Best Boat Trailer Winches of 2019 – Complete Buyer’s Guides

Getting on and off the boat can be hard if you have the boat drifting away from you all the while. Swimming to the boat is both impractical and time consuming.

So, you need something to stay hooked to the shore while you climb into or out of it. 

A boat trailer winch is going to help you with that, so it's imperative to get one, especially if you work on the dock and need to get on and off a boat frequently. Here is all that you need to know to get the right one for you.

Comparison of the Best Boat Trailer Winches

Product

Rating

Price

Reese Towpower 74329

Reese Towpower 74329 Trailer Winch

Best Overall

Fulton FW32000101 F2

Fulton FW32000101 F2 Two-Speed Trailer Winch with Strap - 3200 lb. Load Capacity - Silver And Black - one size

Runner-up

Goldenrod Dutton-Lainson DL2500A

GOLDENROD Dutton-Lainson DL2500A 2500 lb Plated Pulling Winch

Best for the Money

Megaflint Trailer Winch

Megaflint Trailer Winch,Reversible Electric Winch, for Boats up to 6000 lbs.12V DC,Power-in, Power-Out, and Freewheel Operations,30% Higher winching Power Than Regular 6000 lbs Winch (5000lbs Marine)

What Size of Winch Do I Need For My Boat Trailer?

The size of the winch depends on the size of the boat itself. The farther the trailer you have from the boat, the longer the winch has to be. The size also depends on the amount of weight that you have to drag with it. 

So, there is no set rule for determining the size of the winch that you need for your boat trailer. Still, a rough estimate can be the length of 25 to 40 feet which works in most situations. 

You can buy a longer one too if you want to play on the safe side. After all, you can never be sure of if you won't need a longer winch later on. 

How to Choose a Winch for a Boat Trailer

Choosing a winch for a boat trailer directly affects how easy or difficult working it will be for you. Thus, you have to be very careful while doing so. Here are some of the features that you should look for while choosing a boat trailer winch.

Winch Material

The material must be strong enough to hold a full boat still. It needs to fight off both water currents and the load on the boat. So, the tensile strength has to be great. There are many corrosion-resistant coated winches too, which have a zinc coating or an aluminum frame.

Winch Capacity

The weight pulling capacity is one of the primary things that you have to consider. It is the only thing that is going to provide you and the boat any form of stability. The winch should have a weight capacity higher than the weight capacity of the boat when loaded at its maximum. 

Ease of Control

The ease of control and usage is also an important factor that you have to consider. It will help you fix the winch in lesser time, and you will not have to use any extra tools. Ease of usage also covers the smoothness of the surface, which helps keep your hands unbruised. 

Size of Winch

The size of winch is also quite important as it determines the ease of control of the winch. So, consider the length and its weight before buying it.

Quick Take  - Best Boat Trailer Winches

Before you get any further, here are our recommendations for the best boat trailer winches:

  1. Reese Towpower 74329
  2. Fulton FW32000101 F2
  3. Goldenrod Dutton-Lainson DL2500A

Review of the Best Boat Trailer Winches

Boat trailer winches are one of the most useful tools for those who cruise a lot. They come in a lot of sizes and materials, which makes the choice harder. So, here is a complete review of some of the top boat trailer winches to help you make a better decision. 

Reese Towpower 74329 Trailer Winch

PROS

  • Corrosion-resistant due to the zinc plating
  • Easy to use with a comfortable grip handle
  • Comfortable cranking with an easy-grip cover
  • Hooked strap has an impressive length of 20 feet
  • Lesser maintenance needed due to impregnated shaft bushings

CONS

  • Clip is small for practicality 
  • Hook opening is quite small
  • Does not have any mounting bolts in it

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers find the Reese Towpower to be an amazing trailer boat winch. They like how it has helped them load and unload the boats despite the inconsistent water currents. They also like it for the corrosion-resistance that the zinc plating provides. They have had a very positive experience on the whole. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

It stands out to us because of its 20 foot long winch, which is ideal for covering any distances. We also like it for the drum bushings and the impregnated bushings in the shaft. These bushings make its working even smoother, leaving behind lesser work for users. 

Who Will Use This Most

This boat trailer winch is for those who have moderate to slightly heavy boats. As its weight capacity is 1500 pounds, it is going to be a great help for regular boats. You can use it to load your empty boats too as they do not weigh too much. In addition, people who need to secure their boat to the dock can use it as well.

Bottom Line

The bottom line on this Reese Towpower is that it is one of the best trailer boat winches on the market. It has an easy-to-use frame that comes well protected against any rusting or water damage. The bushings in place are another cool feature, making it even better. 

Fulton FW32000101 F2 Two-Speed Trailer Winch with Strap - 3200 lb. Load Capacity - Silver And Black - one size

PROS

  • Aluminum frame makes its life longer
  • Smooth operation of the dual gear drum
  • One-piece handle has a durable construction
  • Variable heights of the handle between 6 and 9 inches
  • 3200 pound weight pulling capacity with greater tensile strength

CONS

  • Installation of the winch is quite tricky
  • Winch gives way while pulling trailer boats 

What Recent Buyers Report 

People who bought it lately have given very good feedback. They like how easy it is to use without any extra tools or time. The customers also like the construction of the winch, which makes it ideal for heavy-duty usage. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

It makes it to our list because of its durability and ease of usage. We love the multiple positioning of the handle, which makes using it easier. The positions of handles are between 6 and 9 inches high so you can adjust them according to your ease.

Who Will Use This Most

Since it has a weight pulling capacity of 3200 pounds, it is great for even slightly bigger boats. The winch is strong enough to maintain balance in fast currents too. In addition, its aluminum construction makes it useful for frequent users as it does not rust easily.

Bottom Line

To sum up, this winch is a go-to trailer boat winch if you are looking for durability and low maintenance. It does not give way even under heavy loads, so it can be a great help for your next boating spree. 

GOLDENROD Dutton-Lainson DL2500A 2500 lb Plated Pulling Winch

PROS

  • Two variable speeds of 17.3:1 and 5.4:1 ratio
  • Amazing weight pulling capacity of 2500 pounds
  • Ergonomic molded grip makes the handle non-slip
  • 9-1/2" handle is comfortable for use in all conditions
  • Zinc finish strengthens it further and fights away corrosion

CONS

  • Teeth break off earlier than expected
  • No bolt included for attaching the winch strap

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent customers have liked this trailer boat winch a lot. They like everything about it as it is fully functional at a minimal cost. The winch has two-speed settings for normal and low gear which makes it more likable for buyers.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The Goldenrod trailer winch stands out to us because of its high corrosion resistance. The winch has a zinc finish which makes it ideal for use in water for long time duration. The ergonomic molded grip is another plus on this one as it helps the users maintain a stronger grip.

Who Will Use This Most

The weight pulling capacity of 2500 pounds makes it great for an average-sized boat. It is also useful for a slightly larger boat, but it will not be of help for bigger boats. So, people who have average-sized boats with a lesser load will find it most useful.

Bottom Line

To wrap up, the Goldenrod trailer winch is the best winch for the money out there. You can hardly get so many features in a single unit at this price. So, go for it and enjoy loading and unloading your boat with less hassle. 

Megaflint Trailer Winch,Reversible Electric Winch, for Boats up to 6000 lbs.12V DC,Power-in, Power-Out, and Freewheel Operations,30% Higher winching Power Than Regular 6000 lbs Winch (5000lbs Marine)

PROS

  • Has a power cord of 16 feet length
  • Winching power of more than 6000 pounds
  • Gives 30% higher winching power than usual
  • Has two brakes: a dynamic and a manual frictional brake
  • Dual-mode operation makes it more efficient for winching

CONS

  • Remote control cord is less than 10 feet long
  • Needs cooling off after 6 to 8 minutes of usage

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers found this electric winch by Megaflint highly useful. They love it for its immense power and high energy efficiency. Despite being a major power provider, it does not undergo any energy losses, so the customers like it.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The Megaflint trailer boat winch has caught our eye with its amazing weight pulling capacity. There are not many similar units that can support 6000 pounds and it impresses us. We also like it for the two brake system which has both dynamic and manual controls.

Who Will Use This Most

This ultra-powerful winch is for heavy-duty users. As it is more expensive than manual winches, it gives more power. It is easier to use too, so newbies can use it with precision as well. 

Bottom Line

Our opinion on this is that it is an amazing winch if you want an electrical trailer boat winch. The only slight problem is that you have to let it cool off after intervals. But, on the whole, it is a worthy choice for all the money that you spend on it. 

Camco 50000 Winch - 2,000 lb with 20' Strap

PROS

  • Zinc plating prevents corrosion
  • Weighs only 8 pounds and is easy to store
  • Incredible weight pulling capacity of 2000 pounds
  • Heavy-duty construction makes it efficient and reliable
  • Manual winch for loading the boat according to your liking

CONS

  • Surface is not very smooth
  • Gears get loose after some time

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers have liked this Camco trailer winch so much that they recommend it wholeheartedly. The like it for its 2000 pound weight pulling capacity which is cool for average-sized boats. They also like it for the manual power that it provides on less energy usage.

Why it Stands Out to Us

We have chosen this winch by Camco for our list because it has impressive features. Its surface keeps corrosion away, and it stays around for a long while. Its construction is also highly reliable as it weighs less than other winches. 

Who Will Use This Most

The weight of only 8 pounds makes the trailer boat winch very easy to carry around. This, combined with the weight capacity of 2000 pounds, makes it ideal for all users. So, anyone can use it as long as they do not have a very large boat.

Bottom Line

In our opinion, it is a great winch to go for if you need something simple and durable. It has an easy operation mechanism and a long life due to its lightweight frame. 

Types of Winches Perfect for Boat Trailers

There are multiple types of winches that people use for boat trailers. To get the best one for you, you need to go through these types and see which one suits you. 

Manual Boat Trailer Winches

Manual hand-cranked boat trailer winches are the most widely used type. They have multiple parts in place to let you change the speed of rotating the rope. They usually have a drum for storing the line and a crank. The ratcheted lock is in place to avoid slipping while the capstan is fully functional too. 

In addition, manual winches come with a vertical axle rotating machine which helps in maintaining tension. They come with a gearbox too, which is the most important feature of manual winches. It enables the user to use it at different speeds. The speed alterations are in the form of ratios like 1:1 and 5:1, which alter based on the load. 

Electrical Boat Trailer Winches

An electrical winch is way more powerful and efficient than a manual one. It has a greater pulling capacity of 7,000kg or more in contrast to 250kg to 1,200kg capacity of manual winches. They speed up your work and take the worries away so that you can put your focus on other things. Still, they cost more than the manual winches, but they work with all kinds of boat trailers.

Conclusion

To conclude, boat trailer winches are a great help to those who have to load or unload boats frequently. They help you in balancing trailer boats while you work on shifting the stuff to and from the dock. So, make sure that you get one which helps you do your work in a better way.

People Also Ask

Trailer boat winches bring considerable ease to your work. Whether it is about keeping the trailer boat near the dock or about balancing it, winches are great. Despite all the ease that they create, there are many questions that people ask about them. Here are the answers to most frequently asked about trailer boat winches. 

How Do You Release a Winch on a Boat Trailer?

In order to release a winch on a boat trailer, you have to secure the handle on the shaft. For this, you need to put the crank in its place on the shaft and then attach the handle. Now, rotate the handle in the clockwise direction to release it. 

How Do You Power a Winch on a Trailer?

The best of powering a winch on a trailer is to use a marine battery. Such batteries are waterproof and do not undergo any damage when you use them underwater. You can mount the battery on the trunk of your car or on the trailer itself. So, it takes just a battery and a right mounting place to power a winch. 

How to Adjust Boat Trailer Winch Post?

To adjust the boat trailer winch post, you have to follow these steps:

  1. Determine the width measurement starting from the center 
  2. Use a string line to set the keel roller height
  3. Now, back the wobble rollers and pull the boat back
  4. Jack all the wobble rollers off and back off the keel rollers
  5. Now, adjust the keel rollers so that they can bear the load of the boat