Boat Winch Maintenance

This page provides information on servicing boat trailer winches. Boaters should always consult their owners manual before servicing winches or other equipment.


This shows the inner workings of the unit. The gears may not be well lubricated out of the box. It is a good idea to coat each gear with a coating of a good quality marine grease.

Here the cable is being upgraded to a 50' replacement. This is generally needed when doubling the cable thru a block and tackle on boats over 20'. The cable is pushed thru the drum and the copper sleeve is soldered on or peened with a punch to retain it on the cable.


This view shows the opposite side of the winch. Bearings and washers on the center gear shaft need lubing and frequent replacement. When this small thrust bearing begins to fail the winch clutch will tend to tighten or loosen on its own. Replace the bearing and washers when this begins to occur.

Here the longer cable has been replaced. The unit will perform better with the longer cable.

The unit is complete and ready to go back in service. The cable doubles thru a pulley to handle a large boat.