It really depends on how soft the mud is and the installer. I have installed these lifts into areas where the mud was 4′ deep with no evidence of a bottom. We take 2×12 lumber and cut it into 2′ lengths. We then take 2 boards and lay them side by side and take 2 more boards and place them side by side on top of the first two but changing the direction. When then use galvanized or stainless (depending on the lake) to screw the boards together. This gives us a 2′ x 2′ square pad that we can place beneath the foot on the lift. Try to get them as centered as possible under each foot pad and once they are in place…add the boat weight to sink the pads. You may have to readjust the legs at that point, but the pads should keep the lift from sinking.