Make Pull Outs Problem Free with a Quality Trailer Winch

Getting all but the lightest of boats out of the water and onto a trailer requires a winch. How much you rely upon your winch will vary according to your boat's shape, weight, trailer’s configuration and the steepness of the ramp. When pulling a boat from the water, experienced boaters float their boats as far up onto the trailer as possible while using the winches cable or strap as a guide to keep the boat centered. Ideally the winch is only needed to snug the boat the last few inches up against the bow stop, but that is not always the case.

Trailer winches can be manual or electric. Manual winches multiply your strength, so you can easily pull your boat onto your trailer. Manual winches can be one-speed or have two speeds for additional mechanical advantage. Manual trailer winches also have a ratchet inside so that if you stop cranking, the boat won't slip backwards. Electric winches get the job done with push-button convenience.

Match the Winch to the Boat

When choosing a trailer winch, check its capacity rating. As a rule of thumb, the winch’s capacity should be at least 3/4 of the combined weight of your boat, motor and gear—otherwise referred to as the gross weight. However, for pulling a boat on a steep ramp or for trailers equipped with bunks instead of rollers, select a winch with rated capacity closer to the gross weight.

Winch Cables, Ropes and Straps

Most of the winches we sell include a cable, rope or strap. High-capacity trailer winches usually include cables to deal with the extra load, but smaller boat winches often use a nylon rope or strap which won't scrape the bow of your boat. Winch cables, ropes and straps can be purchased separately. Each normally includes a hook.

Electric Trailer Winches

Powered winches are more expensive, but they can handle heavier loads and release you from the duty of cranking the boat onto the trailer. Many are equipped with remote controls and power-out capabilities which gives you control over the rate at which the boat slides down the trailer into the water.

Boating’s Best Selection, with Great Service to Match!

For more help with choosing a trailer winch, read Selecting a Trailer Winch or visit a West Marine store near you—where knowledgeable associates are ready to help with all your boating needs.

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