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Gator-Tail Boats are simply Gator-Tough. Meet the ideal watercraft that has the right boat/motor combinations when SHTF and you need to bug out, and fast.

A storm was in the forecast, but it wasn’t supposed to become a category-3 hurricane, and you never actually expected the resulting flood to reach your second-floor windows. While we often talk about bug-out bags, survival knives and how to start a fire with a bow and drill, how many of us really give a thought to alternate means of transportation (other than the ubiquitous 4×4 SUV)? If you live in a low-lying area that has even the slightest chance of flooding, you might want to include something other than wheels in your survival strategy. 

ABOUT GATOR-TAIL

Kyle Broussard started Gator-Tail in 2002. Prior to becoming an entrepreneur, Broussard studied mechanical engineering at the University of Louisiana and worked as an outboard mechanic during the summers, so creating Gator-Tail was a natural.

The company’s first outboard motor came to the market in 2004. It was originally intended for the hunting and fishing market. Gator-Tail products are designed by the company’s own engineers and are built using the latest technology entirely at the company’s Loreauville, Louisiana, facilities.

Gator-Tail boat with 5 men and a dog on board, speeding through swamp

Gator-Tail products were first aimed at outdoorsmen for hunting and fishing. However, they soon proved themselves to be invaluable emergency rescue tools during floods.

A key feature of Gator-Tail motors is the belt drive system, which is similar to those used on some motorcycles.
“It’s one of the most reliable ways to transfer energy in a mechanism,” Broussard said. “We back our motors with a lifetime belt warranty. The bottom line is that the belts do not break.” However, most important is that Gator-Tail  boats and motors were designed for use in shallow, murky bayou waters. This concept translates well to preppers’ needs, because, many times, they’re the only boats that can make it through debris-strewn floodwaters.

“Gator-tail boats are used extensively… for when evacuation and rescue operations during floods caused by the aftermath of hurricanes and other natural disasters.”

Gator-Tail is Gator-Tough

“Basically, this boat will get you where nothing else will,” said Broussard. “Before the authorities can get to you, these boats are bringing you to dry land. They’ll run in straight mud. Most outboard motors have to be cooled with water—they’re water-cooled engines. They’re re-circulating the water that you’re riding in. So, if there’s any debris (trash, litter, plastic bags, anything that’ll wrap around the intake), it will stop the motor from cooling and will burn the engine.” According to Broussard, larger debris—shrubs and fences—can also stop a conventional outboard motor, making it difficult, if not impossible, to navigate through flooded-out neighborhoods.

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Gator-Tail watercraft speeding through mud bog

Gator-Tail boats and motors excel at moving through mud and debris-clogged waterways—unlike traditional small watercraft.

“Our machine is meant to run in mud and logs. Debris will not faze it,” he said. In survival situations, that’s important, and reports on the effectiveness of these boats are spreading far and wide. Gator-Tail boats are now used extensively across the country by law enforcement, military units and private citizens for evacuation and rescue operations during floods caused by the aftermath of hurricanes and other natural disasters.

“Before the authorities can get to you, these boats are bringing you to dry land. They’ll run in straight mud.”

“These boats have been used after every major storm in the last 10 years,” Broussard pointed out. “In the last storm in Louisiana, Baton Rouge had hundreds of these boats running in the flood.” Because Gator-Tail products have proven their worth in true emergency conditions, the company has grown quickly. “We started with just two employees in a very small corner of our facility,” he explained. “Now, we’re up to 40 employees.

Gator-Tail boat ferrying two men through flooded streets after Hurricane

Gator-Tail boats and motors have proven themselves effective in evacuation and rescue operations during flooding disasters for over a dozen years.

We operate out of two buildings—a fabrication shop and a manufacturing and assembly shop, as well. So, we’ve grown tremendously over the last 12 years.” Another important point for those considering a boat for emergency preparedness is that a Gator-Tail boat takes up less room than, say, an air boat. “It’s small enough so that it can be put in everyone’s garage,” Broussard pointed out. “And it’s a mode of transportation that’s very, very reliable.” So, while you’re sitting on your roof awaiting rescue, ask yourself why you didn’t look into Gator-Tail sooner. Here are just some of Gator-Tail’s storm-proof products:

Gator-Tail basic motor/boat combination in trailer rig

1. The Gator Series is the company’s basic boat, but it can be outfitted with a number of handy
add-ons.

Gator-Tail Extreme Series boat in trailer rig

2. The stepped hull design of the Extreme Series boats makes them especially easy to control during sharp, high-speed turns.

Gator-Tail XL Series boat in trailer rig

3. The XL Series is intended for those who need the additional power that’s offered with the twin 37 hp motors.

1. GATOR SERIES BOATS

“The Gator Series is our down-and-dirty basic model,” Broussard said. It is also the company’s most affordable. It’s available in widths of 60 and 70 inches and lengths of 18 and 20 feet. You can opt for the basic boat and then customize it by ordering such optional features as extended or folding decks, various rails, a polling platform and
console steering kit.


1648 Gator Series Boat
• Brown paint
• Full floor with no gutters
• 21-inch side height
• 21-inch transom
• 4-foot deck with pedestal base
• Removable gun box
• Trolling motor bracket
• Rotary-molded 20-quart K2 cooler
• Rear driver’s stand-up grab bar
• Battery and battery box
• 6-gallon gas tank
• Automatic bilge pump
• LED navigation lights
• Motor: GTR25L HP big-block Vanguard (reverse model) with tall transom, power trim and tachometer
• Trailer: 18-foot galvanized trailer with 13-inch wheels, side guides, spare tire and LED lights
MSRP:$14,099

2. EXTREME SERIES BOATS

This is Gator-Tail’s flagship model. It offers superior handling through sharp turns, thanks to the stepped chine hull design. It, too, is available as a basic boat with several add-on features to suit your needs or as a package such as the one below.


1848 Extreme Series Boat
• Brown paint
• Hunt deck
• Front hatch
• Full floor with no gutters
• 21-inch side height
• 21-inch transom
• 4-foot deck with pedestal base
• Trolling motor bracket
• Rotary-molded 20-quart K2 cooler
• Rear driver’s stand-up grab bar
• Battery and battery box
• 6-gallon gas tank
• Automatic bilge pump
• LED navigation lights
• Motor: GTR37HP Vanguard (reverse model) with power trim and tachometer
• Color: Gator Grass Camo
• Trailer: 18-foot galvanized trailer with 13-inch wheels, side guides, spare tire and LED lights
MSRP: $17,040

3. XL SERIES BOATS

When you need the extra power, the Gator-Tail XL Series of boats might be right for you. Each of these boats is equipped with twin 37 hp engines with electronic fuel injection. They are available in widths of 60 and 72 inches and lengths of 18 and 20 feet. Various deck and rail options are available, along with a flat or pointed bow and a
drop-deck transom.


XL Series Basic Boat
• One-piece .125-inch 5086 aluminum hull (3/16-inch thickness available)
• 2×2¾-inch custom extruded longitudinal ribs
• .100-inch deck and floor
• Full floor; no gutters
• 24-inch side height
• 21-inch transom
• 6-inch 6061T6 channel for transom
• Heavy-duty gunwale rail
• Stainless steel rivets for subfloor
• 4-foot deck with pedestal base
• Under-deck storage
• Trolling motor bracket
• Self-draining deck
• Stern lifting side crimp
MSRP: $35,000


GTR 37 HP EFI Motor

This is Gator-Tail’s newest outboard motor with electronic fuel injection and 37 hp. Two of these powerhouses are used on the company’s XL Series boats.
Features include:
• 993cc big-block CDI 37 hp Vanguard marine engine
• 20- to 50-amp charging system
• Tachometer/hour meter
• 4,750 rpm high-rev coils to protect against over-revving
• Stainless steel muffler
• Easy-access control box with start, trim, kill and gear, all on the tiller arm
• Smooth-ride tiller with vibration-reducing bushing
• Insulated metal squeeze throttle
• Waterproof, heavy-duty trim switch
• Integrated free-floating tiller for safety and control, sitting or standing
• 5,000 ft./lbs. power trim actuator
• Planetary reverse transmission
• 2,000-HR electronic clutch
• Dual pivot-point trim impact system allows engine to kick up on impact
• Three-blade stainless steel weedless propeller
• Cone-shaped lower unit with weedless profile and separate lube chambers
• Reverse plate for maximum thrust with minimum splashback
• Three-year warranty with lifetime belt warranty
• Weight: 275 pounds

Gator-Tail's 37hp outboard motor with EFI

Gator-Tail’s 37 hp outboard motor features electronic fuel injection.

MSRP:$8,145


GTR 35 HP Motor

This is the original carbureted workhorse outboard motor in the Gator-Tail stable. It is a belt-driven engine that has proven itself reliable in all sorts of adverse conditions for over a decade. Features include:
• 993cc big-block CDI 35 hp Vanguard marine engine
• 20- to 50-amp charging system
• Tachometer/hour meter
• 4,750 rpm high-rev coils to protect against over-revving
• Stainless steel muffler
• Easy-access control box with start, trim, kill and gear—all on the tiller arm
• Smooth-ride tiller with vibration-reducing bushing
• Insulated metal squeeze throttle
• Waterproof, heavy-duty trim switch
• Integrated free-floating tiller for safety and control, sitting or standing
• 5,000 ft./lbs. power trim actuator
• Planetary reverse transmission
• 2,000-HR electronic clutch
• Dual pivot-point trim impact system allows engine to kick up on impact
• Three-blade, stainless steel weedless propeller
• Cone-shaped lower unit with weedless profile and separate lube chambers
• Reverse plate for maximum thrust with minimum splashback
• Three-year warranty with lifetime belt warranty
• Weight: 275 pounds

Gator-Tail’s 35 hp motor with carburetor is the original product that the company brought 
to the market. It has proved to be very effective and reliable, even in the worst conditions.

MSRP: $7,645


CONTACT INFORMATION

GATOR-TAIL

(337) 229-4864

Editor’s note: A version of this article first appeared in the March 2017 print issue of American Survival Guide.