The Best Electric Anchor Winch For Secure Control

You’re here because setting and retrieving an anchor is a difficult time-consuming task. Especially if you are a beginner, as injuries are common. To improve the process, smart boaters use the best electric anchor winch they can afford.

Why Use An Electric Anchor Winch?

closeup of a black Minn Kota Deckhand Electric Anchor Winch on a white boat

A helping hand when anchoring is a great feature for new boaters and anglers alike. With an electric winch, your boat won’t drift as you hook up a fresh catch! As well, no more manual cranking a winch handle to haul in heavy anchor rope either. Instead use a simple push of a button to raise and lower an anchor within seconds.

If you’re confused about which boat winch is best for you, don’t worry I’ve got you covered. To start there’s a detailed comparison table, if you only want important tidbits. After, I give you product reviews of which model best fit certain applications. As a result you get everything you need to know to buy the correct electric anchor winch for your boat.

Related: How-to Select An Electric Anchor Winch

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Table of Contents

Horizontal Electric Boat Anchor Winches:

This article covers only horizontal style anchor winches. Simply put, this means that the electric motor and spindle sit in the horizontal position. The entire unit mounts on the deck space either in the front or rear of the watercraft.

While some boaters find this style too noticeable, it’s much less instrusive for install and less expensive to maintain. Also, it is better for boats with small anchor lockers.

As a result, horizontal models are great for boats with small or weird shaped anchor lockers. Another bonus for is this style is it requires a chain fall of only 12-inches.

Other than the bulky appearance, it has one other disadvantage. A horizontal winch is less secure or powerful than vertical model. This is important if you boat in rough open waters as the chain/rope can dislodge from the unit.

For this review article, the winches are best suited for boats under 24-feet in length. Vessels which operate in freshwater and inshore salt water areas.

Comparison Chart

The Best Electric Anchor Winch For Deck Boats Under 24-Feet

Purple label with gold anchor stating Editor's choice
Sale
TRAC Deckboat 40 Auto Deploy G-3
  • Style & Use: Horizontal, For Freshwater Use
  • Max Anchor Capacity: 40 Pounds
  • Davit Roller Type: Separate Or Attached
  • Anchor Rode Type: Pre-Spooled Braided Rope
  • Rode Length & Breaking Strain: 100-Feet / 0.20-Inches Diameter
  • Control Type(s): Wireless Remote Control & Sealed Switch
  • Wiring: 16-Feet (4.9 M) Marine-Grade Wiring
  • Full Winch Dimensions(Inches): 19.5 (L) x 9.75 (w) x 5.75 (H)
  • Item Weight: 14-Pounds
  • Warranty (Years): 2 Limited
Pro's & Con's

Trac Deckboat 40 Autodeploy-G3 Review:

The 12 -volt TRAC Outdoors Deckboat 40-G3 is the best boat anchor winch this year. It takes the number one spot due to the best cost to performance ratio. Buyers with pontoons or deck boats with limited space will like the compact imprint of the unit. At 9 x 9-inches for the head unit you will have no problem finding somewhere to install it. Nor will you find install hard as it comes with excellent instructions.

Inside is a 12-volt DC, all-steel powder coated gear motor housed in a robust case. The motor is very efficient using less battery power than other brands. For anchor rope, it come pre-spooled with 100-feet of 3/16-inch braided line.

Up front is a full sized anchor davit (roller) capable of controlling up to a 40-pound anchor. Although to keep the gear motor from overheating, a 35-pound is my max.

Auto-Deploy

Moving on, simplicity is key for using this anchor winch. Operating via a sealed membrane switch that protects against water and UV damage. Run the winch from either the head unit with three buttons. Or via the included remote control, which can retrieve 100-feet of line in under two minutes.

Other than the “Up” and “Down” buttons, you also get an “Auto-Deploy” feature. So no need to hold down the button anymore. Instead you get touch-and-release deployment of the anchor.

What happens during auto-deploy for this electric anchor winch? As the anchor hits the bottom, the gear motor slows down the amount of rope released. The instant there’s enough rope to hold position the gear motor stops. Plus you can use the button two ways, either for drift control or anchor lock. When not in use it has a safety clip to keep the anchor in place too.

Verdict:

Buy the Trac Deckboat 40 Autodeploy-G3 if you want simple, smooth operation with fantastic holding power. The durable construction combined with well engineered motor deliver perfect control. As well as peace of mind you’ll stay in place, no matter the conditions.

Affordable Saltwater Electric Winch For Pontoon Boats

green and white colored budget friendly label
Pactrade Marine ‎35lb (Saltwater)
  • Style & Use: Horizontal, For Saltwater Use
  • Max Anchor Capacity: 35-Pounds (15.9 Kg)
  • Davit Roller Type: Attached
  • Anchor Rode Type: Pre-Spooled Braided Rope
  • Rode Length & Pound-Test: 100-Feet / 700-Pound
  • Control Type(s): Switch (Case)
  • Wiring: 10-Gauge Tin Plated Wire
  • Full Winch Dimensions(Inches): 25.75 (L) x 9.6 (w) x 6 (H)
  • Item Weight: 20-Pounds
  • Warranty (Years): 1
Pro's & Con's

Pactrade 35 Saltwater Electric Anchor Winch Review:

Simple and affordable is how I would describe the Pactrade 35 saltwater winch. While it’s not feature rich, it saves your back by eliminating the need to pull up the anchor with your hands. In fact, it will raise the anchor at 70ft (21.3m) per minute!

30-Pound Anchor Capacity

Even though this model is inexpensive, it does have max anchor capacity of 35-pounds. Although for best use, a 30-pound anchor is the recommended max weight. Doing so will keep the winch from straining during wind or currents.

Likewise, it comes with 100-feet (30.5m) of pre-wound braided anchor rope. That delivers 700-pounds (317.5kg) of break strength and an internal anti-reverse clutch. The clutch prevents free spooling of the anchor.

Moving on, if deck space is a concern this winch might not be for you. As it’s more cumbersome than others, for example the davit roller alone is 16-inches in length!

Inside the Pactrade 35 saltwater version uses a 12-volt steel gear motor. The manufacturer claims it uses less battery power than other brands but this isn’t the case. Wiring is a 10-gauge marine grade that’s tin plated, so you don’t have to worry salt corrosion. Plus it comes with a built-in circuit breaker for electrical safety.

Another open water features of this anchor winch is the case material. It has a UV resistant plastic case to protect the internal parts. As well as a safety cable, to hold the anchor in place when not in use, this reduces trip hazards on the deck.

Verdict:

Buy the Pactrade 35 saltwater if you spend most of the time in inshore saltwater. It’s the best electric anchor winch that’s actually saltwater rated. So no need to worry about voiding the warranty using this one in the ocean.

Top Anchor Winch For River Anglers

blue and yellow colored top marks label
Minn Kota Deckhand 40
  • Style & Use: Horizontal, For Freshwater Use
  • Max Anchor Capacity: 20-Pounds (Min) to 40-Pounds (18.1 Kg)
  • Davit Roller Type: Separate, Attached or Quick Release (Sold Separately)
  • Anchor Rode Type: Pre-Spooled Braided Rope
  • Rode Length & Pound-Test: 100-Feet / 800-Pound
  • Control Type(s): Switch (Case) or Wired Remote (Sold Separately)
  • Wiring: 5-Feet Of 10-Guage Tin Plated Wire
  • Full Winch Dimensions(Inches): 19 (L) x 10.75 (w) x 5.75 (H)
  • Item Weight: 22-Pounds
  • Warranty (Years): 2 Limited
Pro's & Con's

Minn Kota Deckhand 40 Review:

The Deckhand 40 is in the runner-up spot for best electric anchor winch. Due to it’s build quality and capability to anchor vessels for river fishing. It lost marks over the #1 pick because it’s heavier, it doesn’t come with a remote and it’s a pain to install.

Designed for larger deck boats, the deckhand 40 has a max anchor capacity from 20 (min) up to 40 Lbs. It comes pre-spooled with 100-feet of 800-pound test nylon rope. So it’s more than capable to anchor your boat in both lakes or rivers.

For motor it has a 12-volt DC steel gear motor inside an ABS plastic case. In front, a universal davit mounts in many portions. Moreover, it stows the anchor in a horizontal position to prevent swinging. Plus you can buy a special quick release mount if you prefer to remove it at the end of the day. Want to remove the anchor? There’s a handy shackle to do so.

To install it, don’t expect help because there aren’t any paper instructions?! Instead they’re online but this adds annoying extra steps. To drill the mount holes you have to remove the top cover. Furthermore the battery wires are shorter than other brands.

Anchor Control

Next, integrated into the base of the unit is the stow (up) and deploy (down) switch button. Unfortunately, to get wired remote control you have to buy an extra 25-feet long wired remote. Not including this remote is a nuisance.

Anchor deployment speed is an impressive 70-feet per minute. While stowing speed comes in at 65-feet per Minute. For enhanced fishing it comes with a great anti-drag feature. Which senses the bottom, and adjusts line tension for controlled drifting.

It does have one disadvantage that I hate. The lack of auto shut-off when stowing, which causes unneeded line strain.

Verdict:

This is the best electric anchor winch for 20 to 24 feet fishing boats that want good control for river fishing. The anti-drag is perfect for angling but comes with some annoying caveats.

Corded Remote Anchor Winch For Boats Under 20-Feet

Sale
Minn Kota Deckhand 25R
  • Style & Use: Horizontal, For Freshwater Use
  • Max Anchor Capacity: 25-Pounds (11.3 Kg)
  • Davit Roller Type: Separate, Attached or Quick Release (Sold Separately)
  • Anchor Rode Type: Pre-Spooled Braided Nylon Rope
  • Rode Length & Pound-Test: 60-Feet / 800-Pound
  • Control Type(s): 12-Feet Of Corded Remote Control
  • Wiring: 10-Gauge Tin Plated Wire
  • Full Winch Dimensions(Inches): 11.6 (L) x 7.2 (W) x 8.4 (H)
  • Item Weight: 12.5-Pounds
  • Warranty (Years): 2 Limited
Pro's & Con's

Minn Kota Deckhand 25R Review:

This is the best electric anchor winch for Jon boats (under 15 Ft.) or small pontoons. The “R” denotes that this is a Deckhand 25 model with an added corded remote. At 12-feet long, it allows you to control the anchor winch from anywhere in the vessel.

Powered via a 12-volt battery, it features an all-steel gear motor. For anchor capacity, the max is 25-pounds but like all the other winches the best max is 5-pounds lighter. It delivers excellent operation for lake and mushroom anchors weighing less than 20-pounds.

No need to worry about adding extra anchor rope. As it’s pre-spooled with 60-feet of 800-pound test nylon rope. At this length it’s perfect for shallow calmer waters.

Compact Installation

Since a Jon boat lacks a ton of deck space, one might think they don’t have room for an anchor winch. No problem with the Deckhand 25R, as its dimensions are a tiny 11.6 (L) x 7.2 (W) inches and only weighs 13.9 pounds. The davit is capable of stowing many different types of anchors. You can mount the davit on the unit or in a separate position.

Actual installation is tricky though, as the instructions are online only. Moreover, the battery wires are a bit short for my liking.

Simple Operation

Don’t expect a switch on the head unit for this model. The only control is via the corded remote with toggle switch. Which raises or lowers your anchor at the touch of a button. The special anti-drift feature stops the gear motor when the anchor touches bottom.

On the water, this winch is a bit noisy and I find the drift feature has a hard learning curve. But actual anchoring hold strong and stowing work well in even mucky water.

Verdict:

The Minn Kota 25R is best electric anchor winch small freshwater Jon boats. It’s a simple reliable performer if you ignore how much noise it makes.

Great Freshwater Winch For Small Deck Boats

blue and yellow colored top marks label
TRAC Outdoors Fisherman 25-G3
  • Style & Use: Horizontal, For Freshwater Use
  • Max Anchor Capacity: 25-Pounds (11.3 Kg)
  • Davit Roller Type: Separate Or Attached
  • Anchor Rode Type: Pre-Spooled Double Braided Rope
  • Rode Length & Pound-Test: 100-Feet / .20-Inch Diameter
  • Control Type(s): Sealed Membrane Switch (Case)
  • Wiring: 14-Gauge Marine Grade
  • Full Winch Dimensions(Inches): 15.75 (L) x 9 (W) x 6.26 (H)
  • Item Weight: 13-Pounds
  • Warranty (Years): 2 Limited
Pro's & Con's

Trac Outdoors Fisherman 25-G3 Review:

Save yourself from back discomfort and pain with my top pick for sub 25-pound winches. Especially if you own a deck boat under 20-feet long that runs in freshwater only. This is the Fisherman 25-G3 anchor winch from Trac Outdoors. Anchor weight maxes out at 25-pounds, but to extend gear motor life a max of 20-pounds is ideal.

By far, this is the easiest model to install thanks to the detailed instructions that come in the package. The amount of deck space you need is 15.75-inches in length and 9-inches in width. Including all hardware, battery wire and 100′ of pre-wound double braid anchor line.

The full size anchor roller can mount to the unit or separated and comes with a safety clip when not in use.

Specifications and Features

For a great price you get pretty decent construction too. Including a sleek case with a powder coated steel gear box, and steel gear motor. The efficient 12-volt DC motor sips power compared to the other brands. Control comes from a sealed membrane integrated in the head unit. With an up and down button, yet I wish it came with an auto deploy button too.

Performance is good too, expect deploy speeds of 65-feet per minute. Although I can’t say the same for the claimed anchor up speed of 90-feet per minute. As running it in sandy weed filled water is much slower. I appreciate the built-in circuit breaker to keep the motor from overheating.

I also like the anti-drift feature that sense if the anchor lift off the bottom for fishing. In addition there’s the option for anchor lock too. Both increase boat position to increase my chances of taking home a fresh catch.

Verdict:

This is the best electric anchor winch for deck boats with little space. It’s a compact energy efficient winch best suited for clear freshwater fishing.

Inexpensive Saltwater Winch For Small Flat Deck Vessels

Futchoy 25 Lbs Saltwater
  • Style & Use: Horizontal, For Saltwater Use
  • Max Anchor Capacity: 25-Pounds (11.3 Kg)
  • Davit Roller Type: Separate
  • Anchor Rode Type: Pre-Spooled Braided Rope
  • Rode Length & Pound-Test: 100-Feet / 700-Pounds
  • Control Type(s): Sealed Membrane Switch (Case)
  • Wiring: 10-Gauge Marine Grade
  • Full Winch Dimensions(Inches): 19.5 (L) x 9.75 (W) x 5.75 (H)
  • Item Weight: Unknown
  • Warranty (Years): None Listed
Pro's & Con's

Futchoy 25-Pounds Saltwater Winch Review:

This is the most basic cheap saltwater boat anchor winch I reviewed. The 12V Futchoy 25 is for the type of boater who could care less about brand names and are budget conscious.

Futchoy offers this model in either a 45-pound capacity or 25, but this review covers the latter. As the name suggests it has a 25-pound maximum anchor capacity. Consider maxing out at a 20-pound anchor to keep the circuit breaker from tripping. For anchor rode it’s 100-feet long with a stated breaking strain of 700-pounds, which is decent. At the end is a factory made metal shackle for quick switch different anchors.

There’s no install instructions so expect a couple of headaches. Especially if you are new to marine electrical work. Another concern is that there’s no warranty, so buying the Futchoy is a total leap of faith.

Affordable Construction

The build quality of the Futchoy 25 matches the price point. The plastic case uses a sealed membrane to reduce rusting and UV inhibitors to reduce sun damage. Inside is a die-cast aluminum gear box that contains steel gears. Plus an internal anti-reverse clutch to prevent free-spooling.

Like many of the other the brands, it claims up speeds of 70 Ft/min and down speeds of 65 Ft./min. Both of which are slower on the water. But that’s expected when you buy from relatively unknown manufacturers.

I do like that they include a wireless remote control and automatic reset circuit breaker. Both add convenience and safety to the boat.

Verdict:

Consider the Futchoy 25 saltwater if you don’t want to spend a lot to get a basic electric anchor winch. You get salt water wireless control that works albeit slower than others.

Finishing Up: The Best Electric Anchor Winch

By now you should know which electric anchor winch available is best for your boat. Vessel length, deck space and price are all essential considerations. While most of us like to save money, this isn’t the product to cheap out on. Since it protects both the safety of your investment and onboard occupants.

Thanks for letting Outdoors Informed help with your research. Doing so lets you spend less time indoors and ensuring secure anchor control.

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