Motor-Guide: Three Men in a Tub

The Motor-Guide Magnum. Circa 1973.

Here’s an ad that’s always made me chuckle. The interesting thing about the ad, though, is my first recollection of it was from the late 70s or early 80s. I had no idea that Motor-Guide came out with it in 1973.

The ad depicts three “hefty” gentlemen in what appears to be a typical bass boat of the day – a 14- to 15-foot tub. In the ad, Motor-Guide states that their Magnum Motor-Guide can pull 2000 pounds of weight and has more thrust than any other trolling motor on the market – 24% more to be exact.

Motor-Guide achieved this by designing a motor that would run off of 24 volts instead of the normal 12-volt systems motors of that era relied on. In trying to determine if they were the first company to make a 24-volt system, I searched high and low through the archives (Bassmaster, In-Fisherman and Fishing Facts) and the result was, it appears they were the first. I found no other company claiming to have a 24-volt trolling motor prior to this ad.

What’s really amazing is how far trolling motors have come over the years. My first, a Shakespeare, had a paltry 18 pounds of thrust and ran off a single 12-volt battery. That was in 1976 or so. The motor in this ad, running off two 12-volt batteries, might have had 28 pounds of thrust.

Today, even the 24-volt systems provide in excess of 80 pounds of thrust and the 36-volt systems top the century mark. Even with all this power, the motors of today don’t drain batteries as fast as the old versions.

It’s nice to go back and see where we’ve come from and it’s even fun to break out some o

f this old gear and use it from time to time. But I can surely say, I’m glad we don’t have to go back and relive the old days of low power and short operating times. Even if they were the best of the times.