FAQs

The #1 question we are always asked: How much are your boats?

Our boats are custom built therefore, custom pricing applies. The best way to get a price for a boat you want to design and build is to contact us for a custom quote. Quotes are valid for 30 days.

Extruding a piece of metal simply means it was pushed through and extracted out of a die to form a specific shape. In our case, we buy extruded aluminum that forms shapes specific to our build process that enhances strength as well as fit and finish.

No. The US Coast Guard actually allows soft chine, flat bottom boats a higher horsepower rating than the traditional square chine, flat boat with crimps on the bottom. Why? Because the soft chine digs into the water and grabs it, causing it to dig in during the turn and keeping it from sliding. The traditional flat will slide before our hull ever will.

The crimps on traditional flats are just that, crimps. They are not keels. They are on hulls that lack the rigidness and strength to stand on their own. The aluminum is just too thin to not be doubled over every so often to add strength. In short, they are for strength, not performance. Gator Trax hulls are made of .125 aluminum (5086 Marine Alloy) and have longitudinal bracing on the inside of the hull. This keeps your bottom free of crimps that hang on logs, banks, stumps, etc. to prevent hooking and dents.

Due to the lack of displacement. We have found that a boat shorter than 15′, when loaded heavily, will draft an unacceptable amount of water for effective shallow water operation. The more surface area you have in contact with the water, (not to exceed extremes) the less water you will draft. Through research and development, we have found that shorter than 15′ loses performance. However, if you are in need of a shorter hull, for whatever the reason, we will build it.

Gator Trax uses a longitudinal bracing system. All of the braces that touch the bottom of the hull run lengthways, “with the grain of the water” if you will. They run the full length of the hull from bow to stern uninterrupted. No brace that crosses perpendicular to the longitudinal bracing touches the bottom. This is to prevent hooks and dents. Because there are no cross braces touching the bottom, any underwater obstruction (rocks, logs, stumps) that hits the bottom of the hull can now flex the hull between the longitudinal ribs and pop out at the transom without ever contacting a cross brace, which is where the dent would most likely occur. This is basically a dent prevention bracing system, another true shallow water feature, not found in traditional hulls. That being said, the Gator Trax one piece hull is pulled up and held together in the front by the deck, in the back by the transom, and mid-ship by these braces. Placing them below the false floor will not only give the boat two places to “catch dents”, but would also give our current longitudinal braces, (which are one solid piece), two interrupted weak spots.

To properly answer, you must ask yourself a few questions. First, how many hunters will I realistically hunt with on an average trip? Two, three, more? The heaviest part of your load will be hunters so this is important to answer honestly. If you will have two in the boat, 16ft is fine, three in the boat, you need 17ft minimum. More? You need 18ft minimum. Length is the key if you stay narrow. If you go with a wider hull, length is not as critical as you will still be displacing an acceptable amount of water for performance.

Second, how far do I run from the landing to my hunting spot on average? This, combined with the first answer, will dictate your motor choice. If you run with a heavy load or your runs are long, say more than 5 or 6 miles, you will need one of the higher horsepower motors being a 35HP minimum. Anything less will not give you the performance you need. If you have a light load or your run is short, 1-3 miles or so, you can scale back a bit to a smaller motor. Remember, we never recommend smaller than the 23HP for any application with our hulls. A good rule of thumb is to purchase the largest mud motor you can afford because that will be the one you wish you had purchased at the beginning.

Thirdly, will I use this hull to hunt out of with a blind or as a transport vessel from the landing to a permanent blind? If you are going to hunt from the boat or even fish from this boat, you will want an open floor plan of some kind. Our open hull, walk through bench, or a combo of the two will be best. If you will use the boat to transport hunters to a permanent blind then get out to hunt, the center bench will work great as a seat for your passengers while underway. And, since you are not hunting or fishing out of the boat, the bench will not be in the way for your application. If you will answer the above 3 questions honestly as they pertain to your real situations, you will have a great starting point on boat size, hull design, and motor choice. We offer this suggestion; build this hull for what you will be doing 90% of the time, then live with the other 10%.

Yes. However, not several inches of draft as many of our competitors would have you believe. If you are comparing two exact same boats, (example; 50″ bottom to 50″ bottom), and both boats weigh the same, then the difference is less than 1/4″. The difference is so insignificant that giving up the superior handling and performance of a rounded chine compared to any other chine is certainly not worth the 1/4″ of draft.

The answer is a conditional one. If you have a short boat, (less than 16ft), yes. It will create more surface area and make up for the lack of true bottom on your hull. Or, if you plan to use an outboard frequently, it will improve your shallow water hole shot. If you have a hull that is 16-20ft, and exclusively propelled by a mud motor, pods will be of little to no advantage.

No. It will draft more water because it has the same surface area as the hull without flotation, but is weighs more. The flotation in a boat only becomes a factor when you attempt to force it below the water level. Then, and only then, will the flotation become buoyant and keep your hull from sinking completely. Try this. Take a 5-gallon bucket and seal it shut with a lid. Throw it in the water and mark where it floats. Now, take another one and fill it full of flotation foam. When you mark that one, it will float lower in the water because it is heavier. Now, poke a hole in both buckets. One will sink, and the other will float. That is the value of flotation. Don’t worry, we build both models to suit your needs.

Yes. A commercially rated hull is a hull that either has not enough flotation to keep the hull afloat when full of water, or no flotation at all. Most of the aluminum flats we are accustomed to are commercially rated. A little flotation under the bench seats is not enough to keep you afloat when the boat fills full of water and it is fully loaded. A commercial rating simply lets you, the buyer, know that this boat, while it meets the requirements of being seaworthy, will not float if 100% full of water or below the water level. It does not mean that you have to use it in a commercial capacity as a consumer. It is a recommendation, not a requirement. Our recreational rated hulls will float fully loaded as long as the limits on weight are not exceeded and safe boating is exercised. The advantages in a commercial hull are a lighter hull and offer more storage. One of our competitors cites a law and they want you to believe the law makes commercial hulls illegal. Simply not true. If you read that law, it will state that it is illegal to claim a hull is recreational rated when it is not.

The airboat style rake is different from conventional flat boat rakes for a very specific reason. Most conventional flat boats don’t have much of a true rake to speak of. Most flat boats have a rake that is short and rises quickly. The problem is when you load that hull down in the front with 2 sacks of decoys and a Labrador, the rake sinks and you wind up pushing a wall of water that won’t get out of its’ own way. Our rake is a long, slow rising rake. It allows you to load your hull heavily in the front and still get on a proper plane. Let’s face it, as duck hunters, all your gear and passengers go up front. They can’t sit in the back with you while you drive your mud motor, so they are placed midship to the bow and, consequently, weigh down the bow. Not a problem in a Gator Trax!

If you do not find a boat package at any of our dealers to suit your specific needs, we can custom build your hull on an as ordered basis. They are built one at a time, to fit the needs of each customer. If you can imagine it, we can usually build it so as it is within safe boating practices. Custom orders are often made at our dealer locations. However, if you need factory direct expertise in designing your hull, that is a service we gladly offer, even if you are dealing with one of our dealers. Contact us anytime.

Yes. While no other round chine hull in production offers a warranty with an outboard, we do. We offer an outboard package. This package is a series of braces that will ensure your hull life, even if used with an outboard. As long as you have the outboard package, and do not exceed the recommended horsepower ratings, you will be covered while using your outboard. You can find more details in our Lifetime Warranty.

Remote steer is one of the sharpest new innovations in the mud motor industry. When used with hydraulic steering it is one of the easiest ways to operate your mud motor. However, this comes with pros and cons. Consider the following when deciding if the remote steer is best for you.

  • In order to get remote steer, you must have the expense of a console, remote steer package, hydraulic steering, and rigging. This will increase the sticker cost over approximately $1,800 when compared to a tiller handle steer.
  • Consider the size of your boat. Adding a console, especially in a narrow boat, will take up valuable floor space that won’t be able to be used while hunting or fishing from the boat. 
  • When you get stuck with remote steer, you are generally stuck. Without the aid of a tiller handle to assist you in “working” your way out of the mud, through vegetation, or over obstacles, your steering wheel, and power trim are rendered almost useless. If you run a lot of mud flats or heavy vegetation, the remote steer is probably not for you. If you run rocky rivers or sandy bottoms and the only reason you need a mud motor is you will occasionally hit something or need to make it across the sand flats, the remote steer is perfect.

The hunt deck came about as a place to put the rear portion of the total boat’s flotation foam. Our foam goes under the original front deck, under the floor, and inside the hunt deck for full level flotation, which is required by the USCG for a recreational rating. Without the hunt deck, the rear portion of the foam would have to be just inside the transom in two port and starboard boxes. Thus losing valuable space. In addition to the flotation, there are other advantages of the hunt deck.

  • Adds 20” of length to whatever model you purchase. (example- a 17×50 Huntdeck is actually 18’6” in TOTAL length.)
  • Pushes the motor back 20” out of the way so that a hunter or fisherman can utilize the entire back end of the boat without sharing that space with the motor and tiller handle.
  • Makes a great place for entering the boat from shallow water or in a man overboard situation it is much easier to climb onto the hunt deck than over 21” sides.
  • Totally eliminates a backwash from sudden stops.

The plug on the starboard side has a pipe welded thru the hunt deck to the inside of the hull. This is your traditional drain for the water trapped inside the hull from rain or spray. It must be plugged when the boat is in the water. The plug on the port side drains trapped water inside the hunt deck and must be plugged when the boat is in the water. The longitudinal bracing is closed, hollow channel and will allow water to get inside the hull from the bow. Rainwater can drain under the longitudinal braces and into the hunt deck cavity. Both plugs should be unplugged when the boat is left on the trailer so rain water can freely drain out of both plugs and not be trapped.

When you are ready, give us a call or come see us. We will sit down and put your ideas on paper and actually draw your boat out. If you are at a loss for the best design, we will ask you a myriad of questions to help determine the layout of the boat that suits you best. After you decide on every detail you are ready to order. If you are ordering a boat / trailer combo only, your deposit is $1250. If you are ordering an entire boat / motor/ trailer rig, your deposit is $2500. You can pay this by either sending us a check or paying right then over the phone with a credit card. Once we receive your deposit, your order goes next in line to the fabrication shop as it was received. At that time, we will give you an estimated date of completion, and fax you a detailed copy of your order that shows line items with costs. It will also reflect your deposit paid and balance due. You may also order your boat through our dealer network. Some of those dealers have packaged boats ready for sale on their floors, offer to finance, and take trade-ins. Pricing is exactly the same whether you order factory direct or from a dealer.

We have the largest selection of motor options in the shallow water boat industry. Our prices are the same as offered by authorized dealers. We do not mark up the motor prices, and we do not charge for installation of the motor when mounted on one of our hulls. In short, no hidden fees.

Mud Motors:

  • Mudbuddy
  • Boss Drives
  • Gator Tail
  • Pro-Drive

Outboards:

  • Suzuki
  • Mercury
  • Honda

Troll Motors:

  • Minn Kota

You are more than welcome to pay us a visit and pick the boat up from the factory. However, today’s busy schedules will not permit some of you to take that much time, and we understand that. We will deliver our boats and motors anywhere. The cost of delivery is $1.34 per mile one way. (Subject to change without notice). We can deliver it to your door, meet you half way, or wherever you choose to meet us. You just tell us where you want the ticket to stop. I understand that this may seem steep, but keep this in mind. We do not make any money on shipping your boat. The cost per mile is what we are charged by the delivery service. It is the most cost effective service we have ever heard of. Also, when you purchase a boat through one of our Bass Pro or Tracker locations, as a service to their customers, they offer a flat rate of $550 shipping, no matter which participating store the boat is shipped to.

The answer to the question is conditional. If you are running an outboard in very shallow water and you want the ability to run in 4” or 5” of water then the answer is yes! The tunnel will actually collect what little water is under the hull and funnel it to the prop. We use the tunnel on our personal fishing boats with outboards that we use to fish for reds and specks in the coastal marshes and would not trade them for anything! The tunnel will not work with a mud motor.

Yes. We have designed a tunnel that works perfectly with the hunt deck for outboards and jets.

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