Do powered winch handles really work? We put one to the test - see our video proof

If you’ve ever wondered whether those powered winch handles work as well as electric winches, here’s the proof.

The video below is of our editor, David Glenn, trying out the WinchRite powered handle during our catamaran test a few weeks back.

It has two speeds and is really powerful. As you can see David was able to hold it in place easily, though he does comment in the video on the torque. I’m a bit lighter and when using the fast speed I had to stand to one side and lean into it slightly to counteract the force.

It makes very light work indeed of hauling in a halyard.

The owner of the 41ft boat we were sailing on had bought it because he didn’t have electric winches and fitting them retrospectively would have cost around £2,000 per winch. The powered handle costs £499.

It is bulky and it’s quite heavy, weighing in at almost 3kg. It does make the heavy jobs a piece of cake though and it’s simple to control.

The WinchRite recharges from a 12v cigarette lighter and the owner of the catamaran we sailed told us you could use it all day and leave it on to recharge overnight.