Best Boat Trailer Winch Reviews

10 Best Boat Trailer Winches (Reviews Updated 2020)

Loading your boat onto your trailer and unloading it can often be a laborious process. That’s why having a reliable trailer winch is important to make this task a lot safer and easier. Having a good winch can make your loading and unloading experience as smooth as it can be.

You can choose between two kinds of winch. Manual winches require your manual labor to reel and load in the boat. On the other hand, an electric winch requires a connection to your car’s battery to function. Other considerations for picking a trailer winch include its strength, build, and length.

To assist you in choosing a trailer winch, we’ve prepared a list of the best winches available in the market. We’ll also inform you of the key features of trailer winches to make you a fully informed buyer. You’ll be an expert on trailer winches in no time.

Best Boat Trailer Winches

Here are the top 10 boat trailer winches of 2019.

1. Fulton F2 Two-Speed with Strap – 3200lbs Boat Trailer Winch

Best Overall

Fulton F2 Two Speed With Strap – 3200lbs Boat Trailer Winch

Review

This Fulton trailer winch is a manual winch that has a weight capacity of up to 3200 lbs. It can even alternate between two speeds. The handle and frame are made of aluminum making it lightweight and durable. The handle has a comfortable grip and you can adjust the handle from six to nine inches to suit your preference. You also have the option to switch its handle from right to left. The entire model has an enclosed sealing so you don’t have to do any maintenance, saving you a lot of hassle.

Notable Features You Need To Know About:

  • The handle can be adjusted
  • Carrying capacity of 3200 lbs
  • Maintenance not required
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2. Dutton Lainson Plated Pulling Boat Trailer Winch

Editor’s Choice

Dutton Lainson Plated Pulling Boat Trailer Winch

Review

This Dutton Lainson manual winch is USA-made with heavy-duty performance in mind and a weight capacity of up to 2500 lbs. You can alternate between two speeds — a normal gear ratio and a lower gear ratio. This winch is coated with zinc so it has extra corrosion protection. Its handle is easily detachable for more convenience.

Notable Features You Need To Know About:

  • The andle is easily detachable
  • Two alternate speeds
  • Zinc-coated for corrosion resistance
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3. Reese Towpower 74329 Comfort Grip Handle Boat Trailer Winch

Best Value

Reese Towpower 74329 Comfort Grip Handle Boat Trailer Winch

Review

This Reese manual trailer winch is a top budget option. It uses a gear ratio of 4:1, a strap that’s 20 feet long, and a weight capacity of 1500 lbs. The product has a finish that’s zinc-plated to offer great rust-resistance and durability. Its gears are even made of carbon steel, so you’re getting a very sturdy product at a great price.

Notable Features You Need To Know About:

  • Affordable budget option
  • Carrying capacity of 1500 lbs
  • Durable zinc-plating
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4. Bravex Electric Boat Trailer Winch

Bravex Electric Boat Trailer Winch

Review

Bravex’s trailer winch is an electric model that has a 2000 lbs pulling capacity and 6000 lbs rolling capacity, making this a very strong winch. This is partly thanks to its enhanced motor system. The operation mode uses a dual direction feature, allowing you to control the spooling and pulling operation for your boat unloading. The winch also uses a convenient auto braking system as an additional safety precaution. All that’s needed to power this is a 12V car battery connection.

Notable Features You Need To Know About:

  • Strong pulling and rolling mechanism
  • Dual-direction feature
  • Auto brake system
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5. Reese Powersports 600lbs Boat Trailer Winch

Reese Powersports 600lbs Boat Trailer Winch

Review

Reese’s trailer winch is one of the small, lightweight options you can get with a weight capacity of 600 lbs. It uses a gear ratio of 3:1. There’s an included hook and strap that’s 15 feet long. It’s a very affordable option but you get the essential features and it’s a perfect manual winch for smaller boats. The zinc-plating finish ensures that this winch is made to last.

Notable Features You Need To Know About:

  • 600 lbs weight capacity
  • Zinc-plating finish
  • Small and lightweight
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6. M-online 2500lbs Nylon Strap 2-Gear Boat Trailer Winch

M Online 2500lbs Nylon Strap 2 Gear Boat Trailer Winch

Review

This M-online trailer winch has a weight capacity of 2500 lbs and a 33 feet heavy-duty nylon strap that’s made for strength and durability. You can alternate between two gear speeds, a fast reeling gear ratio and a more powerful reeling gear ratio. The construction is also solid with a steel build and rust-resistant zinc-plating.

Notable Features You Need To Know About:

  • Zinc-plated steel build
  • Durable nylon strap
  • Two different gear speeds
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7. Camco 2000lbs 20’ Strap Boat Trailer Winch

Camco 2000lbs 20’ Strap Boat Trailer Winch

Review

Camco’s trailer winch is a very appealing budget option that’s a great choice for small and medium boats. It has a weight capacity of 2000 lbs. The included strap has a thickness of 2 inches and is 20 feet long. It’s made using polyester with UV-resistance. The zinc-plated build gives this winch extra durability. Everything you need to use it immediately is already included in the purchase, so the installation is very quick and convenient.

Notable Features You Need To Know About:

  • Affordable option
  • Strong strap
  • 2000 lbs capacity
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8. Voyager 3200lbs Tools Boat Trailer Winch

Voyager 3200lbs Tools Boat Trailer Winch

Review

Voyager built this winch to be very durable and powerful. Its body and gears are made from durable steel. The winch has a weight capacity of 3200 lbs and uses a polyester strap that is 2 inches thick and extends up to 33 feet.

Notable Features You Need To Know About:

  • Tough polyester strap
  • Weight capacity of 3200 lbs
  • Durable steel build
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9. Megaflint Reversible Electric Boat Trailer Winch

Megaflint Reversible Electric Boat Trailer Winch

Review

This is another electric winch on our list that’s also a good budget choice. The pulling capacity is rated at 2000 lbs while the rolling capacity is up to 6000 lbs. It was designed to operate with less noise, so it won’t be as noisy as other winches. The included steel cable is 30 feet long. For user-convenience, the winch comes with a remote control. It’s not exactly one of the fastest winches on the list, but it’s a strong and reliable choice. You’ll have to connect it to a 12V car battery.

Notable Features You Need To Know About:

  • Operation is less noisy
  • Budget-friendly electric winch
  • Included remote control
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10. Powerwinch 912 (40′ x 7/32″ cable) Boat Trailer Winch

Powerwinch 912 Boat Trailer Winch

Review

Powerwinch’s electric trailer winch is certainly powerful. It has a whopping weight capacity of 11500 lbs made especially for those large boats. Operating it is very user-friendly too. There’s an included 40 feet cable, and the winch can pull the line with a fast speed of 8 feet/minute. If you want to increase the pulling strength, you can install a block or pulley. It’s quite an expensive option compared to other winches on the list, but if you’re using it for a large boat, then it’s going to give you the power you need. There’s also a warranty for one year to give you more peace of mind.

Notable Features You Need To Know About:

  • Block or pulley adds more pulling power
  • Included 40 feet cable
  • Impressive 11500 lbs weight capacity
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Buying Guide — Choosing Your Own Boat Trailer Winch

Best Boat Trailer Winch ReviewsThose are the best trailer winches you can get on the market. To help you better decide what features are important, continue reading our buying guide.

Manual Winch

Manual winches require its user to manually operate the pulling system with its hand crank and drum and line. Just get the crank going to start reeling in your boat. Manual winches also have ratchet locks, which is activated by the boat’s weight, to stop your line from turning the other direction.

They come in single-speed and gearbox models for more efficient operation. With a multiple gear winch, you can multiply the strength of your pulling power, which allows you to handle heavier boats with ease. This is indicated by gear ratios, which can vary from 16.1:1 to 1:1. Those numbers provide the ratio of the number of cranks you need for a full drum turn. For instance, if you have a 3:1 gear ratio, then you will have to crank it thrice to get a drum turn. The more crank turns you need, the less strength you’ll have to exert.

Electric Winch

Electric winches are more convenient and have a larger weight capacity. Because of its parts, they’re generally more expensive too. The electric motor automatically pulls in the line. Winches that have a reverse option will allow you to control your boat’s descent.

You’ll have to connect it to your car battery since it needs electricity to work. The vehicle must be kept running since the winch can heavily drain the battery’s power. You have to be mindful of the vehicle as well. You have to make sure it’s firmly braked. Otherwise, minor accidents might happen like the trailer pulling your vehicle.

Control

If you get an electric winch, it likely comes with a battery-powered wired or wireless control for the cable. A wired control has a fixed length, so you’ll still have to be somewhat near the winch. With a wireless controller, you can use the winch at a distance for more flexibility and safety.

Winch Capacity

The rating of a winch is an indicator of how much weight it can pull. It can range from hundreds of pounds for pulling smaller objects and vessels, while some electric winches can reach up to 10,000 lbs for pulling immense loads. Your winch rating should have a much higher weight capacity than of your boat and whatever extra weight it’s carrying. Otherwise, it won’t function properly.

Cable or Strap

You have the option of using steel cables or nylon straps for winches. There are pros and cons of choosing either. Nylon straps are better for lighter loads while steel cables are more suited for heavier loads. You can handle nylon straps with your hands which you shouldn’t do with steel cables out of potential injuries.

Those straps and cables need to have proper resistance to marine hazards such as corrosion. Straps will soak in water, and if that happens you should dry them out properly. Steel cables also need regular lubrication to help manage friction and extend the cable’s lifespan.

Just remember that the winch’s main function is to pull in the boat, not keep it in place. That’s why it’s important to have a strap that will secure your boat properly.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the frequently asked questions about the best trailer winches.

How Does A Trailer Winch Work?

A winch is installed on the tongue of your trailer. The trailer bolt is usually universal, so you can different kinds of winches onto it. The winch then uses a pulling system to line the boat to the ramp then pull it onto the trailer. Winch line’s end attaches to the boat’s bow eye, while its other end is attached to the drum. A crank or electric motor will then reel your boat in.

Is A Trailer Winch Necessary?

If you attempt to pull in your boat onto your trailer, it will prove to be a very laborious process. You won’t be able to do it alone, you’ll need other people to help you. Without a winch, you’ll have to back up the trailer in the water. Not to mention that your boat has more chances of being damaged this way.  It will be a lot more convenient and safer for you then to use a winch instead.

Are Electric Winches Better Than Manual Winches?

If you want to do less work and be able to pull it in heavier loads, then you should consider an electric winch instead. They also have a more complex gear system, which provides more power even at slower speeds, something that manual winches can’t do. Electric winches can be operated with less user contact, so injuries are less likely.

Should I Get The Two-speed or Single-speed?

The answer depends on what boat type you own. If your boat is on the heavier side, then you should get the two-speed winch. Its first speed is faster and used for lining the boat onto the ramp. Its second speed is slower but has more power for pulling it on the ramp. If your boat is lighter, then single-speed winches with 5:1 and 3:1 gear ratios are better suited for you.

Now that you’re all read up on the best winches you can get and what features are important, we have some final tips for your purchase.

Trailer Winch Review Conclusion

Using a good quality trailer winch will be an important addition to your boating needs. Unloading and loading your boat will be a much easier and safer process for you. Durability and reliability are the most important aspects to consider. Consider if a manual or electric winch is better suited for the task and choose a winch that has the right power for your boat’s weight. To ensure that the winch can do everything as smoothly as possible, remember to choose wisely using our definitive guide.