Making the Decision to Use a Standard Boat Trailer
Having a back up winch handy is always a good practice. Or perhaps something as simple as a come-along, in case this should ever happen. Some electric winches even have a built in feature where they allow for manual operation in case the need should arise.
Then there is the cost issue, the bigger the boat, the bigger the winch. As you move up in size, both styles begin to cost more, the manual one always remaining lower because it started out that way. The question is, 'Which is more important, your money or your back?', the amount of physical stress put on a person to raise and lower a boat by hand makes it more than worthwhile to invest in an electric boat winch.
Manual winches usually require more than one person to trailer a boat where the electric ones make this a one man operation. In some cases where the winch is equipped with a remote, a single individual can not only run the winch but can guide the boat up the trailer alone. Try that with a manual winch, stopping and aligning the boat, then going back for a few more cranks, then back to the boat again.
Electric winches far outshine the old manual ones, without a doubt, but the need for keeping that old one just in case will always be there too. Look at it as an investment in happiness. The less time you spend hauling in the boat, the more time you are out in it. The choice is up to you.