Kayak winch ideas for Creek bank.

I’m looking for some ideas to help with pulling kayaks up steep muddy Creek banks. Something that may be stationary at an access or maybe a portable version. I have done some internet searching but everything is about ceiling hoists! I am going to build something now with a hand crank winch I have to mount to a steel t post. Just looking for ideas others may have. Mostly these will be located under bridges and under flood water 5 or so times a year. Banks are generally 20-30 ft of mud. I would like to keep it cheap as well due to theft/vandals. I’ll post pictures if I can come up with something today. Thanks for any input!

Take a look at boat trailers
Almost all of them have a winch with a handle like you are talking about, and you can get them at most boating dealers or West Marine Stores

Jack L

If you’re going to want to stop somewhere other than your trailer’s location, Google z-drag pulley system & teach yourself how to use one. The components are compact & light compared to lugging a winch everywhere. I learned to use one when I was into winter mountaineering & glacier travel. White water guys use them.


Muddy banks: Slippery, yet stickey
Mud. How is it that it can be so slippery I can barely walk up a bank, yet if I try to drag my boat over mud, the boat sticks like it was glued in place?

I wonder if you can get your boat up out of the mud on some sort of lift, like a reverse zip-line. A zip line usually goes down, but it would be much easier to pull the boat up a zip line than it is to pull it through the mud. It would require certain features of your take out–you need a point at each end to anchor your system. Trees or bridge pilings could work. I think it would need to be a permanent install. To get the line tight enough you likely need a hand winch. Then throw a pair of pullies on the line with lines that drop down to the bow and stern of your boat. Then a line from the front pulley or end of the boat that you could pull from the top of the bank. I guess the pulling force to get the boat up would equal the weight of the boat multiplied by the grade of the line. So if the line runs up the bank at 45 degrees you’s have to pull half the weight of the boat, which is a lot better and cleaner than dragging your boat up the muddy bank.

This seems workable but a little far-fetched. Hey, you wanted ideas, right?

I will add that my club cleaned up a dump from a steep river bank in 2009, including lots of heavy metal objects. We rigged up a lining system that worked pretty well, only we didn’t use a winch to tighten the line and could never get enough slack out of the system to get the trash all the way up the bank. Still, it helped, and demonstrated that such a system could work.


Does it need to be permanent?
If you want it to be permanent, I agree with the idea of using a small, hand-cranked winch, like what you see on boat trailers. On that note, any big-box hardware store will carry at least two or three different models, so you aren’t limited to marine stores.

If it need not be permanent, how about rigging up a block and tackle? You might need only one pulley (that will double your pulling power, and maybe that’s enough), but three or four pulleys (lots more pulling power, but lots more rope is needed too) might be justified.

For permanent installations, two fixed rails are commonly used. Sort of like a ladder with deep rails.
Like: http://www.buyitinbelleville.com/images/slide.jpg only ground mounted.
You could put a winch on top for raising/lowering. You’d probably want to get a two speed hand winch and use the fast speed.
Be sure to raise the winch end of the slide enough to allow full rotation of the handle.
For lowering on steep banks you might want to get a hand winch with a brake:

There’s a ground mounted slide at:

You can construct ways. Or use davits. You talked about a steel pole. I have one she used to use for jet skis on a dock. We have another that I’m rigging that sits on shore.

For inexpensive rigging and winches look at farm stores. A $50 winch was $20 at the agricultrial supply store.