Boating Bits

Precision performance from MotorGuide

FISHO today got a chance to have a quick play with the new Xi5 electric motor from MotorGuide. This motor – which comes in 55lb 12 volt, 80lb 24 volt and 105lb 36 volt configurations – is being pushed as the first serious competitor to Minn Kota’s popular iPilot range. Our initial impressions are that the MotorGuide boasts interesting features and is definitely worth inspection by keen sportfishermen.

Super quiet operation and precise navigation are being touted as the hallmarks of the new MotorGuide. On water tests revealed that the Xi5 is extremely quiet, with minimal noise even when making fast turns. Fitted with “Pinpoint GPS”, the test 55lb unit we played with proved to be easy to use via a wireless hand held control. A wireless foot control pad is also available.The anchor function is augmented by a nifty “jog” function which allows forward, side and reverse adjustment via five-foot intervals – perfect when wanting to throughly – yet stealthily – fish a snag or similar structure.

The unit also features an auto-pilot function called “Heading Lock” and a route record/playback function which allows eight routes up to 6.4km long to be recorded and replayed. When operated in the heading lock or route function, a “cruise control” setting allows the user to set and maintain a chosen speed.


Various models designed for fresh and saltwater use will be available, with the freshwater models featuring an inbuilt transducer allowing compatibility with Lowrance and Garmin sounders. It’s expected that compatibility with other marine electronics brands will be developed.

The saltwater models feature a sealed module for electrical components and the shafts – which are available in 45, 48, 54 and 60-inch length – are made from a composite material which comes with a lifetime guarantee.

Deploying the unit was simple and a bank of LED lights clearly display functions and battery condition. A removable quick release base is available as an option.

A fully specc’d up 55lb Motorguide Xi5 should retail for about $2100; an 80lb model is expected to cost about $200 more. All models will feature a two year guarantee.


Stay tuned for a full test on the new MotorGuides.

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