What Is a Tugger Winch? (Including: Types, Advantages, Buying Guide)

Tugger winches are multifunctional tools that can be used on tugboats and other workboats for various tasks. 

It is a device specifically designed for marine towing operations for numerous types of ships. 

These types include offshore support ships, oil field guard ships, multi-purpose ships, etc. 

It is used for towing a boat to leave or stop at a port or transfer the mooring point and also provides anchor handling operations and pipeline dredging for offshore platforms that cannot self-navigate. 

Their primary function is to assist the crew during heavy-duty operations, such as towing gears, chain bridles, or towing plates. 

Two of the most important activities used for tugger winches are anchor handling and ship handling. These winches are dependable despite their simple, robust design and heavy-duty construction.

If we talk about power drive, then the tugger winches are classified as Air tugger winches, Electric tugger winches, Hydraulic tugger winches, Combined winches, and Diesel winches. 

Also check: What is a Winch



Tugger winches are completely coated with a high-quality three-layer paint system. The base layer is a highly zinc-rich primer with more than 90% zinc content, ensuring that even in the most extreme conditions, our tough winches are optimally protected against corrosion.


The tugger winches are designed to be simple, effective, and low-maintenance. It is achieved by using stainless steel, reducing the number of parts, strengthening critical components, and selecting high-quality rotating parts.


All tugger winches are deck-mounted and require only four foundation points. This standardized print makes it simple to align and attach a tugger winch to the deck. 

Types of Tugger Winches

Electric Tugger Winches 

Electric Tugger Winches 

Electric tugger winches are powered by a single-speed, two-speed electric motor or variable frequency drive electric motor, which drives the main shaft after reducing speed via a reducing mechanism.

It is used for towing or pulling operations on offshore vessels’ decks.

The winches can be controlled by a local control panel or remote control, allowing the crew to work safely.

The tugger winch has three primary drive types: electric motor, hydraulic pump drive, and diesel engine.

Hydraulic Tugger Winches

Hydraulic Tugger Winches

A hydraulic tugger winch is a type of tugger winch specifically designed and used on tug boats to tow various kinds of boats.

The hydraulic winch is suitable for heavy-duty applications and can withstand a harsh marine environment.

It typically employs a two-speed hydraulic motor as its power source to meet operating requirements. 

Two or even three motors are used to drive a large-tonnage hydraulic tugger winch. The hydraulic motor can directly drive the main shaft via a clutch or coupling. The towing length should not be less than 200 meters; the longer the towing length, the larger the towed boat and the faster the tugboat navigates for seagoing towing operations. 

The advantages of hydraulic tugger winches are their small size, lightweight, speed regulation, automatic overload prevention, and convenient remote control compared to electric winches of the same power.

Tugger Winch- Buying Guide

If you are planning to purchase a tugger winch, then you must consider some important factors that are out there to ensure that you will be getting the best quality winch product. 

  • First of all, you should know the rated capacity you require in your winch so that you can start your search by keeping that in your mind. 
  • Then, you should also be familiar with the conditions of the boat that will be equipped with the winch. And, those conditions are its size and shape and the drive type you want for the winch, which includes electric power, hydraulic power, and diesel power. 
  • Choose your winch provider carefully. It is critical to select and work with suppliers who have been in this business for years and have a good reputation for their products and service. For a long time, the suppliers in this industry have known how to provide the most suitable and affordable winches for the clients based on their various requirements; because they are reputable for the products, they will manufacture and offer quality winches their customers.


You need to note that low-cost winches are not always of high quality. If you only consider price and make a poor decision, it will be costly in the long run because the winches may require extensive maintenance.

Note: As an Amazon Associate, I earn commission from qualifying purchases at no cost to you.

Photo of author




As an avid off-road enthusiast, I know firsthand the importance of having a reliable winch. That's why I created WinchAdvice – to help fellow off-roaders like myself make informed decisions when selecting their next winch. So whether you're an experienced pro or a beginner just starting out, my website offers valuable advice and guidance on all things winching.

Leave a Comment