An electric boat winch is a common form of accessories on both recreational and industrial vessels. It is a mechanical unit used to reel in and let out a line, cord, metal cable or chain. They are available in many sizes and load bearing drives.
Electric powered devices avoid physical effort and are a great convenience. They are particularly valuable when crewing shorthanded and in bad weather when decks are slippery and the vessel is pitching violently.
Additionally, it prevents repeated heavy manual lifting. Anchors are heavy, they weigh several tens of kilograms. They weigh even more when chain is used as rode. Some ships, particularly pleasure fishing vessels, anchor several times per hour. Manually bringing down and raising an anchor adds to fatigue and may cause back strain.
Regular winches are not designed to take the heavy drag load of a vessel at anchor. Once an anchor has been dropped and set, the rode should be attached or fixed off to a cleat or bollard. Moreover, if the rode consists of chain, a chain stopper should be installed between the winch and bow roller.