110 volt winch for boats

We have a deceased lake pump, I want to turn the switch into an outlet and put a 110 v ac winch to pull the boats up. A 14’ aluminum row/motor boat, 16’ aluminum canoe, and 1 14’ sunfish sailboat, and a 10’ paddleboat. Simple electric change from a switch to an outlet but I am having trouble finding a cheap winch that is 110 v ac, looking forward to your finds. I have made a stand for the mechanical boat winch, but it is so slow, and much winding. Want to go electric! Thanks in advance!

I don’t know what kind of money you’re talking about but Harbor Freight has some 110 volt electric winches as I remember looking a few of them over several years ago when I was in one of their stores in OK City.

My memory is very hazy but I seem to remember they were about 125/150 bucks and were good for pulling a half or three quarter tons of weight. Maybe a remote control with them also???

The ones I can find under 110v electric winch on Harbor Freight’s site are either a 440lb capacity electric hoist w/ remote for $99.99 or the 2000lb capacity w/remote for $249.99

A bit curious so I pulled the site up and got this.

Based on the reviews by purchasers it seems to be a pretty good unit.

Northern tool has at least three ranging from $300, 400, to $1000. You could also look at hoists which are 110v but usually they want to go vertical. northerntool.com

You may want to check local codes. But it might be wise anyway to use a 4 banger box, keep the switch and add an outlet. That way you can interrupt the electrical supply without having to march back to the house. Probably need one of those tamper proof boxes to keep out the weather and kids…

I have a similar problem around my shore frontage along with other friends around theirs. Using electric power is all well and good and the suggestions are great. What is causing the effort may be the surface you are using to pull your boats up on and changing it cheaply may make a lot of difference in effort . I use PVC pipe cut in haves and screwed to boat ramps 2x4 on edge and along with pvc pipe pieces in four foot lengths set in the water to make the entire process very very easy. In addition, I keep a spray can of silicone around for the carpeted bunks on my fishing boat…they are well out of water and after passing over the pipes by keeping the carlpeting coated, it comes up easily.

Everything slides so easily, it wants to slide back in the water with it’s own weight. So, everything you named is 120 lbs or less and for aluminum row boats, canoes and a little 10 foot paddle boat to slide over this stuff, if you need a winch of any kind, you have the wrong surface and reconstructing the ramps is cheaper and more efficient. If you don’t use ramps, please consider it. Aluminum “sticks” to everything except pvc and siliconed surfaces.

If I have to pull a boat up a steep incline over a piece of carpeted bunk with silicone, I use a simple block and tackle with a bowline tied on the end as a harness and just “walk” to pull the boats up. My 1000 lb fishing boat and motor “can” be pulled up with a simple block in a pinch, though I use the tractor by convenience as it can hold it in place while I tie it off…it wants to slide back into the water too easily. That is the only problem I have. Everything needs to be tied off. But, they can easily be tied to the ramp itself. Launching is a matter of untiring a knot and chasing the boat into the water. You can use just one ramp for everything and just roll the boats to one side of another on land as you bring each in and out of the water. I have one crowded beaching area and have to do that for some boats.

Thanks for all the ideas, I guess I was thinking winches would be less expensive. I put in a strap boat trailer winch, but have to go 40 ’ or so up the slope to leave room for the docks, and it was an exhausting experience, so many cranks. I built a nice base for the winnch and will spring the $100 plus for an electric. The ramp idea is nice, @dagosa, but probably not needed ad this point.

Oh, so this is something you do just once a year when you pull the boats in over a long distance up a slope. I see. A hand winch can be a real pain for such distances.

What a friend and I have good success with doing these projects is a four to one or more purchase of blocks with a loop on one end. You can tie it around the waist and walk down hill while the boat goes up. If the line won’t stretch the enter length, just retie it every so many feet to the painter on the boats. The other thing I have laying around the lot, are a bunch of five foot long pieces of the pvc 4inch diameter pipes I mentioned earlier. You can space them out and wedge them every so many feet up the slope so the boat is always on one. I have done this and easily pulled them up walking down the hill with the block and tackle. It’s just a once and a while thing so the prep is not a big deal.

I get now what the problem is and the aluminum boats dragging on the ground creates a lot of resistance. My biggest concern is if you do not minimize the drag on the boat, it puts a strain on the fittings you tie to on your boats. Aluminum is tough but the plastic boats can take gas, especially from an electric winch which can yank really hard. If you are walking down hill with blocks, you can feel the resistance. Having someone walk behind the boats and guide them onto the pipes is imperative. Of course, I did everything this way before I bought a tractor. But we do move stuff at a freind’s camp in just such ways. I live on a very steep slope too coming off the shore.

Lastly, if a car is anywhere near the top of the slope, just put one block on a tree in line with direction you want to pull and hook one end of a rope to a car and just drive it up, Have the driver on a cell phone as you follow the boats so you can stop him for problems

Check with the local municipality first. There may be a code requirement for an isolation transformer since you are working near water, metal boats, etc. Probably all you need is an outdoors rated ground fault circuit-breaker, but best to check w/the city first.

I made this transom wheel setup for launching my small boats at local ponds. It’s basically a length of 2x4 slightly wider than the boat transom. I harvested two kids bicycle wheels from a roadside throwaway and with two short lengths of angle iron, attached them to either end of the board. Then put two lag hooks outboard toward the wheels for a strap.

Lift transom (or slide boat partially off trailer), slide carriage axle underneath. Sling ratchet strap across transom, into hooks and tighten. Now go to front of boat and lift up. Walk it anywhere with ease. Of course they sell similar set ups for canoes but no challenge or reward in writing a check is there?

You could adapt this for your yearly take out/put in by placing the carriage axle closer to the center and having one person guide/balance the boat while the other one tows/winches it uphill.

Then I just toss the carriage axle under the stored boat when not in use.

Excellent idea ! My two smaller sail boats, one a Laser and the other a JY15 get launched daily and retrieved on dolleys so your idea has a great chance of making the boats much easier to move. So @Barkydog‌ , is there any way to mount a block to reroute the line direction and tie a rope to the back of a car or four wheeler to do the pulling from above or really from anywhere ?

@dagosa There is no option for getting a car of the front of the property. The pulley ideas are nice, but am at the pull it up without any work on my part, flip it and pull it up and flip and stack it.

The shoreline has been high and eroded the gradual slope, but a little tug up should take care of it. Our lake has no outfall, spring fed, but a 5" rain raises the water level 5". 3 years in a row 100 year rains and we are now 12" above normal high water level. Some problems ensued, last sept my bud calls and says the dock sections are underwater, call the dock guy, sections are out! He always put them on the beach, but now there is no beach and 2 docks are sections are under water.

85 year old decided to retire as I went up in Sept, and we moved the dock sections onto land, new dock guys, great job this year, more later!

We are lucky. Our lake is the highest one around and empties into anothe lake on one end and the river on the other. We have a dam at one end that can control our water level so our docks, shore frontage and wildlife all benefit. You may have to just build a long enough ramp that can be moved around each year to accommodate moving the boats onto shore from differnet high water marks. A friend at another lake has to as …our lake drains into his and he has no options.

Well @Barkydog; you’ve been around and must be handy.

How about knocking that crank handle off the winch and stick a big pulley on there. Then add about a 5Hp rototiller engine. That should zip those boats up the beach pretty quick.

I can see the headlines now “Man launches Canoe over house”.


A good garden tractor can do a pretty good job too. When I did my garage addition, I used the lawn mower to get the sheets of plywood on the roof. Made a 2x4 ramp with a rope on the rafter and the mower. Clamped the sheet and the kid popped the clutch and up went the plywood.