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Winch Selection Guide

How to choose the best anchor winch for your boat

The information we have provided on this page should only be relied upon as general advice. When recommending the best winch for your particular boat, you should be aware that our advice would change depending on, but not limited to…

  • Average anchoring depth your boat is operating in and required length and diameter of rope and chain to suit your boat
  • Whether you are using your boat offshore (ocean) or onshore (rivers and lakes)
  • Total length of your boat
  • The size of the mounting area
  • Total operating boat weight (including passengers and fish/gear weight)

Size Matters

When it comes to choosing the right winch for your boat, size matters. It’s important to consider the size of your boat and the specific conditions in which you’ll be using it. Sometimes, a larger boat may not necessarily require a large winch, while a smaller boat may need a larger one.

For instance, if you have a pontoon boat that mainly operates in shallow river systems, a small winch might be sufficient. On the other hand, if you’re planning to take your boat offshore into the ocean, you may need a larger winch to handle the rougher conditions.

To determine the appropriate winch size, you should also take into account the total length of your boat and the total operating weight, including passengers and any additional gear or fish. This will ensure that the winch you choose is capable of handling the load effectively.

Additionally, consider the type of anchor you’ll be using and the average anchoring depth. This will help determine the required length and diameter of the rope and chain that will suit your boat’s needs.

Lastly, don’t forget to assess the size of the mounting area on your boat. You want to make sure that the winch you select fits properly and can be securely installed.

If you’re still unsure about which winch to choose, don’t hesitate to reach out to our knowledgeable staff for advice. We’re here to help you make an informed decision and find the perfect winch that meets your specific requirements.

anchor winch for your boat
Windlass Lone Star Marine anchor wicnhes

Windlass vs Drum

Windlass style winches have been the mainstay of the winch market for years. This doesn’t necessarily mean they are the best. People know Windlass winches for their unreliability, jam prone operation, and short life cycle.

Drum winches on the other hand can be installed anywhere on your boat. Because Lone Star Winches are waterproof it doesn’t matter where you put them. They work in tandem with the vertical force of gravity and spool evenly over the drum meaning a enhanced ease of operation. Learn more about the range of Lone Star Marine’s winches we stock via their website

Select the Best Model

The table below is an illustration for fishing average salt water conditions, including wind waves and swell. For shallow water, calm conditions, or using a small anchor and rope, big boats can use smaller winches.

When it comes to choosing a winch for your boat, drum winches are a versatile option. Unlike other types of winches, drum winches can be installed anywhere on your boat. This is because Lone Star Winches, in particular, are waterproof, so you don’t have to worry about their placement. Whether you want to mount it on the bow or the stern, it’s entirely up to you.

One of the advantages of drum winches is their ability to work in tandem with the force of gravity. This means that as you lower or raise your anchor, the winch will spool the rope evenly over the drum. This not only ensures a smooth operation but also reduces the strain on your arms and back. With a drum winch, anchoring becomes a breeze.

If you’re unsure about which model to choose, Lone Star Marine provides a range of winches to suit different needs. They even have a helpful table that illustrates the best winch for fishing in average saltwater conditions, taking into account factors such as wind, waves, and swell. For those with smaller boats or who frequently anchor in shallow water or calm conditions, a smaller winch may be sufficient.

So, whether you’re a seasoned angler or a casual boater, consider investing in a drum winch from Lone Star Marine. With their waterproof design and ease of operation, you’ll be able to anchor your boat with confidence and enjoy your time on the water even more. Visit their website today to find the best winch for your needs.

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GX5 Charter King
GX 6 Jumbo
GX1 anchor winch
GX2 lone star marine anchor winch
GX2 HD Lone Star Marine anchor winch
GX3 Lone Star Marine anchor winch
GX4 anchor winch
GX5 anchor winch
GX6 anchor winch
Boat Size
up to 20ft
up to 25ft
up to 30ft
up to 30ft
up to 40ft
up to 50ft
up to 65ft +
Max Capacity
225ft 1/4 inch D/B rope & 20ft of 1/4 inch S/L chain
300ft 5/16 inch D/B rope & 25ft of 1/4 inch S/L chain
300ft 5/16 inch D/B rope & 25ft of 1/4 inch S/L chain
330ft 3/8 inch D/B rope & 35ft of 5/16 inch S/L chain
425ft 3/8 inch D/B rope & 40ft of 5/16 inch S/L chain
450ft 1/2 inch D/B rope & 35ft of 3/8 inch S/L chain
500ft 7/8 inch D/B rope & 39ft of 1/2 inch S/L chain
Payout Retrieval
Overall Height
Overall Width
Bear Motor Adj.
12 positions
12 positions
12 positions
12 positions
12 positions
12 positions
8 positions
Holding Power
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Watch our video to help determine the right model GX Series winch for your boat. 

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