3 Best 12 Volt Electric Boat Trailer Winch Reviews

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When you have a boat, you want to make sure the experience of getting it both into the water and back up on the trailer is as seamless as possible, regardless of if you have a speed boat, pontoon boat, or bass boat.

You never want to start the day off with hassle and you sure don’t want to end a great day by struggling to get the boat back up on the trailer.  One of the key pieces to this little puzzle is in making sure that you have the right boat trailer winch to make this as effortless as possible. A hand-crank winch may do the job for your lighter crafts but an electric trailer winch will make it a lot easier for you to load personal watercraft, boats and other vehicles onto a trailer for transport.

There are many models of electric marine winch available, each having their own tolerances, weakness and strengths. To try to help you find the perfect winch for your needs, we have reviewed three electric boat winch models that we feel are the best on the market right now.

Our favorite is the Dutton-Lainson TW9000 because it has the perfect combination of price and features, making it an awesome choice for pretty much any requirement.

The other two winches also excel in so many areas, so finding your perfect one will depend on your specific needs.

Read on and we will tell you why these three winches stand out from the sea of competitors.

Electric Boat Winch Comparison Guide

1. Dutton-Lainson TW9000 12 Volt Trailer Winch4.2 Amazon rating

Dutton Lainson TW9000Dutton-Lainson TW9000 is a powerful electric winch capable of pulling your boat easily. It is equipped with a 20’ polyester strap that has a hook so that you can connect it to the boat. You can also extend the strap using the free spooling and power out feature.

There is an emergency crank and a wiring harness as well that connects to the electrical system.

The controls are located at the top of the unit and are very easy to use. However, if you think that having remote control is a must have feature, you should consider another option because this one is does not have one.

More DetailsOverall, this electric winch is equipped with good features and is available at a reasonable price too. If you are not too bothered about a remote control, you will love this trailer winch.

Installing the Dutton-Lainson TW9000 Electric Winch on a Trailer – Step-By-Step

2. Powerwinch 912 Trailer Winch3.4 Amazon rating

Powerwinch 912The Powerwinch 912 is number two on our list of the best electric trailer winches. While Dutton-Lainson has been in the industry for a long time, Powerwinch is a relatively new company. However, that is not to say it’s a novice; it still has 50 years of experience in the field.

The Powerwinch 912 has a lifting power of 4000 lbs. and has the capability of hauling a boat weighing up to 11,500 lbs.

It is equipped with a 40-ft. steel cable that gives you ample length to extend the line. There is a pulley block as well that allows you to connect it to the boat so you can double the load capacity.

More DetailsCustomers really love the load capacity and power of this trailer winch and have stated that it’s very smooth. Though it isn’t equipped with remote control either, it has very good pulling power and high-quality construction and is available at an affordable price.

3. Five Oceans Electric Marine Trailer Recovery Winch3.5 Amazon rating

Five Oceans Electric Marine Trailer Recovery WinchThe Five Oceans Electric Marine Trailer Recovery Winch is our third choice. It is more affordable than the two winches mentioned above, but it has fewer features.

In spite of having fewer features, it has all the features needed for an electric winch to function properly. The Five Oceans electric winch has a capacity to pull 2000 lbs. and can allow you to haul a boat weighing 5000 lbs.

It is equipped with a free spooling feature and has a corded remote switch for easy operation.

More DetailsThis electric winch has a good reputation and has many satisfied customers. One feature that is admired by most people is that it delivers excellent value for money.

Things To Consider When Choosing An Electric Boat Winch

While there may be some debate about what winch to get for your boat, most will agree that a boat trailer electric winch is the way to go. They are all around safer and easier to use.  The last thing you want to do after an exhausting day on the water is to have to manually bring the boat in.  Having an electric winch lets you avoid this and also enables you to make this a one man job.

Consider the below points when choosing a winch for your needs.

What Size Winch do I Need?

Make sure you take into consideration the length and weight of your boat as you determine the power your winch will need.  Be sure to take in to account not the just the empty weight of your boat but also the weight of a fully laden boat.  A good basic rule of thumb is to go for 1000 lbs more than the weight of your boat.

Wired Remote or Wireless?

You will get either a wired or wireless remote with your electric trailer winch.  The benefit of a wireless remote is that it lets you load the boat from further away which can be safer, more convenient, and there are no cords to get in your way.

Winch Strap or Cable?

Both are very good, but there are a few things to take into consideration.  Steel cable winds back easier as it keeps its shape but a nylon strap floats on water which is very handy at times.  Steel cable burrs can slice your hands whereas there is not an issue with straps. Steel cable does not rot and is better in harsh conditions and you tend to get longer lengths as it takes up less room on the winch drum, so if you have a longer boat and trailer, you need to factor this in.

How to Use Your Boat Trailer Winch

Unloading into the water and loading your boat back onto the trailer with an electric trailer winch is most importantly safe, easy and a simple one man job if you follow the below steps.

Loading Your Boat with an Electric Winch

  1. Make sure the trailer winch is connected to the power source, including the corded remote control if you are using one.
  2. When you are ready to load the boat back onto your trailer, you will need to back the trailer into the water lining up the trailer with the boat.
  3. To freespool cable out of the winch, you now need to release the clutch on the electric winch.
  4. Spool out enough cable to reach the boat and attach the winch hook to the bow eye of the boat.
  5. Apply the clutch to set the brake.
  6. You will bring the boat up onto the rollers by powering in the cable.
  7. Once the boat is on, you will then need to use separate tie downs to secure the vessel and make sure that it does not slip off.

Do not make the mistake of thinking that the winch will hold it in place.  You do this and you may come home with an empty trailer.

The Video Below Demonstrates Loading A Boat With An Electric Winch

Unloading Your Boat with an Electric Winch

  1. Make sure the trailer winch is connected to the power source, including the corded remote control if you are using one.
  2. Attach the winch hook to the bow eye on your boat.
  3. Remove any boat tie downs which you have used to secure the boat to the trailer.
  4. Release the clutch on the electric winch.
  5. If you find the boat is sliding too fast off the trailer into the water, you can tighten the clutch to slow it down.
  6. Once in the water, remove the winch hook from the bow eye.
  7. Apply the clutch to set the brake
  8. Power in the cable and secure the winch hook.
  9. Disconnect the trailer winch from the power source ready for later.

Do Electric Winches Require Repairs and Maintenance?

Once you get the boat home, you are going to want to inspect the winch to make sure that it has remained in good working condition. Get into the habit of doing this fairly early on as you never know when that one haul will cause some deterioration on the cable.  You will also want to check all of the moving parts to ensure that everything is working correctly and that they are ready for the next trip.

trailer winch maintenance

The cable of the winch will probably be your main concern.  The reason for this is that if that breaks, it is the most dangerous.  If the cable snaps, it will whip around and rip up anything its path.  More than likely, that is the person that is operating the winch.  This is why it is so critical to inspect it after every use and make sure that there is no give or weakness being shown in the cable.  Don’t ever think that you can get one more use out of it.  If you suspect that the cable is weakening, get a new one and replace it.

Making sure that you know both the safety precautions and the operation manual of your boat trailer winch is very important.  This will allow you to not only operate the winch, but also to do so in a safe manner.

Why Buy an Electric Boat Trailer Winch?

Gone are the days of having to use a hand crank to land your boat.

With the affordable prices and quality equipment that is available, there is no need to suffer through the back breaking task of hauling your boat onto the trailer.

The manufacturers in this review are just some of the many companies that offer an affordable boat trailer electric winch that can handle just about any vessel that hits the water.  Do a little comparison shopping with our guide and you will have no problem finding the perfect winch for you and your boat.

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