above the water’s surface, making it ideal for navigating through areas with submerged vegetation, mud, and other obstacles.

Advantages of Mud Motors

  1. Shallow Water Capability: Mud motors are unbeatable when it comes to operating in shallow waters. They can navigate through areas with water as shallow as 6 inches or less, making them essential for hunting and fishing in marshes, swamps, and narrow waterways.
  2. Durability: Mud motors are built to withstand the harsh conditions of off-road boating. They have robust construction, which means they can handle impacts with submerged objects and rough terrain.
  3. Maneuverability: These motors offer excellent maneuverability. Their design allows you to pivot the propeller, making it easy to navigate tight spots and turn your boat around without much effort.
  4. Versatility: Mud motors are versatile and can be used for various purposes, including fishing, hunting, and general exploration. They are often favored by outdoorsmen who need to access remote areas.

Now that we have a clear understanding of what mud motors are and their advantages, let’s delve into the key factors to consider when selecting the best mud motor for your 1436 jon boat.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Mud Motor

1. Boat Size and Weight

The size and weight of your jon boat are critical factors to consider when choosing a mud motor. Mud motors come in various sizes and power ranges, so it’s essential to match the motor’s capacity to your boat’s specifications. A 1436 jon boat is relatively small and lightweight, so you’ll want a mud motor that’s compatible with this size.

2. Horsepower

The horsepower of a mud motor determines its power output, which directly impacts your boat’s speed and performance. For a 1436 jon boat, a mud motor with a lower horsepower rating (typically between 5 and 9 horsepower) is usually sufficient. Higher horsepower motors may be overkill for such a small boat and could affect maneuverability and fuel efficiency.

3. Shaft Length

The shaft length of a mud motor plays a crucial role in its performance. It should be long enough to properly submerge the propeller in the water while maintaining a safe distance from the boat’s transom. A shaft that is too short may result in poor performance and reduced maneuverability. Generally, for a 1436 jon boat, a shaft length of 48 inches is appropriate.

4. Drive Type

Mud motors come in two main drive types: surface drive and sub-surface drive. Surface drive mud motors have the propeller above the water’s surface, while sub-surface drive mud motors have a submerged propeller, similar to traditional outboard motors.

For a 1436 jon boat, a surface drive mud motor is typically recommended. It provides better performance in shallow water conditions and is more maneuverable, which is crucial for navigating tight spots.

5. Fuel Efficiency

Consider the fuel efficiency of the mud motor, especially if you plan on spending extended periods on the water. Fuel costs can add up quickly, so choosing a mud motor with good fuel efficiency can save you money in the long run.

6. Brand and Reputation

Research the brand and reputation of the mud motor manufacturer. Look for brands with a history of producing reliable and durable mud motors. Reading customer reviews and seeking recommendations from fellow boaters can provide valuable insights into the reputation of different brands.

7. Warranty and Support

Check the warranty and customer support options offered by the manufacturer. A good warranty ensures that you’re protected against defects or issues that may arise with your mud motor. Additionally, reliable customer support can be invaluable if you encounter problems or have questions about your motor.

8. Budget

Determine your budget for a mud motor and stick to it. While it’s tempting to go for the most powerful and feature-packed motor, it’s essential to find a balance between your needs and budget. Remember that there are quality mud motors available at various price points.

Now that we’ve covered the essential factors to consider let’s take a closer look at some of the best mud motors for a 1436 jon boat.

Top Mud Motor Recommendations

1. Beavertail 6.5HP Vanguard Super Lite

The Beavertail 7HP Surface Drive Mud Motor is a popular choice for small jon boats like the 1436. With 7 horsepower, it provides ample power for navigating shallow waters and muddy environments. The surface drive design allows for excellent maneuverability, making it easy to access tight spots. Beavertail is known for its reliability and durability, and this mud motor comes with a warranty for added peace of mind.

2. Copperhead 6.5HP Surface Drive Mud Motor

The Copperhead 6.5HP Surface Drive Mud Motor is another excellent option for small jon boats. With 6.5 horsepower, it strikes a good balance between power and fuel efficiency. The surface drive design ensures superior maneuverability, making it suitable for navigating narrow waterways and marshes. Copperhead is a respected brand in the mud motor industry, known for producing reliable motors.

3. Go-Devil 9HP Surface Drive Mud Motor

If you’re looking for a bit more power for your 1436 jon boat, the Go-Devil 9HP Surface Drive Mud Motor is worth considering. With 9 horsepower, it offers a bit more speed and torque for challenging conditions. The surface drive design provides excellent maneuverability, and Go-Devil is known for its rugged construction and durability.


The Mud Buddy 7HP Mini Surface Drive Mud Motor is a compact and lightweight option suitable for smaller jon boats. With 7 horsepower, it provides sufficient power for shallow water navigation. The surface drive design ensures easy maneuverability, and Mud Buddy is a reputable brand known for its quality and customer support.

5. Backwater SWOMP Lite 6.5HP

The Backwater SWOMP Lite 6.5HP is designed for shallow water performance and is an excellent choice for a 1436 jon boat. With 6.5 horsepower, it offers a good balance between power and fuel efficiency. The surface drive design allows for exceptional maneuverability, making it easy to access hard-to-reach fishing spots. Backwater is known for its quality and durability.


Choosing the best mud motor for your 1436 jon boat involves considering various factors, including boat size, horsepower, shaft length, drive type, fuel efficiency, brand reputation, warranty, and budget. By carefully evaluating these factors, you can find the perfect mud motor to enhance your outdoor adventures.

Remember that the right mud motor can make all the difference in your ability to navigate shallow waters, explore remote areas, and enjoy the beauty of nature. Whether you opt for a Beavertail, Copperhead, Go-Devil, Mud Buddy, or Backwater mud motor, you can be confident that you’re investing in a reliable and efficient power source for your jon boat.

Before making your final decision, it’s a good idea to test different mud motors if possible and consult with experienced boaters who can provide valuable insights based on their own experiences. With the right mud motor, your 1436 jon boat will become a versatile and capable vessel for all your outdoor adventures.