Winching Techniques & Info – Boat Trailer Winches

Electric marine winches

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.


Electric Boat Trailer Winches – By Jesse Taylor
Article provided by Gorilla Winches


1 Comment

  1. I want to purchase an electric boat trailer winch. My boat and contents weighed at 1250kgs.I think a winch (6000-6500 lbs) with a marine draw of 2000kgs would do the job. My problem is that most speces don’t tell the amperage. Some auto electricians have said to run large battery cables from the car battery, others have said I would need a 350 amp Anderson plug while another said use the existing 50amp Anderson plug on the back of the car used to charge the battery in the caravan. Can anyone clarify the wiring needed for an electric winch similar to the top second from right.
    Thanks Mike

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