Boating is a very fun outing that the entire family can enjoy. Those who have invested in an actual pontoon boat, bass boat or speed boat will definitely want to have the right equipment and accessories to make each and every trip enjoyable and hassle free. One of the best and most helpful pieces of equipment to have is an electric boat anchor winch.
After all, who wants to spend their precious time working a manual winch when with a decent 12-volt electric boat winch you can lower and raise your boat at the touch of a button, with very little hassle.
Having equipment on your boat that is both durable and long lasting is very important, especially when this winch is going to act as the strongest point on the boat and keep you in place, even in bad weather.
With so many choices available on the market with different options and accessories, it can be confusing to work out which is best for your pontoon boat, bass boat or speed boat. So with that in mind, we have reviewed the top 3 electric boat anchors to help you make an informed choice.
So, sit back and take a look at the best electric anchor winches and find out which is best for your boat.
- Electric Boat Winch Quick Reference Table
- 1. MinnKota Deckhand 40 Electric Anchor Winch
- 2. Deckboat 35 AutoDeploy Electric Anchor Winch
- 3. TRAC Outdoor Products T10108 Fisherman 25 Electric Anchor Winch
- Other Electric Anchor Winches to Consider
- Things To Consider When Choosing An Electric Boat Winch
- Ease of Use
- Storage Options
- Pulling Power
- Rope or Chain Size
- Selection Guide For Anchor Winches
- How To Anchor A Boat The Best Way
- How to Dock and Anchor your Boat
Electric Boat Winch Quick Reference Table
The Minn Kota DeckHand 40 Pontoon Anchor Winch is a complete anchoring kit designed for pontoon boats (or any boat), which allows control of the winch from the helm as well as flexibility to remove the winch from the boat, leaving the deck clear.
The Deckhand 40 Pontoon comes with a quick release bracked and corded remote control so you can have complete control over your vessel!
More DetailsAble to support anchor sizes from 20 to 40 pounds, the Deckhand 40 also has many convenient features such as smart auto-drifting sensing which stop the motor when the anchor hits a solid mass, push-button control, 12 volt battery (not included) operation and complete control over your boat!
Looking for something a bit more economical? Consider the standard Deckhand 40 Anchor Winch.
DeckHand 40 Pontoon Includes:
- Standard DH-40 anchor winch.
- MKA-16-02 quick release bracket.
- DH-40 corded remote accessory. (25′ corded remote control)
- MKR-12 quick connect plug.
How easy is it to operate the Deckhand 40? Take a look at this short video to see how great this anchor winch really is.
Next up is the Deckboat 35 AutoDeploy Electric Anchor Winch from Trac Outdoor which is little beauty. Trac Outdoor Products are a Tennessee based family run business and they have created a great, simple to use anchor winch with the Deckboat 35.
It comes with 3 buttons for controls, including an auto deploy option which drops the anchor until it senses that it has got to the bottom and stops, as if by magic, so you can deploy and forget. Personally, from my experience of using this feature, it works great and I literally use it every single time!
It is recommended to use a 30 pound anchor with the Deckboat 35, but as the name suggests, it’s built to handle a 35 pound anchor just fine.
More DetailsFeaturing an all-steel high-efficiency motor this 12 volt electric anchor winch is less power hungry than its friends and has all of the parts you need for mounting, including a built in davit. So you will be setup in no time.
Out top choice does not have a wireless remote, which does let it down a little, but this little beauty has you covered, meaning that wherever you are on your boat, you can raise or lower the anchor to fix your point or get under way again. Users seem to love this feature and so do I.
Want to see the auto deploy in action? Take a look at this video.
If you are looking for a solid electric boat anchor winch, you are not going to go far wrong with the Track Deckboat 35, it is a solid choice for everyone, especially with the wireless remote control. Whilst the Minnesota winch might have taken top spot in our review but this is an excellent choice, especially if you are looking for a winch with a remote control.
Next up in our top 3 electric boat anchor winch list is another Trac Outdoor winch, the Trac Fisherman 25 electric anchor winch. This winch is very similar to its big brother the Deckboat 35 but it is a little smaller a bit cheaper.
The 25 in the Fisherman 25 name indicates that it is designed for a maximum anchor weight of 25 pounds. Even though this is 15 pounds lighter than our number one choice, Trac Outdoor say that it is capable of anchoring a 20 foot long boat. So for a lot of people, this is sufficient, regardless of if you are a pleasure boater or fisherman, this electric anchor winch will make sure you stay in place.
Unlike the other Trac winch in our review, the Fisherman 25 has a separate anchor davit which is actually quite useful for smaller size boats and comes with 100 foot of pre-spooled braided anchor rope, which means you are pretty much good to go for installation.
More DetailsUsers rate this winch very highly giving it an average of 4.1 stars on Amazon, which is pretty good and especially like how easy it is to install. I agree with them, an excellent little boat anchor winch.
Like the Minn Kota, the Fisherman 25 also does not have a remote control, but as it is more than $100 cheaper, we can forgive it for that. All in all, an excellent electric boat anchor winch for smaller boats and a perfect fit for many who want to go electric and save themselves some effort and hassle.
Other Electric Anchor Winches to Consider
This Powerwinch anchor windlass can be expected to withstand even the most inclement weather. Both casual boaters and those in more extreme climates such as Alaska can rely on the full aluminum housing to protect the integrity of the Powerwinch 36 Ft. Class Anchor Windlass. Finished with extremely durable polyester paint, even the appearance can be expected to last!
Designed to be mounted on the deck, there is a protective rubber gasket to protect the deck from scratches or dents that may result from other products. In addition, the specific design of this product saves space by allowing room for a much-needed rope locker.
As with any electric anchor windlass, this item functions through the use of internal gears. In the case of this model, the gears and stainless steel drive shaft have been heat-treated and saturated with oil to ensure smooth and consistent function.
More DetailsUnlike some other electric anchor windlasses on the market today, this type of windlass offers the convenience of a foot switch saving time and allowing the boater’s hand to address other tasks.
Features of the Powerwinch 36′ Class Anchor Windlass:
- Internal stainless steel drive shaft
- One-piece heat-treated oil-impregnated gears
- Protect-a-deck gasket – 1/8 rubber
- One-piece cast aluminum housing
- All aluminum housing with a durable polyester paint finish
- Foot switch included
- Deck mounted design saves space for rope locker
- Amp draw: 8 – 12amps
- Dimensions: 10–9/16″ L x 8″ W x 6–5/16″ H
- Line Size: Up to 5/8″
- Line Speed: 85 ft/min
- Maximum Pull: 300 lbs.
- 2 year limited warranty
In regards to specifics, the Powerwinch 36 Ft. Class Anchor Windlass has a maximum pull capability of up to 300 pounds, with a line speed of 85 feet per minute. Line sizes up to 5/8” may be used with this model. Suitable for vessels up to 26 feet.
Powerwinch Deckmate 25 Anchor Winch
Are you looking for a push-button, helm-operated anchor system for your pontoon boat or fishing boat? The Powerwinch Deckmate 25 Anchor Winch offers the following features:
- Power-up/free-fall down design with built-in light
- Anchor deployment speed of 620 fpm with no battery drain
- Quick retrieval speed of up to 85 fpm with no load
- Measurements 10 by 8.876 inches; 2-year warranty
The ideal anchor system for both fishing boats and pontoon boats, the Powerwinch Deck Mate 25 push-button anchor system makes easy work of dropping and raising an anchor. The Deck Mate 25 anchor winch is one of Powerwinch’s strongest and most durable winches, with the ability to lift a 50-pound anchor.
The power-up/free-fall down system also offers an impressive retrieval speed of up to 85 feet per minute with no load, or up to 33 feet per minute with a maximum 60-pound load. And boaters will love the built-in light, which makes the anchor easier to use in dimly lit conditions.
Additional features include an anchor deployment speed of 620 feet per minute, with no drain on the battery and zero amp draw; a 3/16-inch-diameter nylon rope, and a smaller footprint than its nearest competitor. The Deck Mate 25 is one of the strongest and most durable winches capable of lifting a 50 lb. anchor.
- Power source: 12 volts
- Max pull: 100 pounds
- Retrieval speed: 85 feet per minute
- Line size: 3/16 inches
- Minimum suggested wire size: 10 gauge (50-foot run)
- Max rope: 100 feet
- Dimensions: 10 by 8.876 inches
- Warranty: 2 years
Things To Consider When Choosing An Electric Boat Winch
What do you need to look for in an anchor windlass? The market today is inundated with choices when it comes to purchasing almost everything. Even just a simple loaf of bread can leave a consumer wandering the bread aisle for much longer than necessary, wanting to find the best product at an affordable price to fit their needs. Since this is also the case with products such as anchor windlasses, read on for tips on how to make the best selection for you.
Ease of Use
Anyone with an anchor windlass knows that once a hands-free electric anchor windlass has been used, there is no going back. Any electric anchor windlass should offer the ability to simply press a button to operate it, oftentimes with your foot.
Due to the potential danger of interacting with the rope or chain with bare hands, an electric anchor windlass is recommended for everyone. Models should be designed specifically with rope lockers (or chain lockers) in mind to prevent the possibility of injury from this operation. After all, there are plenty of other dangers of sea for boaters to be mindful of.
The ideal pulling power of anchor windlasses has been a recent subject of debate. The most popular point of view is that the pulling power should be three times the weight of the anchor and rope or chain. Reasons for this include the very real possibility of a stuck anchor, items getting caught on the rope, chain, or anchor (causing drag and additional weight), and a malfunctioning boat motor.
Rope or Chain Size
Every anchor windlass, as well as almost any other electric anchor windlass, has a rating specifying the rope or chain size. This is extremely important as if this factor is ignored, the windlass simply will not work. With that in mind, always purchase an anchor windlass knowing the specifications necessary for your boat.
The above tips cover the most important information any consumer needs to know when selecting anchor windlasses. By taking all of these ideas into account when you are ready to buy, you can rest easy knowing that you have purchased the right product to fit your personal boating needs.
Selection Guide For Anchor Winches
There are several things to consider when choosing anchor winches. Your choice should be based on windage, displacement, anchor size, vessel size and rode selection. Check whether your options are practical in terms of depth of fall and locker space. Measure the overall length of your boat. The most appropriate windlass would depend on the displacement of your vessel.
Types of Windlass
There are two main types of windlasses and they are distinguished by the shaft orientation. Most boats require vertical winches. Its primary advantages are minimal slippage and maximum chain control. When using vertical winches, the capstan and gypsy are placed above deck, while the gearbox and motor are placed below. Horizontal windlasses, on the other hand, are installed above deck. The capstan and gypsy are located on its sides. Unlike vertical windlasses, these have a 90 degree wrap around the chainwheel.
Thickness of the Deck
The thickness of the deck and underdeck space determines which kind of windlass needs to be installed. It may help to measure the rodes depth of fall into the locker. Take note that the method for measuring the depth differs depending on the windlass.
Rode selection is crucial when setting up anchor winches. Aside from vessel size, the size of the ground tackle should also be considered when choosing the most suitable winch. Some windlasses are equipped with automatic chain or rope systems. This is commonly found with lengths of up to 65 feet. They are preferred by many for their capacity to handle heavier rodes without burdening the bow with too much weight.
Are you Using a Chain System
Chain systems are seen on motor yachts and heavy displacement sails. There are 2 kinds of anchor chains: stud link chains and short link chains. Short link chains are ideal for medium or small vessels, while large boats should have calibrated short link chains. Stud link chains are characterized by a stud bar that connects both sides of the link. This prevents them from getting deformed when overloaded.
The chains are available in different lengths and sizes. This must be taken into consideration when deciding on the most appropriate windlass. Choosing the right grade and size is crucial, or else the chain will not fit through the gypsy. An incorrect match creates problems with the chain wheel. The chain might jump off the gypsy or it can get jammed when it cannot flow smoothly through the pipe.
Anchor Winch Capacities
You should determine the pull capability and work load capacity of the anchor winch. Pull capability is also known as the stall load, or the instant pull of the windlass. Working load is approximately 30 percent of the maximum pull. This should be equivalent to the weight that the windlass is carrying once the anchor is lifted off.
Decide which motor to use based on your vessel. AC-powered windlasses are ideal for bigger vessels. They are compact yet powerful. Hydraulic systems, on the other hand, are recommended if you are looking for constant speed combined with versatility in running under different conditions. They are easy to maintain and are able to provide adequate power.
How To Anchor A Boat The Best Way
With a risk of losing a very large sum of money invested in your boat, it is an absolute necessity to know the right technique on how to anchor a boat. The first basic choice that a person has to make is choosing the correct type of anchor, which is dependent on size and the weight of the vessel.
Consider the Weather
Another consideration in choosing the right location is the weather conditions that are generally expected in the place you want to dock. Larger vessels require a larger anchor and vice versa. Though there is no governing law, it is suggested that you carry one that is adequate in size and strength to keep the vessel in its position for a night or in stormy weather.
It is also a good idea to carry two sets of hooks, one a lighter weight “lunch hook” that can be used to harbor in calm weather when your crew is on guard. The other set should be a storm hook that is usable when the crew is off duty or the wind is blowing at a speed exceeding thirty miles an hour.
The common name that is given to all the equipment that is used to dock a boat is “ground tackle” and is inclusive of the anchor, chain, rope and all the other connecting mechanisms. The anchor line which also includes the chain is known as the “rode”.
Which is the Best Line for your Anchor
The finest line for anchoring is a nylon line that is twisted in to three strands. To determine the rode that is required a ratio of 7:1 is common, this implies for one foot of the depth of the water, you will need seven feet of rode.
How to Dock and Anchor your Boat
No matter how good the equipment you use, you can’t have a secure anchor for your boat unless you know how to use the gear properly. Often boaters will refer to anchoring as an art that you learn and improve upon through experience. The first step in anchoring your boat properly is to select an anchorage.
When it comes to selecting an anchorage you want to take into account prevailing winds, the bottom depth, the bottom composition and the existence of any other craft in the area. It is important to find shelter from the wind since calmer water will place less strain on your anchor and therefore your nerves as well. Always remember to anticipate any changes in wind direction and velocity as well.
The type of anchor you will use depends on the composition of the bottom. You should ideally anchor in a place where the water is deep enough that you don’t have to worry about sitting on the bottom during low tide. Although you don’t want water that is too deep since your rope or chain will be long, and you will have a greater swinging circle as a result. It is best to anchor in water that is two or three times the depth of your boat at its lowest if you can.
When approaching the anchorage you will want to make sure you have adequate swinging room. Be sure to mentally calculate the swinging circles for any other boats that are in your area. Circles will be small for boats attached to moorings and larger if they are on anchors.
Also take into account how the other boats are lying in relation to any wind and current. Reduce the speed of your boat and enter into the anchorage on the same heading as the boat already anchored there and then slow as your approach your anchorage point.
Checkout the video below for a great guide on how to anchor your boat and what you need to consider when choosing the right anchor.
When it comes to placing and retrieving an anchor it is best to have two people in order to make the process easier. Position one person at the rode and the other in the cockpit. After you have chosen your spot to anchor the operator in the cockpit will slowly turn the vessel into the wind. Then pay out the anchor until you feel it hit bottom after you have made sure it is firmly attached to the rope.
Then the boat operator should slowly back up at the second person pay’s out the scope that is required for the chosen anchorage. At the desired scope tell the operator to stop, secure the rode to the vest and then tell the operator to back on the rode slowly. This helps to take up slack and drive the anchor sharply into the bottom. The vessel can be shut down once you are sure the anchor is set.
Anchoring will take experience to perfect. It is a functioning of heavy gear, applied force, friction and proper angles. Invest in an anchor winch for retrieval and always lean towards heavy ground tackle. Be sure to have at least one anchor system on board just for deployment during an emergency. You can help keep the anchor stock down on the bottom by attaching a heavy weight near the junction of the chain and line of the rope.