That's an interesting comment Rick. Not saying it's wrong but seems to be the opposite of what we have been hearing. Then again performance does have a lot to do with installation
and the user so we don't always get to know the details of those.
From what we hear and see Lighthouse do generally have a good rep but are at the pricey end of the market. Most of the others are generally good as well and for less bucks so I suppose you could say they are 'better'.
I tend to think that any good name brand that is not undersized, is installed well which includes not short cutting on wiring
size and is looked after is OK. There are not many 'bad' brand name winches out there. The biggest thing is to buy one that suits your needs rather than focus on price
alone. There is a plethora of choices many of which have small and subtle differences which suit certain boats/users more than others.
Key points -
Don't get to focused on the motors wattage. The 'grunt' has a lot to do with gearbox
design. Example - Maxwells will usually out pull most other in the same class but they usually have the smallest wattage motor
. real good gearbox
Don't trust published numbers of most manufacturers, many just do not do what they say load wise. There is no 'standardised' tests for numbers amongst the assorted makers so it's very hard to get an even 1 on 1 comparison. Of all the numbers we have seen and played with Maxwells usually exceed their published and the rest don't, Muir being one of the worst. Saying that we have yet to find a, say 10mm, winch
that won't pull all the 10mm.
Watch for material of manufacture. A lot are now mostly stainless but many aren't while they are all similar in price
. Why pay $XX for an alloy based one for example when a Stainless one is pretty much the same price.
Price is absolutely no indication of performance, back-up or quality as a general rule
. Saying that the better ones are generally the higher priced but some with a big price are not as good as some with a lower price in some areas. That make sense??
If you have, say 10mm chain, buy a winch
whose size range has 10mm in the middle not as the biggest. That way the winch will last longer and stress less.
Just some thing we have learnt along the way which I hope helps.