The Pro-Drive Shallow Water Outboards have had the ability to be fitted with this feature since Brian Provost developed the first working prototype almost 10 years ago. The original prototype worked similar to older style small outboards which turned completely around to achieve reverse. Pro-Drive wanted to make a unit which was more user friendly, easy to operate and one that offered better reverse motor control.
Over the past several years, Pro-Drive has explored and tested other more conventional reverse options. However, none of them met their complete approval and here are the reasons why. One of the drawbacks to any surface running prop, regardless of application, is the poor reverse performance and decreased reverse thrust they produce. This drawback has been commonly known since surface props began being used extensively on offshore powerboats 30-40 years ago. This type of reverse would have limited application when used on a mud motor. While it would be helpful in deep water, it is of little real use when stuck in the mud and thick vegetation, where a mud motorists needs it the most.
Not being satisfied with the reverse options tested, Pro-Drive decided to revisit their original reverse design and adapt it to the current production of motors. The Pro-Drive’s reversing system actually turns the entire lower unit 180 degrees to allow for full power reverse and full power control of the boat while in reverse. The key to making this system work is a special rotating collar, designed by Pro-Drive adapted to its original vertical shaft design and angled lower unit which allows the lower unit to turn around in seconds, with little or no effort, even in mud and heavy cover. There are no added gears, transmissions or linkages. The design is simple, effective and reliable. Furthermore, it adds no real extra weight to the motor. The results are amazing. The reverse system forces water under the boat, creating a lifting action which can pull the boat backward in the mud and weeds. With this type of reverse, you have complete turning control (like with a bow mounted trolling motor, only this one is 36 hp) that is more responsive than the turning ability of a standard outboard in reverse. The power is such that you can actually lift and plane a boat in reverse, even in shallow to no water situations (We know this sounds impossible, but when you see the video you will understand). In addition, with the lower unit turned 180 degrees, the prop remains protected by the skeg. Since it is still turning the same way as when in forward, the prop will stay weedless and take impacts on the curve of the prop, which in most cases will simply push the motor right or left without damaging the prop. This is unlike traditional reverses where the prop is leading and will take impacts on the cupped side of the prop pulling the prop into the object it hits. The Pro-Drive full power reverse system is the reverse system needed on mud motors; it provides a real working reverse which can pull you out of the mud and junk with the same performance that got you into it in the first place. It provides optimum steering control when picking up decoys, traps or back trolling. The team at Pro-Drive believes that reverse on a mud motor has to be able to perform where mud motors live, in the mud, stumps, logs and vegetation. They set out to design a reverse worthy of the Pro-Drive name and ended up producing a system that performs beyond their greatest expectations.
The new Pro-Drive Reverse System can be retrofitted to any existing Pro-Drive Shallow Water Outboard with a simple conversion kit. Kits will be available for direct customer installation or units can be converted at any authorized Pro-Drive Dealer.