pontoon trailers - winch stands
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Winch Stands

The winch stand has several functions. It’s a “stop” for the front of your pontoon. On good launch ramps you’ll power drive your boat directly onto the pontoon trailer. If it’s poorly designed or cheaply built you’ll bend it if you come on too hard. On launch ramps that are gradually sloped, you’ll get partially onto the trailer and use the winch and strap to pull your boat onto the pontoon trailer. Again, if the winch stand is poorly designed, or cheaply built, you won’t be able to pull a heavier pontoon onto your trailer. When you’re traveling, the winch stand supports the front of your pontoon. The front deck rests against the front stops and helps prevent it from bucking. The wider the stance at the front of the winch stand the better it can handle the stress. The winch stand is a convenient place for you to board your pontoon when it’s on the trailer. Some brands of pontoon trailers have steps and a handrail to assist you to climb onto your pontoon boat.
 
pontoon trailer winch stand Deluxe winch stand Deluxe winch stand
If you have a bow mount trolling motor or a triple tube that protrudes, you’ll want a winch stand with more depth. If you’re a big person you’ll appreciate wider steps and a bigger handrail. Some winch stands are so flimsy that they won’t support the front of the boat. One company has a large step system that two people could climb at once, but do you really want an extra 150 lb. weight in the form of a stairway sitting on the tongue of your trailer?
pontoon trailer winch standwinch stand modification

The stand to the left doesn’t fit properly. The front of the deck should be against the carpeted bunks. The winch stand helps absorb road shock and flexing as the pontoon travels down the road. This winch stand doesn’t have enough depth for the center tube. The boat will “bounce” up and down on the front of the pontoon trailer and you’ll feel the flexing in the tow vehicle.
   
damaged pontoon boat winch stands winch stand with no handrail
These stands have been damaged by power loading or
the boat bucking against the stand.
This stand has steps but no handrail. You really can’t use the top step because the winch interferes.
Elsewhere I go into depth about the problem with longer pontoon boats tending to “buck” as they travel. It’s a universal problem but to my knowledge only Hoosier and Mid America utilize this on their winch stands to help prevent the problem.
buck straps


This is a simple U bolt welded in the middle of the winch stand. It serves an important purpose.
buck strap


The strap goes down thru the U bolt and back up to the boat tow eye. It holds the boat forward and pulls the front of the boat downward.
When the boat is fully loaded, the trailer towing strap is unfastened from the boat and re-attached through the U bolt and back up to the boat tow eye. This U Bolt welded to the winch stand frame becomes an “Anti Bucking” loop. It keeps the boat forward on the trailer and puts pressure downward on the front of the boat to help prevent bucking. It’s a mystery to me why more manufacturers don’t put this on their pontoon trailers.
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