How to Select the Right Winch for Your New Boating Endeavours

If you're thinking about engaging in a new hobby and investing in a boat for some offshore fishing, you may be thinking about what gear you need in order to look after your new equipment. You won't be leaving your vessel in the water but will be removing it each time to the back of your trailer. Consequently, you need to buy an appropriate winch, but you might not know what you should be looking for. How do you choose the right piece of equipment for your needs?

Technical Considerations

Usually, you can choose an electrically operated winch that has a planetary gear. These are typically sufficient when your requirement is consistent and you won't be working with a variety of different loads.

Get a maximum line pull that is at least 50% greater than the total weight of the vessel itself. This will allow you to cope with a variety of different conditions, especially if you are towing up an incline or the vessel has a certain amount of water on board.

If you want to make your boat retrieval more efficient, you might like to increase the line speed of the winch. However, it's best if you exchange the gears rather than upping the line speed, as you won't lose as much of your pulling power this way.

Many experts recommend using some type of circuit interruption device like a fuse or breaker. This will help prevent an overload, which can sometimes happen when winching.

Secure Load

Once the vessel is on board, never make the mistake of trying to secure it with the winch itself. You should at the very least take the tension off, even if you're going to use it as an ultimate failsafe. It's far better to use straps and ratchets to secure the boat, as leaving the winch at full tension could result in damage to the gears due to constant undulation.


To make sure that your winch lasts for a long time, a little preventative maintenance goes a long way. Lubricate all the recommended grease points and check every time that there is no corrosion present. In particular, look for broken strands on the wire rope, and if you spot these, replace the cable right away. You never want to risk failure when the cable is under pressure, as it could whiplash and cause injury or major damage.

If you have any other questions related to winches and your new hobby, get in touch with your supplier for detailed answers.