Boat Trailer Winches

Boat Trailer Winches How-Tos

How To Choose A Trailer Winch For My Boat

Learn the appropriate way to find the best trailer winch

Hand Crank Winch

Pro's Con's
Less expensive, which is great for a boating budget. Requires physical strength.
No electrical wiring needed for installation. The bigger the boat, the heavier it is. More strain.
No worry about any system failure, battery or electrical. No remote control option.
Helps tone your muscle.

TRAC Trailer Winch Full Install Video (Video)

See the installation instructions on how to install a TRAC Trailer Winch.

Video Transcription

TRAC trailer winches are designed to easily launch and retrieve your boat in minutes, simply with the touch of a button. All the TRAC trailer winch models will install and operate similarly. Before installation, please consult your owner's manual for safety issues and warnings. Be thoroughly familiar with the controls and safe operation before using the trailer winch.

Install the TRAC electric winch in the same location as the existing hand winch on the trailer. Remove the hand winch from the winch stand. If your winch stand does not have three holes you may have to drill two holes for the bolts, which are located at the rear or label end of the winch.

Locate the three mounting bolts that came in the box, remove the nuts and washers but leave the retaining reams on the bolt. The bolts will be located at the rear end of the winch below the label. Insert the head of the bolt into the keyhole on the bottom of the winch. Slide the bolt along the slot. Tighten the retaining ream to hold the bolts while you lower the winch onto the trailer's winch stand.

Align the bolts with the bolt holes on the winch stand. Install the flat washer, block washer and nut. The winch cable and bow eye should be at the same height when the boat is in the fully loaded position on the trailer. To achieve equal height of the winch and bow eye, raise or lower the winch stand. You may have a trailer that requires a bracket or alternative winch stand; consult with the trailer dealer or boat repair shop for help.

TRAC trailer winches comes with 10 feet of battery wire which is plenty to reach the rear of the tow vehicle or a nearby battery. They are three common ways to get 12 volt power to the winch. You could place a battery on the trailer or you could secure a battery at the rear of a truck. A quick note about these two options; If you use a standalone battery, it needs to be a deep cycle battery the type which is used to power electric trolling motors. The last option is the best option and that is to use a battery in the tow vehicle to power the winch.

When the vehicle is running, the generator is putting out more power than a standalone battery. And by using the vehicle's battery you don't have to buy or maintain another battery. You might be thinking most newer trucks and SUVs have a 30 amp circuit located with a round trailer wiring plug. Even this 30 amp circuit is intended to power things like lights in a large RV or trailer.

Trailer winches can exceed 30 amp of electrical current, so the fuse may blow when using this circuit. We do not recommend using it. We recommend wiring the vehicle with a 50 amp dedicated circuit. The parts required are available in a vehicle wiring kit from TRAC. It installs by running wires through or under the vehicle from the rear of the vehicle to the battery and installing 50 amp connectors on the vehicle and also the winch battery wires.

Once the wiring is complete, connect the winch battery cable to the winch and tow vehicle. Now that we have a 12 Volt 50 amp circuit, let's continue with the trailer winch operation.

To operate your TRAC trailer winch, locate the wireless remote or connect the wired controller to the side of the winch. Turn the light on to confirm the winch has power, turn the light out. It's important to know that you can power the winch out but you must always put some pulling force on the cable so the cable does not tangle on the spool. The winch will also free spool out. To free spool, loosen the black wingnut and turn the grey clutch knob counterclockwise to release the clutch. The cable can now be free spooled out. Attach the winch cable hook to the bow eye of the boat. Power the winch in to tighten the cable. You can now use your Trac electric winch just as you would a manual one.

Lewmar Winch Servicing Ocean Range

This video will help guide you through servicing your Lewmar winch.

Video Transcript

We're going to show you how easy it is to service and ocean winch. You need no tools. All you need is some grease and some oil and a few minutes of your time.

Okay the top cap comes off very easily by hand usually. Just unscrew the top cap. If you notice underneath it has got a little o-ring to stop it coming undone. And then you take off the feeder arm. Carefully take that off and put it to one side. And then just take out the two small collets that retain the central shaft. Put those to one side, you can clean them later.

Then you're free to take the drum off. Just be careful they are some bearings inside. They may stay in the drum but these bearings may stay on the center stem. Take the drum to one side then you can just simply take off the bearings. These are all stainless steel bearings which are very hard wearing. That reveals the pawl gear and the ratchet gear.

As I'm taking these shafts out, the spindles out, you'll see that each spindle is a different size. This is so that you cannot make a mistake in getting the spindles back in. Everything is designed to be idiot proof. Then you take out the pawl gear. If you turn this the way the ratchet goes, you then see the pawls. From this you can just take the pawls out and give them a clean with some white spirit. And then on the pawls (the pawls only) you use a light machine oil. Don't use grease because this will cause them to stick. Lightly machine oil these and put them back together and put the gears back in. The gears can only go in one way; they can only go one way up, totally idiot proof.

And then you can take the shaft out, the central spindle, give that a clean. Now I'm putting the spindle back in. As you see these are different sizes so you can't get these wrong and you can't get the gears the wrong way around. Once you've cleaned and lightly greased them with Lewmar winch grease. You can start assembling them, get the central spindle a good clean, and apply a light coat of winch grease. Just slot that back in. Take your drum and give that a clean around the gears and inside the bearing surfaces and another light grease with some other brush. Then give your bearings a clean in white spirit and another light grease. Remember the washer first and then the bottom bearing and the spacer and then the top bearing. Once these are in place simply place your drum back on. Rotate it a little bit to locate the gears and then clean your collets and then place them back. These retain the central spindle. When you're doing this it's good just to lift the spindle up a little bit and then fit them into place. Then the next collet fit that into place.

Okay and then you're ready for your feeder arm. Remember to locate it in the stripper ring and then wiggle your feeder arm until it locates into the teeth in the collets and that's all ready. Put your top cap back on, screw that on hand tight and you're ready to go.