If you are like many boaters, you’ve grown tired of using hand-cranked winches to pull your boat up onto your trailer. You may even have to load a boat yourself, which can be very challenging even for the most experienced boat-owner.
Thank goodness, electric boat winches are now fairly commonplace. Similar to electric winches for anchors, there are a number of economical electric boat trailer winches that will fit many different sizes of recreational and fishing boats, helping you make the end of your fishing day a breeze when it comes time to haul your prized boat up on to its trailer.
For fishermen who haven’t considered an electric boat trailer winch, remember that your hands are tired from doing the valuable work of reeling in those big catches all day long, meaning you don’t want them blistered or achy for the next day’s fishing after trying to use a hand-cranked winch to get your boat up on to the trailer.
In this article, we will explore a number of the best electric boat trailer winches on the market, and help you decide which one is right for your particular boat.
Top 5 Model Comparison Table
Max Boat Weight
Best Electric Boat Trailer Winches Reviewed
The Bravex Electric Winch features a reversible, portable 12-volt DC electric powered winch.
This model also features a corded remote control, meaning you can operate it away from the unit, giving you a more full view of your boat as it goes on the trailer.
Designed to handle boats up to 18' and 6000 lbs rolling weight, this wench features an enhanced power motor as well as dual-direction electric winching for both pulling and spooling.
Designed for low-noise operation, this is perfect for crowded campsites or night fishing.
The electric automatic braking system means you have an easy stopping mechanism.Too, this winch is able to be used on cars and other types of equipment--not just a boat.
- Quiet operating
- Electronic braking system
- Works on cars and other equipment
- Works on boats up to 6,000 lbs rolling weight
- Max boat size is 18’
- Unspecified warranty
This winch works on 12-volt DC power with both power in and power out ports, and features dual-mode and free-wheel operation.
This boat trailer winch also features both a dynamic braking system and a mechanical friction brake, giving you multiple options of stopping protection to protect your boat when hauling it up on the trailer.
This winch also features a low-noise design, and actually runs without any ratcheting noise.
Operating in both in and out (for pulling or spooling), the Megaflint Trailer Winch actually offers 30 percent higher winching power than a standard 6,000lb trailer winch, although it will only lift a 5,000 lb boat.
If features a warranty on parts, but not labor for replacement or repair.
- Power in/out ports
- No wrenching noise
- Dynamic and mechanical friction breaks
- Boats to 5,000 lbs only
From Master Lock, a name you know and trust, comes their portable, 12-volt DC electric winch.
This model is built with a built-in carrying cable for easy use. The durable design is capable of pulling boats up to 5,000 lbs.
A steel mounting plate is included, along with 30 feet of cable (20 feet working cable).
This product also features Master Lock's typical parts warranty.
This winch also features a hand-crank in the event power is unavailable. It must be hooked to a 12 volt battery, but works either stand-alone or in your vehicle.
- Mounting bracket
- Hand crank if no power
- 30’ cable (20’ working cable)
- 5,000 lbs max boat weight
Dutton-Lainson Company SA12015AC 120 Volt Electric Winch
The Dutton-Lainson electric boat trailer winch features an attached remote control with a ten-foot cord, allowing you to keep an eye on your boat from several directions as it comes up on the trailer.
Three minutes of run time, however, requires 15 minutes of cool-down time.
This winch includes both 50 feet of cable and a hook--both of which are installed and ready to use.
However, at only 4,000 lbs of capacity, this is one of the lower-capacity electric boat winches on this list, so make sure it can handle your boat.
- 50-foot total cable capacity
- Attached remote
- Short run time requires 15 mins. cool downtime
- Won’t do both pulling and spooling
- Very costly
The Fulton 500621 XLT winch features several things that are important for boat owners.
First, it features a wireless remote, meaning you aren't limited to standing by your winch or only as far as the cable will attach.
Pulling in boats weighing up to 10,000 pounds, this is one of the strongest wenches on the market.
This electric boat winch features a three-position guide, making the strap come out straight--every time. That is important for a winch using a strap versus a typical cable or chain.
Too, this easy-to-install winch features simple drop-in bolts, a lock ring, and easily-adjustable bolts.
This is an all-weather winch meaning it will work if you are fishing in a coastal storm or ice fishing in the snow.
Too, this product features a five-year limited warranty--the longest warranty of any electric boat trailer winch on this list.
This winch is reasonably priced given all of its features and abilities, and will make your pulling of the boat up onto the trailer a breeze at the end of your fishing day—and won’t leave you tired out so you can carry home all those fish you caught!
- 10,000 lb boat capacity
- 5-year limited warranty
- Uses a strap, not cable
Boat Trailer Electric Winch Buying Considerations
Now that you have your trailer ready to wheel into place, there are a number of things you should consider first before buying an electric boat trailer winch.
First, you should consider whether or not you need a remote control—either tethered or wireless. If you have a large boat and it is difficult to see down the trailer as you are winching up, you should probably consider an electric boat trailer winch with some kind of remote.
Second, consider whether you want a portable winch, or one you can mount on your boat trailer.
Size of Boat
You should also consider the size of your boat—although that is the most important consideration! Only one winch on this list works for boats larger than 6,000 lbs, meaning if you have a large watercraft, your options are limited. And don’t consider the fact that many of these winches advertise that they will pull larger poundage—that is not “marine weight.” Marine weight relates specifically to boats coming out of the water (remember, your boat is heavier in the water and as it comes out and isn’t at a stable weight as it comes out of the water as a car is when being winched on a tow truck.
Potential Weather Conditions
Consider what kind of weather you boat in. If you are taking your boat out in rain, sleet, or other tough conditions, make sure the winch you are seeking is an electric boat trailer winch that will work well in all weather conditions.
If an electric boat winch advertises that it requires x-number of minutes of cool down for every y-number of minutes it is in operation, determine if the proportional nature of that number is right for you, or you may spend 45 minutes winching up a 5,000 lb boat! Remember that the design features of some electric boat trailer winches cause them to operate hotter than other winches.
Most electric boat winches should offer at least a parts warranty. Most electric motor products like winches specify they are parts warranties and not labor warranties because of how expensive labor is on motor parts.
Consider, too, how long the warranty is. A two-year warranty is better than no warranty at all or an unspecified warranty you won’t find out about until you read the fine print that comes tightly wrapped in the box your electric boat trailer winch comes in.
An electric boat trailer winch can be a very costly investment. Make sure that you make the right choice by knowing your boat’s weight, and the conditions you use your boat in.
Finally, make a wise choice by considering what features will work best with your boat, i.e., make sure if your boat is a long one, you can get a winch with a remote so you can see your boat.
Making the right selection for an electric boat trailer winch will help you end your day of fishing with ease instead of blisters from operating a hand crank after a long day on the water.