Boat Winch Buying Guide

Electric vs. Manual Boat Winches

Manual boat winches utilize your strength, allowing you to load a boat onto your trailer. Once loaded, a manual boat winch uses a ratchet to ensure the boat stays in place, not sliding back into the water or moving on the trailer. An average person can load a boat up to a ton using a manual boat winch. That can be increased by using a boat winch with a lower gear ratio.

Electric boat winches use motors powered by the vehicle or a separate battery. Electric boat winches have a wide variety of pulling power ranging from 1,500 pounds to 10,000 pounds for the biggest. Electric boat winches also usually include a manual retrieve feature allowing for a hand crank in the case of failure. There are several primary reasons boaters may buy an electric boat winch. Most notably is the boat size, which is too big and can not be handled using a manual boat winch. The boater’s strength or desire to use personal force when winching the boat is critical when choosing between a manual boat winch and an electric boat winch. Lastly, speed and safety are essential considerations, with electric boat winches excelling in each category.

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