Electric Boat Trailer Winches
By Jesse Taylor
After a long day out on the lake, the last thing you want to do
is crank your boat onto the trailer by hand. Electric marine
winches allow you to load and unload without requiring any
manpower. With a corded remote, you can also use your free hand
to guide the boat onto the trailer as you winch. If you are by
yourself, an electric winch can make loading and unloading that
much easier. Regardless of your strength, size, or physical
condition, you can single-handedly load your boat onto the
trailer without breaking a sweat.
How do you know which size trailer winch to get? First find the
gross weight of your boat. Check your owner's manual or call the
manufacturer to find out. Then add in the weight of your motor,
fuel, and any equipment that will be in your boat while you're
loading it. The winch you buy needs to be able to pull at least
this much weight and more. The incline of your trailer as you
pull also increases the load. Just in case your electric winch
ever fails, make sure you purchase one with a hand crank option.
That way, if your motor or battery fails, you can still load
your boat by hand the old-fashioned way.
To load your boat, back the trailer into the water. Grab the
winch strap and power out the cable. Attach the winch hook to
the bow eye and power in the cable. Guide the boat as needed
onto the bunks or rollers. To fasten your boat on the trailer,
use a separate strap to secure the bow eye. Never rely on the
winch strap to secure the bow.
The more careful you are to maintain your boat trailer winch,
the longer it will last. Keep a close eye on the cable. If you
notice any frayed wires or other damage, replace the cable
immediately. A cable that breaks under load can turn into a whip
and damage anything or anyone in its path. A tethered or
wireless remote allows you to stand clear of the cable when it's
under heavy load. Remember to clear the area of bystanders
before you start winching.
Read your owner's manual and follow the safety precautions
listed by the manufacturer. An electric marine winch should
never be used as a hoist or lift. It is only designed to pull a
load on a horizontal plane or on a slight incline. Avoid wearing
loose clothing or jewelry that can get caught in the winch and
create a dangerous situation. Keep your hands and fingers away
from the shaft, and use the winch strap to unwind the cable for
added protection. Follow these safety tips and the others in
your manual to safely and easily load your boat.
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