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Best Electric Boat Anchor Winches Reviewed
When you hit that sweet spot and the fish start hitting hard, the last thing you want is to have a breeze drifting you out of casting range, or pushing you so close that the fish spook.
Being able to get an anchor down quickly, and immediately change positions will give you an edge on landing wary fish.
When the fishing gets active and precise, that’s when enhancing your boat with the best electric boat anchor winch can be a pivotal addition.
Powered boat anchor winches are like having a fishing buddy lending you a hand whenever you need it most. With remote control capabilities, you can put down an anchor whenever you want and from anywhere on your boat. No need to put down your fishing rod, or stand up from the steering wheel.
Don’t get the impression that boat anchor winches are exclusively designed for smaller recreational fishing boats either. There are also design available for boats that need large anchors like larger boats primarily used in the ocean. Saltwater electric anchor winches are common features on sea-borne vessels that are continually exposed to the corrosive effects of saltwater.
Those are just a few of the considerations that might influence your decision making process. Everyone has a different setup that they like for their boat, so it’s important to take your preferences into account before you make a decision.
Top Electric Boat Anchor Winch Features
- Weight rating – This is likely the most critical factor in considering which anchor winch will perform for your needs. Some of the most common freshwater recreational anchor weights are in the 30-40 pound range. But larger anchors in the 100-120 pound range, like those used in the salt, are going to require a more powerful anchor winch.
- Reliable Motor – Two of the big factors that come to bear on your winch motor are the anchor weight and potential corrosion from saltwater. This is really where long term users and electric anchor winch reviews become very important. Saltwater is particularly hard on powered anchor winches, and even high quality winches eventually fail from it’s corrosive effects. Recreational models are not so prone to failure due to being used in freshwater, but it is still very important not to overload your motor. Better to purchase a more powerful anchor winch than to overload the winch with a heavy anchor and burn-out the motor.
- Power Consumption – This detail might not seem significant, but for sailors and boaters that are really trying to minimize their power consumption it can be quite important. Large anchors are going to require more power than a small recreational sport-fishing boat would, but thankfully electric anchor winches down’t consume tremendous amounts of power. Another good option is installing a marine solar panel that will keep your batteries at capacity while you enjoy your day on the water.
- Noise – One of the features than makes a big difference with noisy rattling is the device known as a davit. The davit functions to capture the anchor when your davit pulls in the anchor, and it prevents movement and noise from vibrations.
- Rope Strength – You’ll also want your rope strength to be substantial and capable of standing up to the power of a heavy boat drifting in the wind and current. But also resistant to abrasion from rocks, coral, or any other debris that might chafe on your anchor rope. No one wants to lose an expensive anchor due to a flimsy anchor rope.
Top Electric Boat Anchor Winch Comparison
Best Electric Boat Anchor Winch
You need a reliable motor when you’re trusting an anchor to keep your boat from moving. The MinnKota Deckhand 40 has been designed specifically to offer this, and the two-year warranty which comes with it reflects this well. The motor is rated to be able to pull 40lb anchors, and comes with a 100 foot rope which can hold more than 800lbs. Coupled with MinnKota’s renowned built-quality, this winch can provide you with everything you need to keep your boat safely in place, and does so without costing a small fortune in the process.
Most people will be able to install this anchor winch for themselves, and the process will usually take less than an hour. Coming with a variety of mounting options, you shouldn’t have to modify your boat to get this hardware installed, making the process even simpler. You can even attach other accessories to your winch, if you need to use it for other jobs. The unit runs on a 12v battery, though this won’t be included and you’ll have to find one for yourself.
Unfortunately, there are a couple of issues which come with the Deckhand 40. While most users report that their winch is reliable, some units have broken after a very short time. Thankfully, this is usually the electronics inside, and this means that you can still manually remove your anchor from the water. Aside from this, you are sure to have a good time with your MinnKota winch. Coming from a reputable brand, including loads of great features, and being one of the more affordable winches on the market all make this option an excellent choice for anyone using their own boat.
Here is a solid review of the MinnKota Deckhand 40 Anchor Winch:
- Electric anchor winch makes fishing boat navigation and placement convenient and effortless
- Davit can be mounted horizontally to stop anchor swing
- Handles anchors up to 40 pounds; pre-spooled with 100 feet of 800-pound Test nylon rope
- Comes with mounting hardware and installation instructions; compatible with other Minn Kota accessories
- Two-year warranty included
The Deckboat 35 isn’t quite as strong as the MinnKota, with a rating of 30 to 35lb. This becomes even lower if you use the manufacturers recommended weight of 20 to 30lb, though this will enable you to use anchors which will be able to stop most small boats from moving around. The rope is 100’, and it comes with a safety chain to stop the anchor from dropping when you don’t want it to. You need to provide a 12v battery to get started, but you also benefit from a wireless remote which will make it easier to use your Deckboat 35.
One of the key features of the Deckboat is its auto-deploy option. This enables the winch to lower the anchor automatically, stopping once it detects that it has reached the bottom of the water. You can set this up to allow your boat to maintain a controlled drift, and this can be perfect when you’re fishing in large areas. Most users will be able to install this winch for themselves, and it comes with clear instructions which will make this process much easier. You can even mount the winch upside down to make it easier to use if your boat doesn’t have a good place for it to sit normally.
Like the MinnKota, you can easily find complaints about this winch around the web. Some people have been able to use this winch for years, while others have only had a single use out of it, and this makes it difficult to recommend it. Of course, though, if you only need a light anchor, this winch should be able to provide everything you need. With the return options which come with websites like Amazon, you don’t have to worry about the negative reviews which come with something like this. A lot of users are happy to find that this winch is nice and fast, giving you more time to enjoy the water.
- AutoDeploy automatically releases the rope needed to hold the boat in position
- 3 button operation - UP / DOWN / AUTO DEPLOY
- Integrated davit
- Maximum Anchor Capacity: 30-35 lbs. (20-30 lbs. recommended)
- Wireless remote included
The Lewmar CRW 400 is one of the most popular boat winches on Amazon. Like the MinnKota, this winch is rated to pull an anchor up to 40lb in weight, but comes with a longer rope at 115 feet. The whole unit is self-contained, making it much less likely that your winch will suffer with built up or other issues which could stop it from working, while also making it perfectly suited to use around salt water. All of the hardware inside this winch is made from steel, ensuring that it won’t have a mechanical failure while you’re using it.
Like the Deckboat 35, this CRW 400 comes with an auto-deploy feature. This is designed to enable you to press one button and get on with your other business while the winch takes care of anchoring your boat securely. As an affordable option, this winch doesn’t come with many other features, and you’ll have to buy your own remote if you want to be able to control the winch without walking to the unit. This gives you a great opportunity to upgrade your winch as time goes by.
It’s hard to find a machine like this which doesn’t have bad reviews somewhere around the web. A very small portion of users report that their winches have failed very quickly, though far more are happy with their purchase. Unfortunately, this winch doesn’t use a standard mounting system, and this means that you could find yourself with some unusable holes in your boat if you need to move on to something else in the future. Despite this, the Lewmar CRW 400 offers a compelling option for those with boats at 25 feet or less.
- Self Contained Reel Includes 115' of 1/4" Line (Factory Attached)
- Operating Voltage: 12 Volt DC, Power Consumption: 400 Watts, Draw: 15 Amps
- Maximum Pull: (605 lb.), Safe Working Load: 150 lb., Boat Length: Under 25 feet
The Pontoon 35 Electric Anchor Winch is very similar to the Deckboat 35. They both have the same weight rating, and can easily manage an anchor which weighs as much as 35lb. The robe is 100’, and is rated to hold a weight up to 800lb. This makes it a very durable system, while also keeping the price down for those who are on a tight budget. It doesn’t come with any additional remote controls or accessories, but you can find loads of examples which are designed to work with it around the web. This makes it incredibly easy to upgrade your winch down the line.
As for special features, this winch is quite basic, and doesn’t include much to make it stand out from the crowd. Instead of an auto-deploy system, this winch has an auto-reverse mechanism. While this means that you will have to do more work to get your anchor out, you still benefit from the safety which comes with a feature like this. Free spooling can be very annoying with a heavy anchor, but this winch will be able to stop this from happening with ease.
This winch has better feedback than many of the others you’ll find around the web. There are a small number of users complaining about issues, though the vast majority are very happy with their Pontoon 35. It comes with a 1 year manufacturer’s warranty, ensuring that you get at least a year out of your winch. Other options in this price bracket offer the same sort of support, making it well worth investigating for yourself before deciding whether or not this is the best anchor winch for you.
This last winch is the most powerful on this list, with a maximum pulling power of 550lb. This doesn’t mean that your anchor can be this heavy, instead showing how large your boat can be when using this winch. Supporting boats up to 30 feet, this winch will be able to provide the vast majority of users with the winching power the need. It doesn’t come with a rope, but the options which you can attach to it are far more varied than the others on this list. Heavy ropes and light chains can be used, enabling you to move the old rope from your existing winch to the new one.
Like the Pontoon 35, the Pro Sport 550 from Lewmar is a fairly basic machine. It comes with a basic toggle remote and little else, leaving you to find accessories if you’d like to upgrade or change your windlass. It comes with all of the tools you need to mount it to your boat, and users report that this process can take as little as 30 minutes, even when you don’t have any experience with it. The only downside that comes with installation is dealing with all of the wiring which is needs.
The other options on this list all have at least one poor review somewhere around the web. It’s hard to find a bad word about the Lewmar Pro Sport 550, though, and people seem to have a good experience with this winch as long as it is installed on a boat of the right size. It even comes with a 3-year warranty and white glove service, meaning that you’ll be protected and supported with your winch for years to come. This winch is even quicker than the others in its category, and this can be a huge benefit to those who like to get the most out of their time on the water.
- Low power consumption / current draw
- Dual direction powered operation
- Maximum pulling power: 250kg (550lb)
- Convenient above deck installation
- For boats up to 12m (40ft)