Does Winch Strap Go Over Or Under Roller?

There are many aspects to consider when towing a boat. It’s important to have all necessary measures in place to ensure the boat remains safe throughout the towing process. In addition, you should ensure that you can load the boat onto the trailer as efficiently and safely as possible.

Most people would agree that the winch strap should go under the roller. However, this depends heavily on the type of winch involved. There are many factors involved in the choice here, but the most important aspect is the height of the winch on the winch post, so the boat is pulled straight.

Establishing the correct way to orient your winch strap when loading your boat onto the trailer is important. But you will also have to consider how different types of winches work. Other factors such as the positioning of your bow eye will also make a substantial difference.

Does Winch Strap Go Over Or Under Roller?

It’s important to remember that each boat, winch, and trailer will function differently, so you need to establish the ideal solution for your unique circumstances. With this in mind, another factor to consider is generally far more important than whether the winch strap goes over or under the roller.

The abovementioned factor is the height of the winch on the winch post. It’s important to ensure that the winch is at the correct height on the winch post so that the winch strap remains in a straight line and the boat is pulled completely straight. Suppose the strap is pulling downwards or upwards. In that case, it will be counterproductive irrespective of whether the strap is placed over or under the roller.

If the trailer has been properly fitted and adjusted, the winch should make a straight pull to the bow eye. In addition, the bow roller should be adjusted, so it sits above the bow eye when the boat is loaded onto the trailer. This is considered best practice and will ensure that the boat, winch, and winch strap are properly taken care of.

Allowing your winch strap to go under the roller will prevent the bow from bouncing at any time during transportation. This is usually less of a problem with heavier boats, as their weight will help to keep them better in place. A heavy boat may still bounce and move around if there is a major hole or bump in the road.

If, while towing your boat, somebody drives into the back of boat, the strap will wind onto the winch if it has been positioned over the winch. However, if the strap is positioned on top of the winch, the impact will cause the strap to unwind off the winch.

It’s important that your winch strap always pulls forward on the bow eye and not down. If you bear this fact in mind, it will be easier to remember whether the winch strap needs to go over or under the roller. You may need to move the winch to ensure a straight pull from the winch to the bow eye.

If the bow eye ends above the roller when winching the boat into place, you may need to move the winch upwards to ensure the bow eye comes in underneath the roller. This will then allow the strap to pull straight under the roller.

If moving your winch is not an option, the way you orient your winch strap will depend entirely on the positioning of the bow eye. If the bow eye sits under the roller, the strap will also need to go under the roller. If the bow eye is situated on top of the roller, the strap must go over the top of the roller.

An Alternative Option For The Winch Strap

An alternate option for the winch strap is to change the orientation of the strap depending on your needs. This means allowing the strap to go over the roller when you pull the boat onto the trailer, as this will help to lift the boat into place instead of grinding it into the bunks.

Once the boat is in place, you can switch the winch cable to be placed under the roller to pull the boat down tightly onto the trailer.

Why Does It Matter Where The Winch Strap Goes?

Depending on your system type, winding the winch cable or strap in the incorrect direction may cease the system’s functioning altogether, and there is a chance it may not hold the load fully. It’s important to check with the winch manufacturers about the best way to proceed with your specific winch.

Securing Your Boat Properly

Your boat must be properly secured when towing it. You cannot necessarily rely only on the winch strap to keep the boat in place during towing. To secure the boat properly, you should use multiple fixings in various locations to ensure the boat doesn’t move during transport.

Use the winch during loading as normal. Bear in mind that the winch is more for loading than securing purposes. Once the boat is in place, you should run a strap from the trailer’s frame, through the bow eye, and then back to the trailer’s frame. The strap on the trailer frame should be located close to the axle in this case.

A vertical strap that goes straight from the bow eye to the trailer is also a good idea. These fixings prevent the boat from moving forward or backward on its trailer despite major movements.

You should also take measures to prevent side-to-side movement of the boat on its trailer. To achieve this, throw a strap over the entire boat close to the back of the trailer. Secure this to the trailer’s frame on both sides of the boat. If you need to make a sudden turn, the boat will remain in place and not move around on its trailer.


It might sound like a relatively minor issue, but placing the winch strap or cable on the correct side of the roller can make a major difference to the boat and its safety and security while towing and loading. While most would advise keeping the winch strap underneath the roller, it’s also essential to remember to have the winch at the correct height on the winch post to ensure it pulls the boat straight.


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