3 Step Boat Ramp Winch Selection Guide
Having access to a quality winch system is crucial when using a boat ramp to launch your vessel. For safe and effective operation, it's important to select the correct winch model based on both the gradient of the boat ramp and also the weight of your boat and trailer combination. While some winch products are capable of working in a range of conditions, having access to the correct model and capacity rating will make it safer and easier for you to get on the water.
1. What is the angle of the boat ramp?
Before selecting a winch, it's important to measure the angle of the boat ramp or slipway where it will be used. The angle of a boat ramp typically varies from 5° to up to 30°, with different winch solutions required depending on the gradient. While a 5° incline has a ratio of 1:12, a steep 30° ramp has a ratio of 1:1.7. Typical boat ramp gradients include 5°, 10°, 12.5°, 15°, 20°, 25°, and 30°. It is also important to remember that the incline of a boat ramp can vary significantly along different sections of the travel length and the steepest point of the boat ramp should be noted when measuring the angle of the boat ramp.
2. What is the weight of the boat and trailer/trolley?
Other than the angle of the incline, it's the total weight of your boat and trailer/trolley which has the biggest effect on the operation of the winch. There can be a huge variation in weight between vessels and trailers, with the appropriate equipment needed to ensure safety and control.
The weight of your boat and angle of the ramp are related, with heavier vessels only suitable for less steep inclines. For example, while a small 220kg boat can be launched safely on a 30° ramp, anything over 5000kg will generally need an incline of 15° or less. When choosing a winch, it's important to measure the total weight of your boat and trailer/trolley combination, rather than the weight of your boat alone.
3. Finding the correct winch model for your requirements
Choosing the right winch for your needs depends on matching the angle of the ramp with the weight of your boat and trailer. While a number of models can be used to meet your needs, it's important to select a product carefully based on the gradient followed by the weight. For example, while a mid-sized 2000kg boat can be launched safely with a wide range of winches, the recommended and most appropriate model can be found by choosing the gradient of the ramp first.