ZF, GatorTail collaborate on new outboard

Air-cooled outboard engine designed for extremes, including dense vegetation

GatorTail ZF and GatorTail's new GT-Z air-cooled outboard engine incorporates a patented transmission with custom gear ratio and U-drive shaft arrangement from ZF. (Photo: ZF)

ZF said its partnership with GatorTail Outboards will help it expand its portfolio into new markets. The new GatorTail GT-Z is an air-cooled, heavy-duty, outboard engine with a rugged, customized ZF transmission. It incorporates a patented transmission with custom gear ratio and U-drive shaft arrangement from ZF.

GatorTail said the product allows specialized aluminum boats to traverse harsh swamp and marsh-type environments . Field-tested for over three years, GT-Z is available now for pre-sale, with deliveries beginning in Q1 2024.

GatorTail said the product meets boaters’ desires for more robust and reliable technology to navigate through some of the harshest swamp-like environments in the world.

“ZF is pleased to establish a foothold in this demanding, action-packed market and to contribute additional durability and reliability to these incredible outboard engines,” said Keith Stanley, senior manager, Pleasure Craft, for ZF’s Industrial Technology Division – North America & Central America. “Incorporating ZF transmissions into the GatorTail portfolio truly sets this engine brand apart. There is nothing else on the market like this.”

For GatorTail, a leading manufacturer of air-cooled outboard motors for swamps and marshes with over 20 years of design and manufacturing experience, the collaboration achieves a long-held desire to propel its own product innovation.

“GatorTail had a vision many years ago to incorporate ZF transmissions into our outboard design. Doing so gives our products additional robustness, simplicity and reliability. It’s a highly durable gear box,” said Kyle Broussard, Gator Tail founder, Loreauville, La.

With the GT-Z, the company said boaters can go up to 35 mph through waters of nearly any depth and condition. This includes shallow water, areas with dense vegetation, mud and over stumps and logs. The unit is powered by an air-cooled 993 cu. in. 40 hp EFI Vanguard gasoline engine, coupled to the ZF gearbox and belt-driven drive leg.

The GT-Z is designed for commercial and recreational anglers, government entities, search-and-rescue entities, hunters and more. ZF said it made the new transmission for the GT-Z possible by reconfiguring an existing model into a “U Drive” with a special gear ratio. Testing and validation have been underway for over three years to deliver unmatched durability and reliability.

The GT-Z comes with a three-year warranty. It was formally introduced at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show (FLIBS), from October 25 through 29, in ZF’s booth.

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