The speed of a revolving winch handle determines how quickly and easily you can pull a boat onto your trailer. However, don’t underestimate the effort it will require to handle the loading of your PWC. Whether you own a dinghy or a yacht, this is a two-man job, so refrain from doing it alone.
The boat’s huge size and heavy weight can only be accommodated by a trailer; this is where the winch cables come in. They are designed to help with unloading and loading commodities in a smooth manner. In the case of a boat, the cables prevent your boat from getting damaged due to mishandling. This extends the life of your boat and reduces maintenance expenses.
Types of Boat Trailer Winches
· Electric Trailer Winch
An electric winch has a 12-volt battery with high gear ratios. Since there is no crank handle, you don’t need to use physical force to handle the boat. The boat is powered in and powered out by the motor. The winch pulls the boat onto the trailer with the push of a button. Gravity is used to float the boat, so it can slide off the trailer and onto the water, and this is called freewheeling.
· Manual Trailer Winch
A manual winch is operated by the crank that pulls the boat via a line stored on the drum. The ratchet lock prevents any slip and slide, the horizontal axle tightens the lines, and the gearbox allows winching at various ratios and speeds.
Now that you know the basics of a boat trailer winch, let’s look at how to use it:
Mounting Winch on the Trailer
· Find a Mounting Location
The winch should be mounted on the boat in such a way that the strap is in line with the trailer frame. The height of the winch should be the same as the boat’s bow eye.
· Mark and Drill the Bolt Holes
Mark the location on the boat for the bolts and then drill the holes. Make sure the diameter is slightly bigger than the bolts, so they can be secured easily and freely.
· Secure the Winch
Place the winch in position using the bolts and tighten them with nuts and washers.
Operating the Trailer Winch
The ratchet latch of a winch has three positions:
- In: Allows you to pull in the boat.
- Neutral: Allows the gear to turn freely, extending the strap so you can hook it to the bow eye.
- Out: Allows you to extend the strap and launch your boat on the water.
Back It Up
Do not rely on just the trailer winch to secure your boat. Back it up using a fixing point, like a chain. Some boat owners use a turnbuckle, which is attached to the trailer’s bottom and prevents a deadrise angle if you brake suddenly.
There are certain safety rules you need to follow when using a winch. Make sure the strap is not weak and doesn’t have any kinks. Do not use it to lift a load greater than mentioned in the manual.
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