When you have a boat, you may need to do load it and unload it from your trailer regularly – a process that might inquire quite a lot of labor. This is why, in order to make this task as easy and safe as possible, you will need to invest in the right tools. In most cases, having the best boat trailer winch can save you a lot of trouble.
However, with so many good products on the market, it might be quite difficult to narrow down on only one good winch that you can rely on. This is why we took it upon ourselves to deliver you some good trailer winch reviews so that you may make your choice much easier.
Best Boat Trailer Winch Comparison Chart
Reese Towpower Trailer Winch
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Fulton F2 Two-Speed Trailer Winch with Strap
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Megaflint Trailer Reversible Electric Winch
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Camco 50000 Winch
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Goldenrod Dutton-Lainson DL2500A Plated Pulling Winch
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Trailer Winch EDC Coated Black Dual Drive Winch
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Bravex Reversible Portable Electric Winch
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Best Boat Trailer Winches Reviews (New List 2021)
1. Reese Towpower Trailer Winch
Those of you that do not have the budget to blow on an expensive winch might deeply appreciate this Reese model. Featuring a manual design with a 4:1 gear ratio, this product has a 1500-pound capacity that should work well with pretty much any kind of small boat. The easy-grip design also makes it a comfortable winch to crank.
This winch was given a 20-foot long nylon strap, making it a fairly good choice for those that are looking for more ease of use. Because of this, it also requires less maintenance in comparison to other similar products – a feature that has been further enhanced by the impregnated shaft bushing.
The product may be manual, but at the same time, it is quite durable. Featuring a zinc-plated finish, this item is quite resistant to rust – even with continuous exposure to water. Plus, since the gears were also made from carbon steel, the product you are getting is quite durable.
- Corrosion-resistant thanks to the zinc plating
- Easy-grip design that makes it comfortable to crank
- The nylon strap is resistant and impressively long
- The clip is rather small to be considered practical
- The hook opening is rather small
2. Fulton F2 Two-Speed Trailer Winch with Strap
If you are looking for a winch that is very easy to use, then you might want to give some thought into investing in the Fulton two-speed winch. People that have used it usually leave it a very good review, mostly due to the fact that it does not require the use of any extra tools.
This product stands out mostly because of its ease of use and its quality construction. Its one-piece handle features quite a durable design – meaning that there is a high chance you should be able to use it for a long time. The customer support is also responsive, which means that if anything goes wrong with the purchase, you should easily be able to resolve it.
Having a capacity of 3200 pounds, this manual winch is a great choice even for those people that own slightly heavier boats. It is strong enough to keep the balance of the boat even when the currents are strong – and the quality of the construction will not allow the rust to form easily. It is overall a good investment, in accordance with the number of people that have previously used the product.
- Very easy to operate even for beginners
- Features quite a durable construction
- Quite a big capacity considering that it’s a manual winch
- While operating it might be easy, its installation might be troublesome
3. Megaflint Trailer Reversible Electric Winch
If you are looking for something that has a little more power and is easier to use, then this electric winch might be right for you. With its upgraded design and dual-mode operation, this winch provides immense power – all while remaining energy-efficient.
There are several reasons why this winch stands out – but in most cases, it’s because it has quite an impressive pulling capacity. With the ability to support as much as 6000 pounds, it can easily handle bigger boats, along with the loads that you may have on them. People also appreciate it for the fact that it has a two-brake system – featuring both manual and dynamic controls.
Because of this, the winch is highly suitable for heavier-duty users. Granted, it is a bit more expensive in comparison to your average winch – but at the same time, it gives quite a lot of power. Even newbies can use this winch with a fair amount of precision.
- Gives a lot of power in comparison to the average winch
- Has a big capacity for bigger boats
- Very quiet in comparison to other similar electric models
- You have to let it cool off after using it for 8-10 minutes
4. Camco 50000 Winch
If you are looking for something that is not too fancy or expensive – but yet highly qualitative – then you might want to give the Camco winch a try. With a 2000-pound capacity, it is the perfect choice for average-sized boats with their usual loads. Plus, since it uses manual power, you waste less energy on it.
For many people, this winch has a lot of outstanding features – but most of the time, people love it for its quality. The winch is lightweight in comparison to other similar products, but at the same time, its construction is reliable. Plus, its surface will keep the corrosion away, ensuring that the winch will last you for a long time.
Since it only weighs 8 pounds, this winch is perfect for those that are looking for a more portable solution. As long as your boat is not very large, this winch can be very helpful, regardless of where you are. It is a great option if you are looking for something simple, but durable.
- The zinc plating of the winch prevents corrosion
- Able to pull as much as 2000 pounds
- Heavy-duty construction that makes it reliable
- The gears tend to loosen after some time
- The surface is not quite smooth
5. Goldenrod Dutton-Lainson DL2500A Plated Pulling Winch
Those of you searching for a good quality winch at an accessible price might want to give this product a try. Featuring a two-speed setting, you may go for both low and normal gear – a feature that makes it an attractive choice for potential buyers.
Many people appreciate this winch due to the fact that it’s highly corrosion resistant. Featuring a very qualitative zinc finish, this product is ideal even if you have to deal with water for a prolonged time. Plus, its ergonomic molded grip ensures that you can have a stronghold of the winch, even if the environment is particularly humid.
Featuring a pulling capacity of 2500 pounds, this product is perfect if you have an average-sized boat – maybe even a slightly bigger boat, provided it is not heavily loaded. For the price that they ask for it, it is actually a good investment.
- Sold at quite a convenient price
- Strong enough to handle medium-sized boats
- Zing finish that efficiently protects it against rust
- The teeth might break off earlier than most would expect
- There aren’t any bolts included for attaching the strap of the winch
6. Trailer Winch 2000LB EDC Coated Black Dual Drive Winch
If you are looking for a practical yet affordable boat trailer winch, then you might want to give this product a try. Ideal for most troublesome rolling loads, this one should easily allow you to bring your boat onto your trailer, without having you waste a lot of time with the process.
This winch features a 25-foot long strap that can easily hook onto what you wish to load onto your boat. Plus, with its dual drive gears, the winch is very easy to use – regardless of your experience level. Even if you haven’t ever used a winch before, by simply reading the instructions for this model, you should be able to easily figure out the basics.
This winch features a 4:1 gear ratio that once more makes it a very convenient choice. It is very easy to crank – and considering that it also has a solid gear construction, it is pretty much a winch that pays for itself. Considering its price, it is indeed an attractive choice for a variety of people.
- Sold at an affordable price
- Very solid gear construction
- Generously lengthy strap
- Very smooth pulling action
- The inner strap bar tends to bend rather easily
- The handle might be too long
7. Bravex Reversible Portable Electric Winch
Many people like the advantage of having a winch that does all the work – which is exactly why this item is such a convenient choice. Featuring an electric design with an enhanced power motor, it’s about 30% more efficient in comparison to the average winch – leading to a smooth operation.
What makes this winch special is the fact that it has a dual operation model. This means that not only do you have the electric fast option under standard circumstances, but you also have the hand-cranking manual option in the case of an emergency.
This winch has a pulling capacity of 2000 pounds, meaning that it can easily withstand an average-sized boat. Plus, since it features a galvanized steel hook and cable, it also offers additional safety. Along with a two-year warranty, you get quite a lot of insurance that will protect your purchase.
- Quite an affordable purchase
- Very efficient electric and manual operation mode
- Low noise design in comparison to other similar winches
- The cable needs to be purchased separately
Factors to Consider When Buying a Boat Trailer Winch
When looking for a good trailer winch for your boat, there are several important things that you might want to keep in mind. These factors should determine the quality of the winch, and whether your purchase was worth the money or not.
How easy is the winch to control? Do you have to use any extra tools when operating with the winch? How much effort do you have to put in yourself when you are using that winch to pull the boat on the boat trailer dolly? The easier it is to control, the more convenient it should prove as a purchase. After using it, your hand should remain unbruised.
Winches need to hold quite a lot of weight – which is why you have to ensure that the material from which it was made can efficiently hold the boat still. It should be able to fight off both the water current and the boat’s load. Make sure that you go for corrosion-resistant materials, as those are most likely to last.
The size of the winch is also something of great importance. Based on how big it is, the control will also be dependent on the size. Make sure that you consider the weight and the length of the winch before you proceed to buy it.
Do you need the winch for the occasional boat pull, or are you planning to use it for heavy-duty purposes? In the latter case, you might want to go for a winch that can handle the workload much better. Bear in mind that there is also the chance that these types of winches might be quite expensive.
When it comes to winches, there is a lot that we yet have to understand – but the most important thing is that it needs to be something of high quality. The better-built it is, the easier it should be for you to control.
Understanding the Manual Winch
So, when it comes to purchasing a winch, what should be your top choice in regard to its style? For example, you may go for either a manual or an electric winch. Let us start with the manual winch.
As its name suggests, a manual winch will require the person using it to operate the pulling system manually, making use of the drum, hand crank, and line. First things first, you will need to get the crank going in order for you to begin reeling your boat. A manual winch will feature a ratchet lock that is triggered by the weight of the boat – locks that will prevent the line from going into a different direction.
Depending on its way of operation, the winch can either come in a gearbox multiple-speed model or a single-speed option. If you go for a multiple-gear winch, you may multiply the pulling power strength, which may allow you to easily deal with heavier boats.
This will usually be determined by the gear ratio, which may vary from 1:1 to 16:1:1. These numbers will practically offer you the ratio for the number of cranks that are necessary in order for you to perform a full drum turn. For instance, if your gear ratio is at a 3:1, then you will be required to crank the winch three times in order to get one drum turn.
On average, the more crank turns are required, the less strength you will have to exert. Since these winches take quite a lot of manual work from the user, they also tend to be the least expensive option.
The Choice of Electric Winches
Those that do not believe manual winches are their cup of tea might want to try electric winches instead. By nature, the electric winch is the more convenient option, with an overall larger capacity. This is also pretty much why these winches tend to be more expensive in comparison to manual winches.
Unlike the manual winch where you will have to do the cranking yourself, the electric motor will pull the line in automatically. Some of these winches will also have a reverse option that will let you control the descent of the boat as well.
This type of winch needs electricity to function, so you will need to connect it to the battery of your car. Bear in mind that since the winch can heavily drain that battery, you might want to keep your car running as you are using it.
Choosing the Capacity of Your Winch
The winch’s rating is pretty much an indicator of exactly how much weight it is able to pull. Some winches can range from hundreds of pounds, enough to pull small vessels and objects, whereas other winches (generally the electric kind) can handle as much as 100,000 pounds. The bigger and heavier your boat is, the more you should invest in a winch with a bigger capacity.
Bear in mind that when you are purchasing a winch, you should not buy one of the exact capacity as your boat – but instead, you should go for something of a slightly bigger capacity. After all, you may be carrying extra loads and equipment on that boat, so you may want to cover that as well. Make sure to also invest in a good boat trailer jack while you are at it.
Strap vs. Cable: What Is the Ultimate Choice?
The last thing that you should decide on is whether you want to use nylon straps/synthetic rope or steel cables for your winches. Both options have their own pros and cons and are suitable for a variety of special circumstances.
For example, nylon straps are a more suitable solution for lightweight loads, whereas steel cables are the better choice for the heavier kind. Nylon straps may also be easily handled with your hands on a manual winch – but the same does not apply for steel cables, as they may result in potential injury.
Nylon straps will also require more maintenance, as they tend to soak up water – which means that you will have to properly dry them out once you are finished using them. Steel cables, on the other hand, will also require constant lubrication to maintain correct friction and keep them from damaging prematurely.
Finding the best boat trailer winch is not always an easy task – but as long as you keep yourself informed, it should not be impossible either. The key here is to do your research into all the factors that are relevant to you so that you only buy a high-quality product that you may actually use. Bear in mind that the weight of your boat is just as important as the quality of the winch.
Hopefully, our reviews were useful in giving you a few ideas. Use them together with our buying guide, and purchase a good winch that you may use for all your boat trips. Each winch has been rated as high-quality by the previous users, so you may expect them to be quite a good investment for the price that they are sold at.