Simple, Solid, Reliable

Broken prop or it could be worse

Swamp Runner offers both aluminum and stainless steel propellers, so which one do we recommend? Without question, we prefer aluminum propellers because they are not only cost-efficient, but also give the longtail drivetrain an added safety feature while on remote adventures.

The Sacrificial Part

Let’s face it.  Experienced woodsmen know that running through shallow water is risky business, and wise management of that risk can mean the difference between being stranded or making it home safely.  When running shallow water it’s not a matter of IF, but WHEN you’re propeller is going to strike a submerged object.  When the propeller hits and can no longer spin, the inertia of the engine is still rotating.  No matter the horsepower, torque, or hardness of the metal, when the prop encounters a hard strike on a rock or stump something has to give.

The propeller should always be the weakest link in your drivetrain so it should be the first part to break. It’s far better to break an inexpensive aluminum prop that is easily replaced in the field. If you run a stainless prop and it does not break, something else is going to, whether it’s your shaft, or worse yet, something inside your engine. Either of the two will be much harder to fix, more expensive, and could leave you stranded far from any help.

Built for the Middle of Nowhere

Who would trust their life to a boat motor?  Knowing a Swamp Runners capabilities, over the years we’ve repeatedly trusted them to take us to some of the most remote places on earth, and always get us back home safely.  Here are but a few examples;

Yukon River – Source to Sea Expedition

On August 25th, 2019 a crew of three men running two Swamp Runner powered boats completed the first motorized full descent of the Yukon River ever documented. The expedition traveled above the Arctic Circle and through some of the most remote territory in North America, reaching the Bering Sea in 24 days, 22 hours and 45 minutes, making it also the fastest source-to-sea descent of the Yukon River ever recorded.

Both vessels ran aluminum propellers.  Hitting submerged logs was a regular occurrence, with one propeller running a distance of 1632 miles before needing replacement due to wear and tear.   The longtail shafts of each vessel were fitted with Bayou Bushings, and completed the entire 2058 mile distance without any noticeable wear. No other boat motor has the bushings or bearings to survive such long distance torture in the abrasive razorblade-like glacial silt of the Yukon River.

Remote Jungle & Cave Expeditions

From 1992 to the present the Swamp Runner crew has embarked upon numerous river adventures into the vast jungles of Thailand, Laos and Vietnam.  Exploring underground rivers as deep as 5.5 miles into immense caves is no place for gear failure. Years of remote river running has taught us that there is no other boat motor more up to the task of navigating deep into this unforgiving abyss, and safely back again, than a Thai longtail by SPS.