Though the trolling motor technology was there for almost 30 years, no one had built upon the basic concepts. Fishermen everywhere were becoming frustrated, and looking for ways that their trolling motor could work for them. Better, faster, stronger.... and MotorGuide was born.
 

In the early 1960's, G.H. Harris of Jackson, Mississippi was tired of sculling his small fishing boat around nearby Ross Barnett Reservoir. So he began toying with the idea of building an electric motor to move his boat along at fishing speeds.

Although the SilverTrol electric motor had been invented some 30 years by then, Harris found it to be awkward to use, having to turn it on and be steered by hand. He wanted something he could operate with his foot so it didn’t distract from his fishing.

Tinkering with a field wound electric motor, Harris developed a system that used a spring-loaded direction control that he could operate with his foot to steer his boat. When he would take his foot off the pedal, the spring would return the motor to its straight-ahead position

Herschede Hall Clock Co. in Starkville, makers of high-quality grandfather clocks, struck a deal with Harris to build and sell his new design, called the Guide-Rite.

 

Later 1960’s. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 

  • Guide-Rite patented use of rack-and-pinion steering that made the directional control more sensitive and reliable.
  • Guide-Rite was renamed MotorGuide and branded.
  • Mounting was experimented with along the bow, born from a bass fishing tournament.
  • MotorGuide began offering its motors with permanent magnets, rather than field-wound, reducing the size of the motor from 4” in diameter to 3”, also providing more power more efficiently.
  • Super MotorGuide was developed, an electric motor that used Darlington transistors to produce a variable speed trolling motor that had infinitely variable speed up to 75% of the motor’s capacity.
1971 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
  • MotorGuide becomes first company to allow flat storage along the bow of boat, with Inventor Pete Horton’s newly designed bracket concept that included angled arms and a main brace that allowed for flat-storage, but to also extend into the water for use.
1975 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
  • MotorGuide pioneered the first 12/24-volt motor, allowing a fisherman to operate their motor as before with a single 12-volt battery or to double its power to approximately 24 pounds of thrust by connecting a second battery in series.
  • MotorGuide becomes part of the consolidated family Arnold Industries, manufacturing clocks, furniture, lamps, and MotorGuide motors.
  • Stainless steel shafts that would not bend easily when the momentum of a 17-foot fiberglass boat carried them into a rock were developed.
  • MotorGuide developed the first “clutch” bracket, which would allow the force of the impact to slip a clutch and enable to fold the shaft of the trolling motor unharmed back toward the hull of the boat.brute trolling motor, hawg
  • MotorGuide pushed power to new extremes, developing the Hawg (a 12-volt motor that would generate 28 pounds of thrust) and the Brute (a 12/24-volt motor with clutch bracket that would produce 34 pounds of thrust).
  • MotorGuide developed the first blind hold mounting isolator system, which enabled a trolling motor to be installed from the top of the deck and held in place by four rubber sheathed screws.
1984 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
  • MotorGuide was acquired by Brunswick Corporation and became part of their Zebco fishing tackle operation headquartered in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
1993 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
  • MotorGuide acquired Swivl-Eze, a Texas-based marine accessories company that makes fishing seat pedestals, base plates, transom savers and other boat products.
1999 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
  • Pinpoint trolling motors and sonar joined the MotorGuide family.
2000 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
  • Moved manufacturing operations from Starkville, Mississippi to Tulsa, Oklahoma.
  • MotorGuide becomes part of Mercury Marine, a fellow Brunswick counterpart, after Brunswick sells Zebco.
2002 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
  • Introduced and patented the Digital Guardian module that has greatly improved durability and continued MotorGuide's leadership position of durability and reliability.
2005 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
  • Introduced our Wireless Series Trolling Motors that showcase a built-in wireless receiver that is compatible with up to 4 Wireless components at one time, including a foot pedal and hand-held remote option.
2009 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
  • MotorGuide partners with Attwood Marine, also a Brunswick and Mercury Marine subsidiary, moving manufacturing operations from Tulsa, Oklahoma to plant space within Attwood’s home office plant in Lowell, Michigan.
motorguide manufacturing process