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The Best Electric Boat Anchor Winches for Your Boat

best electric boat anchor winch

The best electric boat anchor winch should, at best, deliver the least hitches possible when lowering, raising, setting, and keeping an anchor in place. Boat anchor systems are rarely perfect, after all, and will require you to familiarize yourself with how they work.

This is why, to me, the best ones will always be those that don’t give me the usual headaches when anchoring my boat on any kind of bottom I happen to think appropriate. They should work as smooth as butter once you get the hang of them.

Of course, there are electric boat anchors out there that deserve to be given the spotlight precisely because of their consistent performance. I’ve included the ones that stood out to me the most by reviewing each one here.

Top 9 Electric Boat Anchor Winch Reviews

1. Minn Kota 1810140 Electric Anchor Winch

This Minn Kota anchor winch was one of my earliest forays into electric anchors, so I thought it’s only fitting that it should head this list. In my years cruising and fishing, I’ve relied on this winch fairly regularly because of its no-nonsense, easy operation.

I appreciate the fact that it comes pre-spooled. However, it didn’t take long for me to correct it so the anchor I attached will roll all the way up. I can only hope the brand has since corrected that.

Another thing I like about this anchor is its strength. It’s not excellent but certainly above-average. I can remember the numerous times when it brought up loads of seaweed as if they weighed no heavier than a feather.

I also liked that it wasn’t a pain to install, considering I was still unfamiliar with automatic boat anchors back then. I’m glad it supports horizontal mounting for me to access it instantly when I need to correct something or do repairs. Definitely well worth the money when I think about how cheaply I was able to purchase this that time.

I don’t know about the alleged common complaint that this auto boat anchor’s circuit board is defective. I’ve had mine for more than 5 years, and it’s still working as it should. That said, I don’t recall any instance when I taxed its motor that much.

I guess you just have to be very careful about the size and type of anchor you use and the possibility of snagging your anchor. I never went beyond 25 pounds in the anchors I used it with, and certainly not below 20 pounds, and that’s my other complaint: it only handles anchors of a specific weight well.
What We Like
  • Easy to use and get the hang of
  • Above-average strength
  • Uncomplicated installation
  • Supports horizontal mounting
  • Well worth the price
What We Don’t Like
  • Comes poorly spooled
  • Only performs well for specific anchor weight
This electric anchor for boats by a well-recognized brand is far from being its best. Nonetheless, despite its flaws, it has qualities you normally see in those that do deserve the said label.

2. TRAC Outdoor Products ‎3004.7004 Electric Anchor Winch

TRAC’s electric anchor winch with remote is budget-friendly, compact, and not difficult to operate.

I installed this on my 25’ pontoon which, as it happens, is already space-starved. This unit’s compactness deserves to be praised in that regard. The overall design fits most deck setups on boats, so the general installation was a breeze.

I stick to the brand’s recommendation of using only anchors that weigh a little over 30 pounds. I’ve yet to encounter any hitches with that setup. I always check the motor if it’s close to burning up and refrain from forcing it to raise my anchor if it’s showing signs that it’s beginning to do so.

With that said, it’s adequately powerful overall and works like a charm if paired with the right anchor weight. If you haven’t got the arm strength to pull a 30-pound anchor aboard, you’ll get plenty of help from this electric boat anchor winch, of that much I’m certain.

Lastly, I can’t forget how impressed I was with the almost pro-level spooling that was done on it when I received it. That definitely gave me all the motivation I needed to install it right away in my boat.

I haven’t proven the energy-saving feature yet. But compared to other power anchors for boats I’ve used, I’m seeing no notable difference in the power it consumes. If there is some power-saving going on, it’s negligible, and I’ve used this automatic anchor winch.
What We Like
  • Easy operation
  • Affordable but high-quality
  • Compact
  • Installation is a breeze
  • Excellent spooling
What We Don’t Like
  • Doesn’t really save power that much
For the price, you get plenty of value from this anchor. I can’t cite any major complaint about it, which only seals its place in my electric anchor winch reviews.

3. TRAC Outdoor Products ‎69000 Electric Anchor Winch

Another space-saver courtesy of TRAC-Outdoor Products, this anchor winch is just as worthy to be praised for its dead easy installation and overall reliability – all of which can be enjoyed without breaking the bank.

I’ve seen how this little guy works on a bass boat owned by one of my fishing buddies. It’s efficient and can handle most lightweight anchors with ease. My friend uses a 15-pound mushroom anchor with it; only ever struggled once in a muddy bottom and, even then, we admitted that the way we set it was a little janky.

I helped him install it on the said boat. Took us less than 20 minutes if my memory serves me correctly. I instantly liked how compact it is compared to units I’ve owned.

It’s reliable as long as you know when and where to use this electric boat winch. My buddy doesn’t like to test its weight limit, so he sticks to 15 pounds and, sometimes, even 10 pounds. He also carefully chooses the spots to anchor and avoids muddy portions as much as possible.

I admit that I’m not a fan of the low weight capacity since that impacts the overall holding power and the size of the boat you can use it on. This won’t do if you have a 25-footer or anything larger than that.

Moreover, you’ll have to be patient with it since it works so slow. It’s a sluggish but dependable beast. I remember once on a Lake Claiborne fishing trip that it took close to 20 minutes to pull the loaded anchor we’re using.
What We Like
  • Doesn’t eat up precious deck real estate
  • Can be used in saltwater with no corrosion problem
  • Piece-of-cake installation
  • Reliable overall with the correct setup and usage
What We Don’t Like
  • Low anchor weight capacity
  • Slow operation
If you’ve got the patience to work with entry-level but proven reliable anchor winches for small boats or electric anchors for bass boats, this one may well be the best option for you.

4. TRAC Outdoor Products ‎69002 Electric Anchor Winch

TRAC-Outdoor Products is a good brand for those who prefer uncomplicated controls in their anchor winch, which is equal to both space- and money-saving, and reliable.

This was one of the first few memorable gifts that I gave to my grandfather, who himself is a fishing fanatic. He has since passed on, but I can never forget the expressions of joy that filled his face every time he talked about his experience boating and fishing with this neat, easy-to-use contraption. He really appreciated that it allowed him to go on doing what he loved despite his slipped disc.

Being not too familiar with newer boating gadgets, he especially liked that it didn’t take long for him to learn to use the anchor. You can’t get any more straightforward with the Up/Down switches, and an experienced boater like him didn’t have much trouble anchoring in the first place.

You don’t really need weighty anchors when on solo fishing trips, so this one makes a great small boat anchor winch. It handles 25-pound anchors well, and I know my gramps played around with 15 to 25-pounders with it.

I can’t say much about ease of installation because my grandfather had it professionally installed for his bass boat. He also liked that this electric boat anchor winch didn’t occupy too much space. Additionally, he appreciated the fact that it cost half as much as other options back then.

Overall, I can safely say that he got the most out of it since he used it for years. He never really quit fishing up to the very end, the old salt. His only complaint was that it didn’t have a free-fall option.
What We Like
  • Very easy to use
  • Good overall anchor weight capacity
  • Saves space
  • Reliable and proven to last for a long time
  • Budget-friendly
What We Don’t Like
  • No free fall feature
This TRAC anchor winch review makes it clear that you don’t have to pay too much to enjoy the modern-day luxuries afforded to avid fishers and boaters.

5. Minn Kota 1810141 Deckhand Electric Anchor Winch

This electric anchor winch proves why Minn Kota is a highly sought-after brand as far as these anchoring tools are concerned. It wins any sailor’s heart not by just providing the usual conveniences.

I can safely say that this is one of the most exceptional winches in this review. It delivers everything I want and provides extra perks in the process. I particularly like that it allows me to free fall any anchor just by releasing the winch brake. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

I prefer to take my pontoon that has this winch because of the palpable power. It makes easy work of heavier than normal loads once it’s time to raise the anchor. I especially like the fact that I’ve never had any issues with it despite the loads of seaweed that it brings up every time I go fishing at Lake Erie – that’s probably close to 40 pounds in total!

It’s also made mostly of metal parts, which isn’t something you’ll expect from the competition. I’ve owned this for 3 years and counting, and it’s still dependable.

All in all, this power winch for the boat anchor would have been perfect for me if I didn’t encounter any issues during its installation. I find the included battery cable to be too short, so you have to make sure it’s close to the battery or motor you’re going to be using. This downside effectively limits the spots that you can install it on on your boat unless you have the customized cable.
What We Like
  • More powerful than most tools out there
  • Great free fall feature
  • More durable construction
  • Handles heavier anchors well
What We Don’t Like
  • Battery cable is too short
For a more feature-packed, heavy-duty anchor winch, you won’t go wrong with this Minn Kota offering. It works just as well as a saltwater electric boat anchor winch.

6. Newmaix Electric Anchor Winch

Despite being slightly more expensive than most electric winches, this Newmaix product is well worth the money because of its notable power, free fall feature, free-spooling prevention, and other safety features.

This one’s just the same as much of a powerhouse as most of the Minn Kota winches I’ve tried. Combined with the way it prevents free-spooling and the free fall feature, I’d say this is one of the few anchor winches that really delivers the best kind of convenience to sailors. I know it manages to help me save time and energy because I don’t have to perform extra steps just to correct an anchoring issue or get right down to the fishing business.

The automatic circuit breaker may be one of its overlooked safety features. You never know when moisture will end up causing an overload on an electric anchor winch then damaging it or the entire circuit it’s connected to. I’m not completely crossing out that it may be one of the reasons why some winches only last after a couple of trips.

I don’t always bring anchors that weigh 30 pounds or more. I do possess a boat that calls for a heavier anchor, and I like that this winch can handle as much as 45 pounds, which is rare.

Moreover, the installation wasn’t too complicated. The extra-long cable didn’t give me any trouble as to how I’m going to position it relative to the motor I use to power it. As for cons, I can’t think of much other than I’m not too sure of the quality of the 12V motor and how long it’s going to last since it’s only been with me for less than a year.
What We Like
  • Good free fall capability
  • Neat circuit breaker safety feature
  • Long battery cable
  • Helpful anti-reverse internal clutch
  • High anchor weight limit
What We Don’t Like
  • Durability is doubtful
Looking for electric boat anchor winches with 12-volt capacity? This one is great if you want to get maximum ease and enjoyment out of every fishing trip. It practically does all the anchoring for you! And please take that from someone who has tried out a lot of electric winches.

7. TRAC Outdoor Products ‎69005 Electric Anchor Winch

This electric anchor winch for boats provides one of the main reasons why I respect the TRAC brand as a whole. The automatic function makes it so straightforward to use, delivering anchoring a smooth process while contributing to the holding power.

I consider this the top-rated electric anchor winch made by TRAC. I’ve been using it for a little over two years, and I’ve only ever had a great experience with it in that entire time. This is as close to automatic anchoring as I got.

After all, once you attach your anchor to it, you can count on it that it will do the job for you. In all my trips to various lakes all over the US, I always bring my favorite pontoon with this nifty gadget for that sole reason. I normally don’t mind how the anchor is being lowered or raised whenever I use it – I just know that it will get it done, unlike some of the ones I also use on my other vessels.

Most of this quality I attribute to the general design. It’s made in such a way as to ensure smooth anchor dropping and raising while keeping the rope from tangling with the roller’s help. Once you press the ‘Dow’ button, you’re basically letting it automatically deploy your anchor for you.

Overall, that’s what I love the most about it. Obviously, I like that it comes with a wireless remote. It manages my 35-pound anchors well, too, which is what I normally use for more serious fishing trips that require a larger vessel.

I also can’t deny the abundant power it has. Almost every lake I go to has a muddy bottom, and I obviously wouldn’t be taking a winch that won’t be able to handle the stress that such bottoms create.

It’s safe to say that I want it to last because of these reasons, but given my experience with some of TRAC’s winches, this may still be one of the product’s hovering question marks. It doesn’t feel as solid durability-wise as the ones made by other brands.
What We Like
  • Excellent design
  • Simple operation
  • Close to automatic anchoring
  • Handles heavier anchors
  • Adequately powerful
What We Don’t Like
  • Dubious durability
I consider this as TRAC’s finest creation to date, mostly due to its superb design, power, and reliability.

8. Pactrade Marine PDSA0409 Electric Anchor Winch

Dependable and relatively low-cost, this seemingly simple Pactrade winch belies a consistent, powerful performance.

This is the newest electric winches that I’ve tried. Minimalism can make or break a product. To me, the way it incorporates, as evidenced by its superficial design, encourages you to give it a try as it seems to candidly state that it’s all about practicality.

That’s certainly the impression I got when I beheld it back in 2020 when I was browsing through Amazon for a cheap replacement to a manual winch on one of our family pontoons. I also heard a few good things about Pactrade from my close boating buddies, so I went ahead with this.

I immediately liked that it didn’t take up my space and was, in general, not difficult to bolt onto the pontoon. It’s almost perfectly box-like in its structure and comes ready to be screwed in place as it comes with the right nuts and bolts.

Performance is just as smooth as other electric winches I’ve owned. I haven’t had my mushroom anchor end up in a tangled mess while using this winch, at least, as of this writing.

What really surprised me was the power. While it can only handle 30-pounders or lighter anchors, I like that it doesn’t struggle much even when you use it on a muddy bottom. Take note that I’ve only used it with a Danforth anchor, so I’d recommend this as an electric anchor winch for small boats any day.

As for complaints, I would have liked it better if it had been able to handle saltwater, too. Also, I’ve gotten used to using winches with a remote. I know that’s a negligible feature to some, but we can’t really overlook the convenience that such a tool provides. For the price I got it for and my total experience, I’m not that terribly disappointed.
What We Like
  • Above-average power
  • Compact
  • Easy to install
  • Smooth performance
What We Don’t Like
  • Only compatible with freshwater
  • Doesn’t come with a remote
If you’re looking for an electric boat anchor winch for sale that’s budget-friendly but won’t let you down, I recommend you to get this one.

9. POWER4S Electric Anchor Winch

This POWER4S electric anchor winch is complete in the sense that it doesn’t leave room to doubt its durability and power while delivering other important features like free fall and preventing ropes from backlashing.

Another new addition to my boating arsenal, I bought this when it was released back in 2019 simply because I needed a winch that can handle saltwater. I was planning a lengthy Florida Keys fishing trip back then and wanted it to go as smoothly as possible. I’m glad my trust in it didn’t go in vain.

The first thing that caught my eye was the soundness of the cover. It’s all metal and rust-resistant and just looks and feels like it will last for a long time. I know that it works just as well in freshwater because of its sheer durability – so far, after exposure to seawater, it’s still not shown any signs of damage.

I’ve been using anchors that weigh 25 to 30 pounds with it and no amount of excess seaweed has gotten it down so far. That’s a testament to its power, as far as I’m concerned. It’s right up there with the other winches here that stand out with the said quality.

The included roller prevents tangling and keeps the raising and lowering of the anchor as smooth and almost automatic as possible. Lastly, nothing prevents me from appreciating any winch that makes free fall possible. This one does it in the sleekest way possible, allowing me to save loads of time.

Be prepared to pay extra for all these perks, though. I can’t think of any major flaw that needs to be noted based on my year-and-a-half experience with it. I’m just going to go ahead and say that it’s probably one of the most expensive winches I’ve purchased to date.
What We Like
  • Made to last
  • Proven to be waterproof and compatible with saltwater
  • Superior power
  • Rope tangling prevention
  • Has free fall feature
What We Don’t Like
  • Expensive
New, high-end electric winches can beat a used electric boat anchor winch any time, especially if they have this product’s swell combination of perks.

Factors To Consider When Choosing An Electric Boat Anchor Winch

electric-anchor-for-boat

To me, it’s all about maximizing the conveniences you can enjoy from going electric. If you’re wondering what you should really look out for when buying an electric windlass anchor winch, I suggest you always begin with the following factors:

Free-spooling or Backlashing Prevention

Any winch, even a homemade boat anchor winch, that can guarantee this earns my checkmark. This means you don’t have to manually untangle the anchor which only creates more hassles.

There’s no sure way to find out if a winch can prevent tangled lines. You’ll have to try it out yourself or rely on first-hand reviews that discuss this feature.

Length of Rope

Ultimately, this depends a lot on the depth of the water that you’ll be boating or fishing regularly on. You’ll have to make sure that the included rope can adequately accommodate the said depth.

I don’t depart too much from the tried-and-tested 3:1 ratio of rope to depth when making this decision. This is important if you don’t have any plans to replace the included rope so that it will be compatible with the water depth and want to ensure you have proper tension on the line. Most electric winch products only have a certain limit to the ropes they use.

I may not have mentioned this factor that much in my reviews because everyone’s case and setup are different. However, you should never overlook it. Keep in mind that most products integrate a rope length average of 100 feet.

Power

When talking about power, I’m referring to the motor’s capacity to bring up the anchor despite the possibility of added weight from seaweed and other debris that may get caught in it.

Plenty of winches use a 12V motor but, based on my experience, each one has different raising capabilities. Some won’t even struggle that much even with the extra load.

Durability

I’m not just talking about the winch’s overall toughness and longevity when referring to this factor. You’ll also have to look at its compatibility with saltwater and whether the winch is covered with corrosion-protective materials to better handle the harsher elements in such marine environments.

I prefer marine-friendly, metal constructions over plastic ones because of this.

Anchor Weight Capacity

Many electric winches available in the market don’t go beyond 30 pounds. Some even only support 20-pounders. It’s important to note that just because a brand states that the product supports a specific maximum weight doesn’t mean it will always perform well with it.

Heavier anchors will tend to use more motor power so don’t forget about this. Better if you can ask the manufacturer directly about the true capacity of their product and the most ideal anchor weights they perform in.

Warranty

Warranty is always a plus if you want to avoid the common problem of electric winches failing only after a few times of use. Most of the products I featured here have a one-year warranty, which should cover that.

The Different Types of Electric Anchor Winches

Electric anchor winches can be categorized based on how you control them.

  • Remote-controlled winches add the ready benefit of letting you operate them regardless of where you are on the deck. If you prefer to go solo fishing and boating, you’ll find this feature doubly handy.
  • Switch-controlled winches are usually products that don’t come with a wireless remote. You’ll have to stand or sit near the winch’s Up/Down and free-fall switches to operate it.

Besides that, these marine tools can also be grouped based on whether they are for freshwater or saltwater application or both.

  • Freshwater electric winches tend to have less durable constructions than their saltwater counterparts, partly because they don’t have corrosion resistance or aren’t made of metal. They may be waterproof, but they may be damaged the moment you use them on saltwater.
  • Saltwater winches, on the other hand, tend to be of superior make because they anticipate ocean and saltwater lake conditions. In my experience, these are the most versatile since there’s nothing stopping you from using them on freshwater lakes because of the added corrosion and waterproof protection.

Regarding horizontal winches, I find these products to be too rare to be considered for separate categorization. I’m, of course, referring to how they’re mounted, not their orientation when pulling or lowering the anchor line. Most winches available in the market are mounted vertically with a horizontal orientation, which results in a more compact, space-saving setup.

Benefits and Drawbacks of an Electric Anchor Winch

The most obvious is convenience. If you have a condition that prevents you from picking up and dropping heavy anchors, this gadget will take care of that for you.

I also save time because I get to skip most of the manual steps involved in anchoring. Those with free fall capabilities save me even more. Additionally, I won’t have to make sure that the rope is properly rolled and the anchor correctly stowed after I’ve raised it. In turn, that means I won’t have to worry about tripping on a line of rope.

As for drawbacks, electric anchor winches do cost more than any other winch or windlass. Furthermore, since they’re motor-run, expect to have more power-related expenses when you’re boating or fishing.

How Heavy An Anchor Do You Need For Your Boat

electric-boat-anchors

If we’re talking about sheer weight, I suggest you stick to the guidelines provided by the anchor winch manufacturer and the anchor weight limit.

Of course, holding power is a different topic. You’ll have to factor in windage and the length of the boat. In most cases, a 25-footer, which is the average for most solo vessels, will already do well with a 15-pound anchor, assuming the winds won’t go above 30mph.

In short, it should always be based on the length of your boat. If you want a good table for reference, head on over to this site.

We can’t forget about the anchor rode, too. Most electric anchor winches aren’t compatible with chains, so it’s safe to say that they won’t handle extreme marine conditions that well.

Where To Mount An Electric Boat Anchor Winch

Most boaters mount their winches on the aft or fore. You can even mount two winches on these locations for extra convenience. I like products with long cable wires since I don’t want to have to put it as close to the motor or battery as possible, which is almost always a less than ideal place to install it.

How Do You Install A Winch Electric Boat Anchor

First, you’ll have to determine the exact spot where you want to place it. The surface has to be solid and rigid and can be drilled to accommodate the mounting holes on the given product. The manufacturer should provide you with extra installation recommendations so be sure to follow them.

Obviously, you’ll have to do some measurements to get the exact distance of the holes that you’ll have to frill. Incidentally, you may choose to set it on an upraised block of wood if you want to make adjustments to the height, relative to the water’s depth and the rode length. This will require accurate measurements, too.

And that’s pretty much the challenging part in most installations. Once you get the measurements right, you only need to screw the winch in place, using the accompanying nuts and bolts. You can even add an extra layer of adhesion by using marine-friendly glues or silicones. Ultimately, it’s your choice.

What Is The Difference Between A Windlass And A Winch

People tend to regard these two synonymously, and I can’t blame them since, technically, a windlass is a type of winch. An anchor winch is different from an anchor windlass based on the following facts:

  • An anchor winch is designed to work with a line of rope, which it can wind up or wind out to fulfill the purpose of raising and lowering the anchor respectively. Most use a roller to get the job done
  • An anchor windlass, on the other hand, uses a barrel, belt, and winch combination. The barrel pivots every time you turn the belt. The winch then jumps into action by twisting the rope attached to it to raise or lower the anchor.
  • Most windlasses have higher weight capacities than winches, and they tend to be found on larger ships as a result.

Conclusion

The best electric boat anchor winch should be able to deliver stellarly on all the factors I mentioned above. More or less, these qualities can all be found in the products I featured above.

Again, you want to have to enjoy the most conveniences they provide as possible, to the point that you actually get to enjoy the best parts of boating and fishing. The less stress you get as a result of ease of installation, user-friendliness, and reliability, the better.

5/5 - (3 votes)