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Trailer Bunk Carper or Slides or something new?

Sep 15, 2016
614
Catalina 22 Minnesota
Ok so I have been around long enough to know that this has been discussed before but not for a while so an updated thread would be nice. This year I will need to replace the carpet on my trailer bunks (Catalina 22 Wing keel) and I am wondering if there is something better for launching. I trailer sail 100% and launch at ramps of various quality and angle (shortest ramp has less than 1 foot left before axel drops off end of ramp into 3+ foot hole). Last year I improved my keel guides that make centering the wing much easier but this year I need to work on the bunks. While the boat comes off ok nice with a tap to the breaks getting it back on is not as easy. I must depend heavily on the front bow roller and winch to get it close. Then haul it out, collapse the extension, and break a few times to get the boat to be fully seated in the bow stop. I know better than to winch the boat on the trailer (fixed wing would prevent this anyway) and that it is to be "floated" on but is there something better than carpet I should consider? In a perfect world I would love roller bunks but my trailer is just not set up for them and I am not sure how the boat would handle the point loading of the rollers. So I ask you all for opinions and ideas. What works for you and what lasts? Boat specks are listed below.

Catalina 22
Fixed Wing Keel
Boat weight approx 3,000 lbs
Total trailer weight loaded for cruising 4,000-4,500 lbs
Trailer axle is a single 6,000 lb with hydraulic drum brakes
Longest single trailer trip to date 2,000+ mi (longer trips may be coming).
 
Jan 19, 2010
9,954
Hunter 26 Charleston
Have you tried some of that dry lube teflon spray on your carpet? It might slick them up enough to let you get on more easily. Haven't tried this myself but I do use the spray on my sail slugs and it makes a huge difference.
 
Sep 15, 2016
614
Catalina 22 Minnesota
I have not tried that though I do think that or soap may help. I suppose my question was more looking to see if since i have to recarpet the bunks anyway is there a better material that i should be looking at? Or have we really not been able to improve on carpet in the past 30+ years.:waycool:IMG_3083a.jpg
 
Apr 26, 2015
633
S2 26 Mid On Trailer
If you are floating the boat on to the trailer why would the boat drag on the carpet? Sounds like you have more of a problem with trailer angle vs boat floating level then settling back on the keel, kicking bow away from the bow stop when you pull out of the water. There are several ways to remedy this issue. My favorite for this light a boat is the 2 winch idea I used on my O'Day 23. Keep current winch in current position. Buy a second winch (we got a brake winch and used to raise the mast also) and a chunk of steel and mount (weld or bolt) steel and winch to current winch stand to a point where it is above the bow eye. Use both winches and the same time. The upper winch raises the bow and sinks the stern causing the boat to take the same angle as the trailer. The original pulls the boat forward.

On our 6500# boat I built a new trailer (people say I need to patent the idea) that has the entire keel tray and bow catch rotate level with the boat. No winches required just float it on run a pin through the bow eye and drive out. It took me almost a minute to get on the trailer this morning and pull out.
 
Sep 22, 2018
1,869
Hunter 216 Kingston
I have no idea if this would work but what about synthetic deck board material?
 
Jun 1, 2015
217
Macgregor 26d Trailer Estates, Fl
Gonna be a lot cheaper to just use Dawn on the carpet. #pgretired
 
Jun 2, 2004
3,152
Hunter 23.5 Fort Walton Yacht Club, Florida
I replaced my bunk carpet with plastic covers. Good news is the boat slides on and off real easy, bad news is the boat slides on and off real easy. I really like them they protect the bunks much better than the carpet just know you must tie the boat down to the trailer well and not release the tie downs till the boat is where it should be when it slides off the trailer.
 
Sep 15, 2016
614
Catalina 22 Minnesota
I installed a set of Surfix bunk slides on the trailer for our Seaward. Huge improvement.

I have considered these as well. How do they handle the weight of the boat? Have they stood up well for you? Do they scratch up the boat or the bottom paint more than carpet? I would love to hear more of your experience with this.
 
Sep 15, 2016
614
Catalina 22 Minnesota
If you are floating the boat on to the trailer why would the boat drag on the carpet? Sounds like you have more of a problem with trailer angle vs boat floating level then settling back on the keel, kicking bow away from the bow stop when you pull out of the water.
There is always some settling back for sure but with the big wing and the various ramps I use sometimes the trailer can't go any deeper. One lake in particular has about a 4 foot drop at the end of the ramp so I back till the tires are 6" to a foot from the end and have to load the boat with some assistance. If the trailer is too deep and I try to float it on without the bunks as a small guide then the keel can get out of center and become lodged on the trailer axle (been there) its not my favorite trailer in the world but I am improving it as finances are available. Since the carpet is about worn through in a few places it needs to be replaced or something new installed.
 
Jul 1, 2010
861
Seaward 25, Catalina 350 Erie, Pa
I have considered these as well. How do they handle the weight of the boat? Have they stood up well for you? Do they scratch up the boat or the bottom paint more than carpet? I would love to hear more of your experience with this.
They handle the weight fine. If I remember right, our Seaward was close to the max recommended weight for them. I don't think this is that they can't handle the weight but due to the fact that the boat might launch itself at the ramp. They do make it much easier than the carpet was to crank the boat back on the trailer. You do want to make sure you have the boat well secured on the trailer before towing it. They scuff the paint less than carpet did.
 
Apr 3, 2020
135
Hunter 26.5 Trailer
I need to do some work on my bunks, I think I'll give the Surfix folks a call. Made in USA too!
 

moc4

.
Jul 12, 2009
3
2 19 Starr, SC
I replaced my bunk carpet with plastic covers. Good news is the boat slides on and off real easy, bad news is the boat slides on and off real easy. I really like them they protect the bunks much better than the carpet just know you must tie the boat down to the trailer well and not release the tie downs till the boat is where it should be when it slides off the trailer.
What are plastic covers?
 
Sep 24, 2018
1,453
O'Day 25 Chicago
This is what I installed. $20 and 15 minute install. Bunk slides are very useful for high wear areas in the carpet. Outdoor carpeting from a hardware store works well. Use screws instead of staples to install. Glue on the top of the bunk is suggested but not mandatory. I winch my 5000lbs boat on top of the slides and use 2-3 heavy straps when towing. No issues with the bunks

 

Ross S

.
Oct 20, 2011
120
Precision 21 Great Sacandaga Lake
I've used a product called Marykate Liquid Rollers with great success.