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

In some situations a very large boat may only require a small winch or a smaller boat may require a larger winch. For example, a pontoon boat travelling in shallow river systems might not need a large winch. If you are unsure please feel free to contact our staff for advice.

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. Windlass winches are known 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. If boating in shallow water, placid conditions or using a light anchor & rode, smaller winches can be used on much larger boats.


Specification GX1 GX2 GX3 GX4 GX5 Charter King GX6 Jumbo
Boat size up to 20ft up to 25ft 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 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 Retreival 139feet/min. 146feet/min. 148feet/min. 146feet/min. 129feet/min. 170feet/min.
Overall Height 8.3in 10.2in 12.2in 14.3in 17in 22.5in
Overall Width 13.4inches 15.4inches 17.1inches 19.2in 21.5in 37.75in
Bear Motor Adj. 12 positions 12 positions 12 positions 12 positions 12 positions 8 positions
Holding Power 6,160lb 6,160lb 7,700lb 11,440lb 15,000lb 24,200lb
View Full Details Click Here Click Here Click Here Click Here Click Here Click Here

You may find this video helpful in determining the right model GX Series winch for your boat.

View Installation Examples

Visit the Lone Star Marine GALLERY page where you can see pictures of installed products.