5 Best Boat Windlasses (Reviews Updated 2022)

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Anchoring is an essential part of safe boating. Anchoring allows for proper positioning while fishing, securing the boat in an emergency, or just spending a relaxing day “on the hook.”  Most boats over 14 feet in length cannot be operated safely by a single captain without a windlass, because it is impossible to reach the anchor at the bow while also operating the helm.

Best Boat Windlasses

Here are our boat windlass reviews.

1. Lewmar PRO-Fish 700 6mm, 7mm, or ¼ inch Pro-Fish Windlass 

Lewmar Pro Fish 700 6 Mm 7 Mm 1 4 Pro Fish Windlass

The Lewmar 700 is a The Lewmar 700 is a top-of-the-line windlass for boats up to 38 feet. This windlass has an easy automatic freefall, and with 1,000-pound maximum pulling capacity, this windlass will pull any anchor out of a secure anchorage.

  • Automatic freefall
  • Powerful motor
  • 1,000-pound maximum pulling capacity
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2. Lewmar Pro Sport 550 Windlass Gypsy Only ¼: G4 Chain ½” Line

Windlass Anchr Prosport 550

The Lewmar 550 is a reliable, high-performance windlass for easy operation. This windlass is small and economical.  It will retrieve anchors at the push of a button.

  • Best value and performance in its class
  • DIY and ready to install
  • Durable aluminum center case and composite case
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3. Five Oceans Pacific 1000 Vertical Anchor Windlass

Five Oceans Pacific 1000 Vertical Anchor Windlass 1000w 1650 Lbs

The Five Oceans Pacific 1000 Vertical Anchor Windlass is a complete package, including the windlass, solenoid, switch, circuit breaker, and foot pedal. This windlass has the power to pull out heavy anchors stuck in the mud.

  • Works with double-braided, 3 strand, and 8 plait rope
  • Powerful 1,000-watt motor
  • Suitable for boats up to 45 feet long
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4. Lewmar CRW 400 Captive Reel Windlass

Lewmar Crw 400 Captive Reel Windlass, Black

The Lewmar CRW 400 Captive Reel Windlass is a great deal on a lightweight windlass for smaller boats.This windlass is a great choice for lightweight anchors on boats up to 20 feet long.

  • Self-contained reel includes 115′ of 1/4″ factory-installed line
  • 15 amps of 12-volt power
  • Working load up to 150 pounds
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5. MinnKota Deckhand 40 Electric Anchor Winch

Minnkota Deckhand 40 Electric Anchor Winch (40 Lbs. Capacity)

The MinnKota Deckhand 40 Electric Anchor Winch is perfect for bass boats. Thiswindlass can be operated with an optional 25’ remote control for easy operation.   This windlass allows anglers to easily maneuver and anchor their boats in and out of great fishing spots.

  • Electric anchor winch makes fishing boat navigation convenient and effortless
  • Handles anchors up to 40 pounds
  • Pre-spooled with 100 feet of 800-pound test nylon rope
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Boat Windlass Buying Guide

Choosing a windlass is an important investment for a boat owner.  Sticker shock is common for a new or replacement windlass, as prices are typically near or over $1,000.While the price may seem high, a good windlass is well worth the cost.  A windlass is not a required piece of equipment on a boat, but on most boats, an anchor is required for safety and convenience, and a windlass is often the only practical way to deploy and retrieve an anchor.  Our buying guide reviews the best windlasses on the market so you can choose the right windlass for your boat.   The following features are included in most windlasses and will help you to choose which features you need on a windlass for your boat.


Boat windlasses are 12-volt accessories that use around 15 amps of power.  That is a significant power draw, so it requires wiring from a 15 amp fuse out to the bow pulpit.  An in-line fuse may also be used to protect the windlass.  Be sure that you know where inline fuses are located, and be sure to check for an inline fuse before replacing your windlass.  A blown inline fuse may be your culprit, and you may not have to replace your windlass.

Weight Rating

Boat windlasses vary in weight rating based on their hauling strength.  Weight ratings vary from 40 pounds to 1,000 pounds.  A thousand pounds may seem unnecessary, but keep in mind that the windlass has to pull the weight of the anchor, the weight of the wet rode (the rope connected to an anchor) and pull the heavy anchor out of the mud.  A windlass that is underpowered for your boat will quickly fail, so make sure you are investing in the right windlass for your boat.