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Installed an Electric Winch

sunbyrned

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I got into a situation where I can’t manually winch the boat any longer. @GTBRMC recommended installing an electric winch. Wonderful idea! I thought it was going to be a simple transition. Take one off, put the other one on. Nope! Had to cut through the welding to get the cover off the manual winch and then drill new holes for the electric one, so if you decide to do this, give yourself a day. I had to position the electric one closer to the boat so the cable wouldn’t rub against the trailer. Winches are expensive but I found this one for $129.00. It advertises as a marine winch. It only winds up electronically. It doesn’t release electronically. That’s fine though. I just keep it tight like the old winch and then let the weight of the boat pull it out by releasing the tension once I’m in the water. My only concern is that it’s a cable and not a strap. If that thing ever broke, it could do some damage I guess, but I don’t think It’s under a lot of stress. Here’s some pics. Video is too large a file to upload.
 

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sunbyrned

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What/how are you powering the winch?
Right now, I just have a spare battery in the back of my Armada and I just hook it up to that. They give plenty of wire though to hook it up to the car battery. That’s the ultimate plan. They recommend not keeping it wired to the car battery when not in use. I don’t see the harm in keeping it wired though and just plug it into the winch when I need it.
 

Ronnie

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Very cool @sunbyrned but here are few thoughts/questions:

1. Did you consider / try power loading instead of the winching?

2. instead of a car battery why not go with a smaller 12v like those in personal water craft?

3. I’ve seen some setups where the battery is installed in a lock box that is permanently mounted to the trailer tongue.
 

sunbyrned

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Very cool @sunbyrned but here are few thoughts/questions:

1. Did you consider / try power loading instead of the winching?

2. instead of a car battery why not go with a smaller 12v like those in personal water craft?

3. I’ve seen some setups where the battery is installed in a lock box that is permanently mounted to the trailer tongue.
All good suggestions. The battery in the back of the car is a small 12v. I power up as far as I can comfortably and then just winch the rest. Maybe six inches or so. Since I can’t see the roller when I power on, I never know when to stop, so I just base it on feel. I don’t want to over push it. I like the idea of putting the battery on the trailer. I’ll look into that possibility. I think I would prefer that than wiring it to the car battery. Thanks!
 

2kwik4u

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All good suggestions. The battery in the back of the car is a small 12v. I power up as far as I can comfortably and then just winch the rest. Maybe six inches or so. Since I can’t see the roller when I power on, I never know when to stop, so I just base it on feel. I don’t want to over push it. I like the idea of putting the battery on the trailer. I’ll look into that possibility. I think I would prefer that than wiring it to the car battery. Thanks!
I assume this would be like any other RV Battery setup. Just put a small battery box on the tongue, then hook the leads to the appropriate pins on the 7-prong plug on your Armada. Might have to put a new end on your trailering wiring, but that's not nearly as hard as the winch install you just did.
 

sunbyrned

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I assume this would be like any other RV Battery setup. Just put a small battery box on the tongue, then hook the leads to the appropriate pins on the 7-prong plug on your Armada. Might have to put a new end on your trailering wiring, but that's not nearly as hard as the winch install you just did.
Hey Neighbor! Thanks for chiming in. Help me out with what you’re saying. I was thinking I would just put the battery I’m currently using onto the trailer and just keep the winch connected to it. What is the advantage of connecting to the Armada pins? (I’m sure I’m missing the obvious.) Thanks!
 

2kwik4u

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Hey Neighbor! Thanks for chiming in. Help me out with what you’re saying. I was thinking I would just put the battery I’m currently using onto the trailer and just keep the winch connected to it. What is the advantage of connecting to the Armada pins? (I’m sure I’m missing the obvious.) Thanks!
Hooking battery to Armada provides a means to recharge the battery while hooked to the truck, as well as a backup source of voltage if the battery is weak while you're loading.
 

sunbyrned

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Hooking battery to Armada provides a means to recharge the battery while hooked to the truck, as well as a backup source of voltage if the battery is weak while you're loading.
Oh, nice! I didn’t realize that would actually recharge it. That makes sense. Thanks!
 

biffdotorg

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You can easily swap out that steel rope for synthetic rope or a strap. I have swapped three steel ropes out for synthetic rope on SXS's. It's not hard, and highly recommended.

1. the steel rope will rust
2. the steel rope will kink at the wrong time
3. after your first steel rope splinter, you will wish you had swapped it, or were wearing gloves while winching.

Good luck!
 

King

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Kudos on having an old-school drill that uses a chuck key!
 

Ronnie

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Hooking battery to Armada provides a means to recharge the battery while hooked to the truck, as well as a backup source of voltage if the battery is weak while you're loading.
Another possible alternative is to replace the battery entirely and power the winch from your tow vehicle’s trailering harness (assuming it has a 7 pin round connector).

I recommend that you also consider installing a ramp n clamp (auto bow eye and bow stop lock). if used correctly you can almost eliminate the need for a winch altogether but I keep both available in case I ever boat at a place that doesn’t allow power loading or I can’t get the ramp n clamp to work properly.

 

sunbyrned

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Another possible alternative is to replace the battery entirely and power the winch from your tow vehicle’s trailering harness (assuming it has a 7 pin round connector).

I recommend that you also consider installing a ramp n clamp (auto bow eye and bow stop lock). if used correctly you can almost eliminate the need for a winch altogether but I keep both available in case I ever boat at a place that doesn’t allow power loading or I can’t get the ramp n clamp to work properly.

Cool! I’ll have to look into both of those. I should have mentioned earlier when I was talking about powering onto the trailer, I used to do that but I found I couldn’t ever get the boat to sit right on the trailer. I would have to back it down the ramp again and realign. By winching it, that eliminated all that. Do you ever have alignment problems with the ramp n clamp?
 

Ronnie

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@sunbyrned , I don’t experience problems horizontally aligning the boat with the ramp n clamp, once the hull makes contact with the bunks the boat will center up on the trailer and with the ramp n clamp, assuming the bunks are mounted / positioned correctly. I do sometimes have problems aligning the boat vertically, usually when I’m at a ramp I’m not familiar with. This is remedied by backing the trailer into the ramp further but sometimes I need to pull the trailer out, this all depends on the steepness of the ramp. As a general guidline I will attempt to use the ramp n clamp twice, after that I’m pulling the boat onto the trailer and / or winching it on.
 

Bruce

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Oh, nice! I didn’t realize that would actually recharge it. That makes sense. Thanks!
Pin 4 of the 7 pin connector is 12V Power. This is intended for powering a breakaway battery for charging a battery for a electric brakes that would trigger if the trailer separated from the vehicle.

I would us a kit like this https://www.amazon.com/Hopkins-20099-Engager-System-Battery/dp/B000CMHVBW

Just install the battery box and run wires directly from the battery leads to your winch. The 5Ah battery should be able to power the winch for seven minutes on each charge. It is likely to recharge the power used to winch the boat on the way home. If needed it will get extra charging on the way back to the ramp.

The advantage to this is that the battery box has charge controlling built in.
 

Ronnie

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@Bruce can the extra/dedicated battery be eliminated entirely by wiring the winch directly to the fourth pin on the tow vehicle’s wiring harness?
 

Bruce

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@Bruce can the extra/dedicated battery be eliminated entirely by wiring the winch directly to the fourth pin on the tow vehicle’s wiring harness?
I do not know what 12v winch he has but looking at the manual for a similar winch I see a reported maximum draw of 21 amps. I believe the charging circuit on the 7 pin connector of my GMC truck is rated for 10 amps. So I think that adding a small battery in the circuit would be best.

If there was a desire to reduce the size of the battery three 18650 lithium ion batteries rated for a 25 amp draw with a BMS would handle the winching and manage charging. Probably $30 of parts. The kit above is easier than building your own.
 

sunbyrned

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I do not know what 12v winch he has but looking at the manual for a similar winch I see a reported maximum draw of 21 amps. I believe the charging circuit on the 7 pin connector of my GMC truck is rated for 10 amps. So I think that adding a small battery in the circuit would be best.

If there was a desire to reduce the size of the battery three 18650 lithium ion batteries rated for a 25 amp draw with a BMS would handle the winching and manage charging. Probably $30 of parts. The kit above is easier than building your own.
All these great suggestions pouring in. I should have asked first before installing. I would have done it all differently. Ha! I need a 21 amps, so the kit you’re suggesting will work. Thank you for this idea!
 

sunbyrned

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Pin 4 of the 7 pin connector is 12V Power. This is intended for powering a breakaway battery for charging a battery for a electric brakes that would trigger if the trailer separated from the vehicle.

I would us a kit like this https://www.amazon.com/Hopkins-20099-Engager-System-Battery/dp/B000CMHVBW

Just install the battery box and run wires directly from the battery leads to your winch. The 5Ah battery should be able to power the winch for seven minutes on each charge. It is likely to recharge the power used to winch the boat on the way home. If needed it will get extra charging on the way back to the ramp.

The advantage to this is that the battery box has charge controlling built in.
Just ordered it. Thanks!
 
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