Powerwinch—the standard in trailer winches for boaters for so long that the company name often gets used to describe the product it produces—offers new, remote-controlled trailer winches.
We tested the top-of-the line RC30 model with its 4,000-pound single-line capacity, 7,500-pound double-line capacity and rating for handling boats up to about 11,500 pounds. I state “about” because it’s important to consider the weight of engines, fuel, water and gear in addition to the boat’s weight when selecting a trailer winch.
In testing the Powerwinch RC30, we enlisted the help of Hampton Marine Center in East Quogue, New York, a busy coastal boatyard and dealership that stores, delivers and maintains many of its customers’ boats via trailer. Putting the RC30 to task in this commercial scenario ensured exponentially more use than it would see in recreational service.
|Max Capacity (double-line pull):||11,500 lb.|
|Line Speed:||8 fpm|
|Cable (Length x Diameter):||40′ x 7/32″|
|Voltage:||12 vdc/60a breaker|
|Length x Width x Height:||9 1/2″ x 11 1/2″ x 9″|
Hampton Marine Center owner Fred Scopinich told us that the RC30 delivered a “strong pull,” even on heavy boats, whether at a steep ramp or while loading boats stored on blocks onto the trailer. He likened the RC30’s grunt to that of the venerable Powerwinch 912C, with which he has decades of experience. Scopinich cited the remote as convenient, allowing one to stand next to the trailer and boat (the maximum range of the remote control is about 35 feet) while loading.
We’ll add that the remote control can mean nobody has to tightrope-walk down a trailer tongue to load the boat on the trailer. For example, after you back the truck and trailer down and leave me some slack cable, I (in the boat) can lean over the bow, hook up the cable, and winch the boat to the bow stop using the remote. You can then pull the rig out.
Lose the remote key fob and there is an override switch on the housing that can be used to haul in the boat. Spare remotes cost $88.89. Lose power? A manual handle is included, stows on the housing, and requires removing and refastening a nut on the side opposite the clutch knob to install.
The light adds convenience to night hauls and can be operated from either the remote key fob or the housing.
The RC30, like most trailer winches, powers in and free-spools out; free-spool speed is controlled by a manually adjustable clutch. Scopinich stated that he’d like to see the ability to power out in the event of a backlash in the cable. Should that happen—and it has happened to him on occasion—it can be near impossible to pull out the cable without using another vehicle or hooking it up to something immobile and pulling.
A circuit breaker comes with the wiring harness, and there is also an internal fuse. Accessing the internal fuse requires a Torx tool. Be sure to carry a spare fuse and the proper driver to access it in your trailering toolbox.
Months in rugged, commercial saltwater service have not shown any failures in the Powerwinch RC30. We’ll revisit this trailer winch in late fall for a full-season update, which we’ll post. Until then, check out powerwinch.com to learn about its full line of trailer winches, anchor windlasses and capstans.