Whilst winches are built to withstand most things thrown at them including water and mud, they are not designed to be completely waterproof and operate underwater for long periods of time. It is our recommendation that if you plan on storing the winch outside permanently, you invest in a winch cover. They are very effective at keeping out moisture and preventing expensive repair bills. An approximate guide price for a cover is $30-00. Winches are like all things in life, if you look after them they will last many years and get you out of many sticky situations.
For more advice please feel free to contact us as we would be more than happy to help.