Winch Cable Material

Hey guys just wanting to know what you are all using on your trailer winches ie steel cable, this Dyneema strand cable or what else ?

I put a new winch on my trailer less than 12 months ago, and allready the cable is rusting up, and gave me some trouble at the boat ramp yesterday.

Also has anyone had any success with these self centering rollers ? Do you need them all the way along the keel rollers, or just the first roller or maybe the first 2 or 3 ?

I'm winching up an 18 ft fiberglass.


Posts: 688

Date Joined: 16/08/09

i use the winch strap on my

Fri, 2012-12-28 17:17

i use the winch strap on my 5.4m glass boat, I find it heaps better than the steel cables

chris raff's picture

Posts: 3257

Date Joined: 09/02/10

Dyneema would be the go ,

Fri, 2012-12-28 17:46

Dyneema would be the go , very strong and soft on hands ...would never have steel cable again


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stevebw23's picture

Posts: 155

Date Joined: 12/11/11

yeah i've got the dyneema

Fri, 2012-12-28 19:18

yeah i've got the dyneema blue rope type you mentioned (pulling up a 23ft glass boat) and i'm pretty happy with it. got it from "Martins Trailer Parts" in wangarra. it was long enough to do my big boat and my dinghy as well. seems like the popular choice these days. i still leave my boat safety chained on till in the water though just in case it does go ping. here's a link to their website


Symes Plumbing & Gas. No job too small, servicing all northern suburbs 

Posts: 5981

Date Joined: 17/06/10

wire cable - no thanks

Fri, 2012-12-28 19:35

After a few bad days at the ramp with wire cable i keep right away from the stuff dyema is the only way to go imo

Buz's picture

Posts: 1555

Date Joined: 28/08/07

Used the same wire cable on

Fri, 2012-12-28 20:20

Used the same wire cable on my 5.8m Ally for the last 17 years, never had a problem with rust as i always gave it a re-coat of Marine Grease every couple of years. Never had any dramas with it at all.

In saying that i just recently did a major trailer refurbishment changing the winch cable and after doing alot of online reading decided to go Dynema Rope. Only used it to launch the boat twice now, and it seems to be very good. Nice on the hands, no grease needed, and doesnt seem to twist up a bit like steel rope does.

On my old tinnie it used to have belt strap but i hated it with a passion always seemed to not lay right or it would twist from not having it perfectly flat when extending it out and me not being observant enough to notice it until i had already winched it on a fair bit. Dont have that problem with the Dynema. Just seems to find its own nice lay when i wind it on. Anyway i got rid of the belt strap on the tiinnie and put wire cable on it, and its been pon there since 2003 with absolutly no drams or rust either, again just coating it in Marine Grease every couple of years. My Brother now owns my old tinnie and i think he still has the same wire cable.

catchalittle's picture

Posts: 1875

Date Joined: 04/09/08

depending on the size of your

Sat, 2012-12-29 11:50

depending on the size of your boat you could use the winch straps or use the Dyneema cord Ive seen too many accidents in the past useing the steel cable.There is a kevlar cord that Ive got when I replace the cord next time $150 for a 9mt length but they say it will outlast anything else on the market



snappermiles's picture

Posts: 2100

Date Joined: 05/11/10

dyneema rope

Sat, 2012-12-29 15:15

only way to go! and if it snaps just tie it in a knot to get your boat up!! we had our rope snap on a 25 bertram at the hook so we tied it back on and it has been like that for 4 years now!



carnarvonite's picture

Posts: 8201

Date Joined: 24/07/07

Belt and wire

Sat, 2012-12-29 15:23

The drawbacks on using the belt is that the further you pull the boat up the greater effort needed  because the diameter of the winch drum grow with each revolution  and with wire , in no time at all it starts rusting and starts getting wires sticking out that give you a nasty scratch when ever you touch them. The cables are usually good for about two full seasons  while dyneema rope lasts for 5-6 is about the same strength, easy to handle and maintenance free.

Lavs's picture

Posts: 172

Date Joined: 30/04/12

I have just had my winch

Thu, 2013-01-03 15:10

I have just had my winch replaced... previous had Dyneema, the new one has a belt...  couldnt for the life of me work out why it takes so much more effort to wind up - but makes perfect sense.


The belts are a pain in the ass too... seems to twist on the drum.  Still have the old winch so think I'll pull the Dyneema off it and change it back. 


As everyne else mentioned, steer clear of wire... for all the maintenance reasons but it can be real dangerous whe it breaks.

Posts: 135

Date Joined: 03/06/09

Dyneema rope is the beez kneez

Thu, 2013-01-03 20:21

I had an electric winch to haul up the 21 foot Chivers. Replaced the wire rope with Dyneema. Fantastic. So easy to handle. New boat has strap and it's a PITA (pain in the #%&!). Harder to winch up and it creeps to one side and then folds over then rubs on the side of the winch and gets frayed. I'll be replacing the strap with Dyneema soon. Can buy Dyneema by the metre at Boating Hardware O'Connor.

Swompa's picture

Posts: 3089

Date Joined: 14/10/12

 Highly recommend Dyneema. I

Fri, 2013-01-11 17:00

 Highly recommend Dyneema. I can splice hooks in if you want? 

mbusby's picture

Posts: 88

Date Joined: 08/01/13

sorry to chirp in here , but

Wed, 2013-01-16 15:50

sorry to chirp in here , but I have steel wire and after reading this looking at replacing with Dyneema, ive gat a 4.5m glass

any suggestions on thickness on the Dyneema I see it comes in 4mm through to 44mm ,


sIttiNG AT woRK ,


Posts: 135

Date Joined: 03/06/09

Can't recall exact size

Wed, 2013-01-16 19:48

But I reckon only about 6mm from memory. Wherever you buy it from will advise of the size if you have approx weight of boat. my Chivers was a heavy sucker but the dyneema didn't fill the winch like the wire did so in reality it was a smaller diam than the wire (with tension on it).

mbusby's picture

Posts: 88

Date Joined: 08/01/13

Thanks Prego ,I can get it

Fri, 2013-01-18 09:47

Thanks Prego ,

I can get it wholesale through work, ive got a 4.5m glass boat not sure of exact weight but trailers only rated to a tun, maybe il play safe and get 8 or 10 mm ,

better safe than sorry right?



sIttiNG AT woRK ,


Posts: 135

Date Joined: 03/06/09

8-10mm would be overkill

Sat, 2013-01-19 06:37

The 6.5m SeaMaster (Glass) would weigh way more than any 4.5m. But as I said the Dyneema rolls on the winch thinner than the wire so you'll probably have room for 8-10mm. Just one thing to watch, it does catch on roller split pins etc just like some rope so take a bit of care not to damage it. When it does catch though, it's easy to just flick it off the snag.

Swompa's picture

Posts: 3089

Date Joined: 14/10/12

Diameter is sort of in

Fri, 2013-01-25 22:21

Diameter is sort of in proportion to tonne breaking in the smaller diameter's, but knots reduce the break strain by 50%.

6mm would be safe for all trailerable boats.



Brucesta's picture

Posts: 1721

Date Joined: 29/05/09

 i've got 7mm for my 21ft

Sat, 2013-01-26 08:34

 i've got 7mm for my 21ft fibreglass beasty if this helps. 4-5mm would be ample for sure for a 4.5m boat.


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Cruise Control's picture

Posts: 946

Date Joined: 03/11/10

I have used wire, belts and

Mon, 2013-01-28 10:03

I have used wire, belts and dyneema (spectra). Wire is high maintenance, dirty and bugger me they hurt if you get stabbed by a frayed wire. Belts are OK but can roll over on themselves.

I have used the dyneema rope now for 6 years.  I actually broke the 1.75 tonne rope winching up but retied and it kept going for a couple if seasons until I replaced with the 3.5 tonne. Cost difference was little given peace of mind.. Still keep chained until boat is in the water though !


Posts: 33

Date Joined: 13/01/13

Hi mate, after reading this

Mon, 2013-01-28 13:07

Hi mate, after reading this post,I changed my wire rope to the 7mm spectra rope.... Sooooo much easier and safer than the old wire cable. My boat is 18ft glass chivers and had no dramas at all. Best modification in ages.