Beyond question, getting on and off the vessel could be tough if have the vessel drifting away from you the whole time. Indeed, swimming to the vessel is both a waste of time and unworkable.
In line with this, selecting the best boat trailer winch directly impacts how smooth sailing or painful working it would be for you. That said, it only clearly indicates how crucial it is to be meticulous with the practical features that you should search for while picking a winch for a vessel trailer.
Basically, it is important to have something that would greatly aid you to remain hooked to the waterside while you move up into or out of it. A top quality winch for a vessel trailer is a must-have particularly if you necessitate getting on and off a vessel more often. Hence, it cannot be denied how useful this tool is to make your cruising adventure more exciting, fun-filled and less hassle.
Shopping for the right option for you could be daunting since you could encounter a plenty of available choices on local stores and through online shopping sites. So, in order to lessen your confusion on which one to consider, go over the compressive product reviews below and delve into the buying guides and other boat trailer winch details tackled in this post.
Table of Contents
- The Best Boat Trailer Winch Reviews of 2023
- 1. Reese Towpower 74329 Trailer Winch
- 2. Camco 50000 Winch
- 3. Fulton FW32000101 F2 Two-Speed Trailer Winch
- 4. Megaflint Trailer Winch
- 5. Bravex Electric Winch
- 6. Shoreline Marine Trailer Winch 1200Lb with Strap
- 7. Korie 600-lbs Capacity Heavy Duty Hand Winch
- 8. Goldenrod Dutton-Lainson TW9000 12 Volt Trailer Winch
- 9. Trailer Winch 2000LB EDC Coated Black Dual Drive Winch
- 10. ShoppingOnBed 3200lbs Winch ATV Boat Trailer
- What to Look for When Buying a Boat Trailer Winch
- Other Important Factors to Consider
- Frequently Asked Questions
The Best Boat Trailer Winch Reviews of 2023
1. Reese Towpower 74329 Trailer Winch
This small boat trailer winch is an ideal pick for those who own medium to slightly bulky vessels. It is for sure a great help for standard watercrafts as it comes with a weight capacity of 1,500 lb. Indeed, if you seriously need to secure your vessel to the dock, then this won’t let you down.
It cannot be questioned that this is a better purchase among other rivals out there. It is designed with easy to utilize frame that is well-shielded against any sort of water damage or rusting. Its oil impregnated shaft bushing plus its full-length drum bushing are what truly make it more prominent than others.
- Features very durable and high carbon steel gears
- Can handle a total of 1,500 pound weight capacity
- Does not call for high maintenance
- Designed with comfort grip handle and 20-feet strap
- Manufactured with zinc-plated finish that effectively withstands corrosion
- Comes with small hook opening and clip
- Does not come with mounting bolts
2. Camco 50000 Winch
If you are currently in the hunt for a heavy duty trailer winch that is not the pricey to invest in, then this item can be your perfect bet. As a matter of fact, this is one of the few good options that are loaded with amazing features yet you can still get it in a reasonable price tag.
In like manner, this winch for vessel trailers offers a pulling capacity of a total of 2,000 pounds. It is designed with a winch strap that measures 20-feet in length and it is not bulky and, most importantly, it is not that tricky to utilize even for beginners.
Thus, if you prefer something that’s a child’s play to set up and use, comes with double drive gears, solid construction and heavy duty crank, then you can end your search here.
- Crafted using superb quality zinc plating to ward off corrosion
- Can handle weight capacity of a total of 2,000 pounds
- Lightweight and is no sweat to store
- Highly acclaimed for its very solid built for more reliability and efficiency
- Helps make manual winching for loading the vessel less burdensome
- Gears tend to get loose after a while
- Does not come with sleek surface
3. Fulton FW32000101 F2 Two-Speed Trailer Winch
For sure, shopping for the best boat winch can be a little tricky and expensive these days especially if you are buying from world-class brands. Be that as it may, you can be assured of good performance and satisfying experience if the model of your choice is built with top quality and superior performance. And, these are exactly what you’re going to get it you pick this winch. This is a wise purchase to consider since it can last long and does not give way even under bulky loads.
Many boat owners prefer this model mainly because it is sturdy enough to sustain balance in swift currents. By the same token, its solid aluminum built is what makes it more practical for frequent users since it is not prone to developing rust. And, the best of all, it only calls for low maintenance and it does a vital role in assisting you in your next boating spree.
- Manufactured with incredibly durable aluminum frame
- Comes with a total weight capacity of 3,200-pound
- Dual gear drum works like a charm
- Can effectively repel corrosion
- Designed with super sturdy single-piece handle
- Setting it up may be slightly challenging
- Bolting is a bit difficult
4. Megaflint Trailer Winch
This product can be regarded as one of the top-rated and the best electric boat trailer winches of today. In fact, a lot of users adore its dual-mode type of operation since this makes it more practical and good for winching. It is designed with two forms of brakes that consist of manual frictional brake and the other one is a dynamic frictional brake. This is also made with a 16-feet long power cord to ensure more convenience.
Basically, this is a highly practical tool to own for boat owners and it can be relied on in terms of high energy efficiency and superior power capacity. You could be guaranteed that it won’t cause any energy losses.
- Features incredible winching power amounting to over 6,000 lb.
- Comes with two brakes
- Guarantees reliable and efficient two-mode operation
- Capable of providing 30% more superior winching power than expected
- Equipped with a power cord that measures 16-feet long
- Seriously requires cooling off after roughly six by up to 8 minutes of usage
- Remote control cord is not long enough
5. Bravex Electric Winch
If you’re going to read some 12 volt electric boat trailer winch reviews, then you will find out that this model is perceived as one of the most top-drawer ones. This is quite renowned for being a portable 12V DC electrically operated vessel trailer winch.
Essentially, if you opt for a winch that comes with pulling capacity of 6,000 pounds, then this is an A1 pick for your watercraft, car or other equipment. It is equipped with dual direction electric winching that works effectively for spooling and pulling. Its well-enhanced power motor is also made to offer maximum performance.
For sure, you’ll adore this winch’s corded remote control feature which is meant to help you operate it even when you’re away from the tool and this offers a better and fuller sight of the vessel as it goes onto the trailer.
- Can be operated easily even when you’re away from the unit
- Built with well-enhanced power motor
- Equipped with electric automatic breaking system
- Also ideal for vehicles and other types of equipment
- Guarantees noise-free operation mode
- Comes with undefined warranty
- Operates in a slow mode
6. Shoreline Marine Trailer Winch 1200Lb with Strap
It is crucial to conduct even just a little research about the most important features that you should look for when purchasing the most suitable boat trailer hand winch for your needs. As you know, it is impractical to buy impulsively nowadays given the fact that nearly all products sold today come in pricey cost.
Over and above, this unit features uncomplicated gears that allow effortless usage and operation primarily for novices. You will certainly like its comfortably styles ergonomic handle as well. This winch is furnished with stacked gears, strap and a gear pawl. Its solid finish and overall built are what give it utmost shield against rugged weather conditions and potentially hazardous environment.
Whether you go for a 250-lb boat trailer winch or one that comes with pulling capacity of 2,000 pounds, this brand is a superior option for diverse types of boat trailers and this manufacturer is something that you could fully bank on since it is reputable when it comes to exemplary craftsmanship. That said, you are quite lucky to get it at a not so expensive selling cost.
- A piece of cake to set up and utilize
- Great pick for those with limited budget
- Not heavy and can guarantee reliable performance
- Built with amazing workmanship
- Comes with a pulling capacity of 2,000 pounds
- Locking mechanism design needs some upgrade
- Does not include installation hardware
7. Korie 600-lbs Capacity Heavy Duty Hand Winch
If you find seeking for the best manual boat trailer winch a very complex and exhausting task for you to manage, then you may start reading more about what this model can do for your current needs.
It is interesting to unveil that this winch for vessel trailers is constructed with hardened steel gears and solid steel built. These are what make it an effective option if you seriously wish to repel corrosion in a long-standing period. This is an amazing solution for a broad range of applications since it is meant to provide outstanding load lifting facility.
Substantially, if you wish to make cranking more effortless and prevent instant hand fatigue, then this winch can help you achieve that. It works powerfully and is heavy duty enough to pull significant amount of weight. It is smooth sailing to release and the cable is thick enough for pulling.
- Built with superb quality structure
- Especially crafted to offer superior load lifting facility
- Comes with ergonomically and comfortably designed handle
- Capable of pulling generous amount of weight
- Equipped with dual-way ratchet allowing reverse and forward racheting
- Cable isn’t secured to the drum
- Hook is not big enough
8. Goldenrod Dutton-Lainson TW9000 12 Volt Trailer Winch
If you want to invest in a premium quality electric boat trailer winch with strap, then it is especially essential to only trust well-known and trusted brands. This model is a stellar piece of equipment that is highly acclaimed for its rugged design and one of a kind craftsmanship.
What makes this winch a better option than other similar products is its being equipped with a release lever to control the speed the vessel rolls off when unloading. Aside from this, it has the capability to instantly pull the vessel back onto the trailer.
- Specifically crafted for vessels up to 9,000 pounds
- Equipped with mechanical friction brake and dynamic brake
- Allows freewheel, power in and power out operations
- Comes with wiring harness, strap and emergency crank handle
- Designed with three-position rotary switch
- Installation can be a bit challenging
- Appears not working on carpet trailer bunks
9. Trailer Winch 2000LB EDC Coated Black Dual Drive Winch
This product is a wise investment that won’t leave you feeling wasted. The gears are built with high carbon steel and it comes with zinc plating finish that can considerably assist in preventing corrosion to guarantee long years of satisfying service. This can adapt well for free spool or ratchet.
The hook and strap comes with exceptional fit and its dual gear feature makes this winch a more practical choice to consider. It enables smooth sailing cranking and it is dependable at hooking in ordered to lower and lift objects without any trouble.
- Designed with single-way ratchet that comes with free spool
- Features four is to one gear ratio
- Equipped with double drive gears
- Specifically built with incredibly sturdy gear built
- Comes with a strap that measures 25 feet
- A little costly than other similar options
- There has been some paint issues reported
10. ShoppingOnBed 3200lbs Winch ATV Boat Trailer
Shopping for a vessel trailer winch that is built with solid stainless steel body and is zinc coated and works adeptly for towing can be a great challenge at present. So, if you do not wish to suffer more, perhaps it is high time for you to give this winch a try.
This comes with a pulling capacity of amounting to 3,200 pounds and the rope measure ten meters in length. It is recognized as a very practical pick for various mobile applications, boat trailers and pickup trucks. With its capability to be used for several different purposes, this is a certified economic choice worth-considering.
- Made with premium quality stainless steel material
- Accurate enough to enable effortless free wheeling
- Comes with easy to remove crank handle
- Installation is a breeze
- Not intricate to utilize unlike other options
- Questionable durability
- Bolt holding the strap to the spool’s middle is frail
What to Look for When Buying a Boat Trailer Winch
When buying vessel trailer winch, there are several factors that seriously need to be taken into account and some of these include the following:
- Choose what type of winch you will get. There are two types of winches: the manual versions and the electric versions. Each option comes with pros and cons. So, be sure to check out before picking one. You can read more details about the types of winch in the rest of this post.
- What is the weight capacity of the winch? Please take in mind that winches are commonly rated in terms of weight capacity and not by the length of the vessel. Pick a trailer winch that is adept at suiting the weight of a vessel, equipment as well as the motor.
- Bulkier and longer vessels need more powerful winches that are designed with lengthier cables. When choosing a winch, it is highly suggested to opt for the one that comes with a capacity rating of a minimum of ¾ the consolidated weight of the gear, fuel, motor and vessel. This would differ relying on several factors regarding your vessel and the area where you launch it.
For instance, if the load on the winch would be greater, then it is important to pick a winch that comes with capacity closer to the real weight of the completely –loaded vessel. Meanwhile, you can get a smaller winch when launching slopes that are mildly steeped or trailers loaded with rollers that come with less resistance.
- The environment of your vessel. Consider if you frequently utilize your watercraft in a saltwater or freshwater environment. Also, think about if the boat is manufactured with aluminum, zinc-plated, galvanized or powder-coated. Observe the number of hours of saltwater exposure the winch is estimated to withstand.
- Strap, rope or cable? A lot of electric winches utilize steel cable since they need to handle bulkier loads. There are some upgraded versions that utilize a level wind mechanism that is intended to ward off cable entanglement. Indeed, there are cabled winches that enable users to add a pulley block that would closely magnify the weight capacity, and reduce the speed of the vessel’s travel in half.
Additionally, there are manual winches that come in small sizes and are made for less bulky vessels and they utilize nylon straps or polypropylene ropes.
- Are you going to use single-speed or dual-speed winch? Look into the amount of cranking resistance you need to pull your vessel. For bulky loads, dual-speed winches are highly recommended. On the other hand, if you own lighter vessel, then you may need manual winch that comes with 5 is to 1; 4 is to 1 and 3 is to 1 gear ratio.
- Do you need a winch that comes with power out capability? You might require control when launching if you own a bulky and large-sized vessel particularly on a steep slope. You can refer to electric winches that feature power out option. This feature utilizes the motor in opposite mode in order to provide a more controlled launch.
It is worth noting that electric winches commonly come with a manual retrieve function, an uncomplicated hand crack in the event of mechanical or electrical problems.
Other Important Factors to Consider
What is a boat trailer winch and how does it work?
This refers to a tool that assists in lining up the vessel on the slope, and it also pulls the vessel across the slope onto the trailer. In the process, a single end of the line is tied up to the bow eye of the vessel while the other line is attached on the drum. After that, you weave the line in, either by using a manual or electric motor and from there the winch would be set up on the trailer tongue.
Winches for boat trailers are specifically manufactured for a single purpose and that is none other than pulling your vessel onto the trailer. Please take into consideration that such tools are not crafted to tie a vessel down when trailering. You need to keep in mind that once the watercraft is winched into place, it must be solidly tied up to the trailer with the help of trailer straps as well as safety chain.
What is more, when you’re getting ready to launch a vessel, be sure to lift the safety chain and utilize a winch cable in order to impede the vessel from coiling backwards off the trailer while you’re backing down the slope. Please be guided that this is crucially essential if your trailer is furnished with rollers as opposed to berths and on specifically high slopes.
The main concern with utilizing the safety chain when launching is if the vessel moves backward, then it could curl up the chain, making it painful to lift without winching the watercraft toward the front.
What are the different types of boat trailer winches?
It is essential to know that there are two types of winches designed for boat trailers and these are:
- Manual versions are referred to as muscle-powered. In short, these especially call for manual labor in order to weave and load in the vessel.
These are generally less costly unlike electric winches. They comprise of a line, ratchet, drum and a vertical spinner. Some modernized versions are designed with the option to switch pulling speeds. These are ideal choices for those who are fine with exerting physical effort.
More than that, a manual version comes with a gearbox that contains a total of three major speeds known as: 5 is to 1 ratio which is meant for pulling a bulkier vessel onto the trailer without the aid of water; the next one is 3 is to 1 ratio which is intended for pulling lighter vessels onto the trailer and the last one is 1 is to 1 ratio which is designed for wrapping up the line at the period the vessel has been launched into the water.
- Electric versions are the ones that particularly require12 V to operate or needs a connection to the battery of the vehicle for it to start executing its function.
They make use of different speed high gear ratios and the most regular ones come with fundamental features such as capable of powering in and freewheel out. When you say float or freewheel this pertains to gravity is utilized to hover the vessel into the water. Furthermore, it is the winch motor that pulls the vessel onto the trailer.
Some electric winches versions are typically operated by either wireless or wired remote. This aids in launching as well as retrieving the vessel a more plain sailing approach to handle.
Please be reminded that various trailer winch versions are hinged on the vessel’s size they require to pull out of the water such as seven meters for large ones; five meters for mid-sized and three meters for small ones. In the same way, the maximum weight of a vessel also guarantees if the winch is well-fitted to your vessel.
Also, take note that with each kind of winch, it is indispensable to ensure that it is well-fitted to the weight and length of your vessel.
Why do you need a boat winch? (Benefits)
Surely, launching and retrieving a vessel can be a dreadful job to deal with for a majority of boat owners. It is inevitable to feel exhausted and burdened when getting off the boat or getting onto the trailer immediately without any potential damage to the crew, vessel or vehicle. This is why many boat owners decide to upgrade their boat trailer winch so that they can lessen the struggle and stress linked with it.
As what was already mentioned, trailer winches come in two forms and these are the electric and manual models. Electric models are great options because they could considerably aid make the job done with much ease and convenience.
What is more, they handle all the tough work for you and they are typically operated by using wireless or wired remote controls; hence, launching or retrieving your watercraft is no longer a pain in the neck to go through. Some electric models even come with power-out option which implies that you won’t have much burdens even if you’ll require more control whenever you launch a large-sized vessel or on higher slopes.
Instead of merely free-spooling, an electric winch that is designed with power-out feature would utilize the motor in reverse mode to launch the vessel in the same manner it does when retrieving it. Evidently, this provides superior amount of control when backing the vessel off the trailer.
On the other hand, manual versions are also practical, very easy to use and are commonly priced reasonably. These are especially crafted to help users multiply their strength so that it would be possible to pull the vessel onto the trailer. They generally come in single-speed or dual-speed mode in order to offer extra mechanical advantage. In addition to this, they are designed with ratchet inside and this is meant to halt cranking, the vessel would not glide backwards.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the most trusted boat winch brands?
If you want to ensure picking the most appropriate vessel trailer winch for your current boating needs, the first thing that you must do is to conduct a little research about the most reliable brands that manufacture such products. Needless to say, reputable manufacturers only produce products that are capable of executing what they were designed for.
When it comes to functional, durable and dependable winch for a boat trailer, the following brands can be some of your safest and best options:
- Trailer Winch
While it is true that majority of these brands’ winch products are slightly pricey as compared to other competitors, you are guaranteed that you get what you pay for because they are designed to precisely serve their purpose in a manner that your requirements as well as expectations can be satisfied.
What size boat trailer winch do I need?
Lengthier and bulkier vessels seriously necessitate more powerful winches that come with lengthier cables. The rule of thumb is to choose a winch with a rating capacity of a minimum of ¾ the consolidated weight of the fuel, vessel and gear.
Take into account that such rule may differ hinging on many factors that have something to do with your vessel and the location where you are going to launch it.
How to install and use?
When installing and using winches for boat trailers, the following must be observed:
- Prepare the hardware and tools needed to install or replace a winch.
- Spray some lubricant on the nuts and bolts that secure the hand-cranked winch in place on the trailer and allow the lubricant to sit in place for roughly 1 hour.
- Then, detach the wire between the vessel and the hand-cracked winch through simply loosening the clip on the end of the wire and then lift the clip from the ring on the front bow of the vessel.
- Secure a wrench on the bolt’s head while utilizing a second wrench in order to lift the nut through spinning it in an orbiting mode. See to it to leave the bolt in place till the nuts are lifted and do this again for all the remaining 4 bolts.
- Once all 4 nuts are lifted, move up the bolts and hand-cranked winch from the trailer.
- Afterward, set the electric boat trailer winch in place. Embed the bolts through the base holes of the winch and tighten the nuts onto the bolts till they are secured and super tight.
- Secure a wrench on each of the bolt’s head in turn, while utilizing a second wrench to screw each nut through simply twisting it in a revolving manner.
- Then, it is high time to switch the power cable from the vehicle into the electric winch’s plug and switch it on. Make sure to allow the winch to operate so you could examine if it is working properly prior to snapping the wire to the bow’s ring of the vessel.
- You may turn off the power cable from the winch and then you may switch the winch off.
- Turn the web strap onto the winch drum and make sure that it is level, balanced and under tension.
What is the warranty?
For sure, every shopper wants to be protected whenever they shop for a certain product. This is the reason why it is highly suggested to pick products that were manufactured by credible brands precisely because the products they offer are generally backed up by warranties.
As you know, warranties are customers’ protection for every item bought whether from local stores or online shopping sites. It is best to check if the product is supported by a warranty offer so that you can have the peace of mind that in case you experience some issues in the future, you’ll have the manufacturer to resolve the issues at once.
Fundamentally, in order to learn more details about the warranty of the product, start reading the product description and check if the manufacturer comes with 24/7 customer service support.
Where to buy?
If you are currently on the hunt for a top quality winch for a boat trailer, then you can begin searching for them in the nearest fisheries supply stores in your area. Just make sure that the local store is well-stocked so you could have the chance to inspect a number of practical selections that could best match what you’re looking for.
On the other hand, if you want to check out countless of available options with regards to boat trailer winch products and second to none manufacturers, then you may refer to a few of the most reputable and highly trusted online shopping sites such as Westmarine, Walmart and Amazon.
Surely, with these well-stocked online shopping sites, you can find the one that would satisfy all your requirements and expectations.
How to care and maintain?
It is imperative that your vessel trailer winch is always kept in the best possible condition. This is because your vessel and the safety of those at the launching location are on the spot. Be very cautious not to overload your winch and only utilize it according to its design.
When taking care of and ensuring regular maintenance for your vessel trailer winch, the following must be done:
- Adequately lubricated the winch shaft, gears and bushes. Generally speaking, winch gears are not galvanized; thus they are more prone to corrosion. Make sure to always keep them lubricated using marine grease and always make it a habit to treat the bushes and shaft in the same way, oiling as required.
- Do not forget to inspect the winch strap. This always needs to be maintained. Make it a point that it stays dry after each use as this would aid shield the drum from corrosion that could result to damaging the strap. Hence, if it is drenched, consider unwinding it for some time and allow it to completely dry.
As mentioned in this post, loading and unloading your watercraft onto a trailer could commonly be a tedious task to deal with. For a fact, this is the reason why investing in the best boat trailer winch is quite decisive. Of course, the task must be done in a less painful and safer approach. And, most importantly, you’ve got to ensure that the winch you pick is capable of making loading and unloading experience as plain sailing as it could be.
Moreover, utilizing a superior quality vessel trailer winch would certainly be a very valuable audition to your boating requirements. Loading and unloading your vessel would be less laborious and risk-free procedure for you. Hence, opt for the one that is reliable and incredibly durable enough when shopping for one.
Carefully mull over if an electric or manual winch is more excellent for the task and select the one that is designed with the appropriate power for the weight of your vessel. Essentially, for you to guarantee that the winch could execute everything as smoothly as feasible, see to it to pick intelligently and adhere to the shopping guides and product reviews shared in this article.
As you have learned from this post, shopping for the most suitable option is not only a matter of the amount of money you can spend for it. There are other crucial considerations for you to think through.
I am Dave, Marine Talk’s content creator. Boating experiences matter when planning a boat trip for your family or going by yourself. Therefore, I am here to tackle all things relevant to boating so even the inexperienced ones can start their boating safely.