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How to Choose the Correct Size Trailer Winch For a Boat Trailer

Question:

I HAVE A 27 PONTOON TRACKER THE WINCH THAT CAN WITH IT BROKE, I FELT IT WAS CHEAP AND NOT FOR THE WEIGHT OF BOAT,I PULL IT WITH A 2004 CHEV Z71 TAHOE. PLEASE TELL ME WHAT SIZE WINCH I NEED. THANKS

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Expert Reply:

The size winch that you will need depends on a couple of different factors. I have included part of our hand winch FAQ below regarding boat winches and have linked the FAQ article for you to view.

Finding the Right Capacity Winch for your Boat Trailer

Boat-size-to-winch capacity is generally 2 to 1
With good rollers and short winching distances, increase the ratio to 3 to 1
With wooden bunks and long winching distances, reduce the ratio to 1 to 1

For example, a 2,200-lb boat generally requires a 1,100-lb winch. If the same boat were winched a short distance with a low incline and with rollers in good condition, it can be safely winched with a 900-lb winch. The boat requires a winch with a 2,200-lb capacity if you are winching a longer distance with more resistance; for example, if the trailer had carpeted, wooden bunks or was set on a steeper incline.

So based on the above information, the Fulton F2 Winch, # FW32000101, could potentially handle a boat that weighs 9,600 pounds at a 3 to 1 ratio. But is probably safer to say that it can handle a boat that weighs between 3,200 pounds and 6,400 pounds.

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Follow up Questions

Jim C.

I have an older 23 foot Sea Ray. The boat, without the v8 engine, is supposed to be about 4000 pounds. Fully loaded, I think including the trailer, it is supposedly about 6600 pounds. We can pull up a relatively steep hill and run the winch off an isolated battery. What winch do I need? I would prefer a strap, rather than a cable, if possible.

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

If you're looking to use the winch to pull the trailer (with the boat loaded) up a hill then you're going to want something a little hefty like the Dutton-Lainson StrongArm Electric Winch # DL25215 rated for 9,000 lbs. This uses a 20' long strap so you'll need to make sure that's long enough.

David

I have a 27' 5000 lbs. boat on bunk style trailer and need a replacement winch strap. What poundage should I be looking for and what do you offer? Thanks

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Chris R.

The Extra Heavy Duty Winch Strap # DL24251 will work well for that size boat. It measures 2 inches wide and 20 feet long.

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