What Size Winch For Boat Trailer? Choose The Perfect In 2023

The size of the winch has been in discussion for every user, no matter whether it’s about car trailers or heavy haulers and even for boat trailers.

People want to consider one that has the perfect hauling power and can fit exactly according to requirements.

The hard rule that implies boat trailers is to get a winch that can pull double the weight of your boat.

If your boat weight is around 1000 Lbs, then the winch should have the capacity to haul at least 1500 to 2000 lbs of weight.

I also write an article for you that will be helpful for choosing a correct for your boat and discuss other Types Of Winches that will make sure whose winch would use for your boat

Trailer Winches

Trailer winches are those winches that help to get your stuff/object or boats onboard to trailers.

tailor winch
source: marineinsight

They mostly come with a pulley system to go through the cable, which has been made of steel wire most of the time.

These winches can overturn a wide range of tasks, from loading and unloading stuff from your trailers.

Most of the time comes with three different types, which are either 1:1, 2:1, or 3:1 ratio, where the first number means how many lineal feet the winch will pay out for every foot it pulls in.

The second number is the mechanical advantage of the winch.

For example, a 2:1 ratio means that every foot pulled in by hand will pull out two feet from the drum.

So if your trailer has a 15ft length and you have a 2:1 ratio winch, you can pull around 30ft of the cable OUT based on this.

How To Choose The Right Winches For Your Boat Trailer?

Well, if a winch is capable of hauling more weight, it’s recommended to shift on a heavier duty winch to be longer-lasting.

When looking for the new trailer winch, you need to consider a few things: winch capacity, drum size, and cable type.

If you have a 600Lbs boat on your trailer, then the winch should be able to haul at least 800 lbs of load.

So make sure that your new trailer winches will have the right amount of weight capacity, which can haul heavy loads with ease.

Make sure that the drum of your winch is at least 3/4 inches in diameter so that it can withstand a heavy load with ease.

You can use this as a ground guide to buying the right type of trailer winch that will fit your boat trailer.

What Size Winch For Boat Trailer Is A Perfect Fit?

This is the main question that will arise in your mind while you are planning to buy a winch for a boat trailer. The size of the winch is completely dependent on two factors, such as

  1. Size/weight of your boat?
  2. How far do you need to pull it out of water or land?

Let’s take an example if you have installed a 14 feet long boat at your trailer; then there would be no need to look for a winch that can haul 14 feet of cable, as it would be overkill.

You can look for a smaller size winch with lower capacity,

but if you want to haul the boat out of your trailer, there is no other way around it than installing a heavy-duty winch on your boat trailer is the option you should go with.

What Size Winch Cable Do I Need To Tow My Boat?

Tons of winches come with different size cables, and the only reason for installing a cable is to let you have more control over your boat.

If we talk about the sizes, then three different types of winch cables are most commonly used are- 3/8 inch, 7/16 inch, and 1/2 inch wire rope.

These wires come with several different uses, and you can use this to your advantage as well.

Now let’s get into the main topic of conversation, winch cables. When it comes to choosing the right size for a boat trailer, then you need to consider some factors which are

1. Size of your Boat
2. How far do you want to pull out?

Your boat has a different size, so how far you want to pull it out of the water and the terrain depends on its weight capacity.

These factors will decide what size winch cable you need to buy for your boat trailer.

What Kind Of Terrain Do You Want To Go Through?

So if we talk about different terrains, then there are three main types which are
1. Rocky
2. Sandy
3. Soft Soil or Mud Land

Rocky Terrain

If you have rocky terrain where your boat will be pulled over hard surfaces,

you should go with the thicker cables as it will sustain the rocky terrain without getting damaged.

Sandy Terrain

If your boat is going through sandy surfaces, you need to go with medium-sized wires as they can absorb shock, and it can also make your boat pull out easier.

Soft Soil Or Mud Land

You cannot use a thick wire rope in this type of terrain because they can’t absorb much pressure, so you need to opt for thinner wires which are good on rough and soft landings.

How Far Do You Want To Pull Out The Boat?

This is an important factor in deciding what size winch cable you need to buy for your boat trailer.

If you have a small boat and it has a small weight capacity, then there would be no need to use large wires because they can take more load than the capacity of your boat.

For example, if we talk about 3/8 inch wires, they can easily handle up to 1500 pounds weight;

if your boat is under 500 pounds, you don’t need such heavy wires.

The other scenario will be if you want to take your boat out of the water for long distances and the terrain is not that rough,

then you should go with thick wires as they are better at absorbing shock.

Now, let’s talk about wire strength- The thicker the wire is, the stronger it is.

The thicker wires would carry more load capacity, and they are also better at absorbing shock.

Picking the right size winch cable for your boat trailer has a lot of factors that you need to consider before you buy them,

but we have solved this problem by giving you some key points that will help you choose the right size winch cable for your boat trailer.


The winch size for a boat trailer is for a winch for a boat trailer is 3/8 inch.

Cable Length

The length of the winch cable should be between 20-30 feet long, and this will depend on the weight capacity.

You want to pull out of the water, terrain, and how far you want to take it out.

Considering all these factors, you will surely buy the best winch, which will easily get your boat on the trailer.

We hope that this guide will help you choose the right size to winch for your boat trailer.

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