At HES we are regularly asked about winches to pull your toys into the shed or garage. The most common query we get is something like this: "My boat weighs 2 tonnes, so do I need a 2 tonne winch?"

Winches are generally rated by their line pull capacity, meaning the winch is capable of lifting a dead weight to that capacity. Your boat may weigh 2 tonnes, but if you are just pulling it into the garage, you are not lifting it as a dead weight.

When putting a boat or caravan in the garage, it will usually be on a trailer or a carriage that transfers much of the weight to the ground. This means that a 2 tonne winch is probably overkill.

To calculate the right winch for your needs, these are the factors that we need to consider:

  1. The incline angle of the ramp: The steeper the ramp the more line pull capacity is required.
  2. The weight of boat, trailer and any other inclusions such as fuel, motor etc.
  3. The friction caused by your trailer or carriage. Is it on wheels? Are they solid wheels or rubber tyres? The less friction created, the less line pull required.
  4. The distance from the water to the shed. Winches have multi-layered drums for the wire rope. When used on the outer layers, the line pull is less powerful but the speed is greater. On the bottom layer, the line pull is greater but the speed is slower. A longer pull will generally need a stronger winch.
  5. Power Source. What power source is available, 240v or 415v?
  6. Operating Position. If you need to be at the boat, a remote control may be required. If you can operate the winch from the shed, a simple pendant control or on/off switch may be best. Here is one important safety tip: never stand behind the winch while it's working; if it fails, you could be seriously injured.
  7. Electric or Hand Winch? Using a hand winch is usually a lower cost option, but they are slower than powered winches and require greater physical effort. If you use an electric winch it is also a good option to get a fire extinguiher on your boat or trailer.
  8. Shed Size and Foundations. Will the winch fit in your shed? Are the foundations capable of securing your winch?

To allow us to recommend the best winch for you, we enter all the available information into our Winch Load Calculation Tool, which uses an engineer-designed formula for a quick result.

Here at HES, we sell a complete range of quality winches for multiple applications and can offer installation, servicing and repairs via our experienced service team. HES Winches are the manufacturers of the superior quality Oz Signature Series slipway winch and OzWinch range, with models to suit most applications. We also distribute other major brands including Jarrett, Atlantic, Titan, Warn, Pacific and many others.

With branches or distributors across Australia, we are never far away. If you are in need of help buying or repairing a winch, please contact us today.