Notices
The Boating Forum

Aluminum boat and Bunk Boards?

Old 10-25-2020, 11:11 AM
  #1  
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2020
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 15
Received 5 Likes on 1 Post
Default Aluminum boat and Bunk Boards?

So the Jon Boat I recently purchased along with the trailer is turning out to be great. It has come to my attention that I need to fix the bunk boards on the trailer.

The previous owner told me he replaced the bunk boards with pressure treated wood and marine grade carpet. At my local boat shop a few days ago I was looking for mounting options for my trolling motor and had the boat with me.

The owner of the shop noticed the bunk boards and asked me about them. He then informed me I needed to remove them soon as possible to prevent problems. He said that the copper used in most pressure treated wood will damage the aluminum. He said it can leach through the carpet and rot the boat.

His suggestion was to use the pressure treated wood thatís already on the trailer because itís already cut and in good shape. He recommended installing rubber on the bunks to separate the wood from the boat.

I should have asked more questions. Anyway can I use any rubber, like rubber mat from Tractor Supply or is their something special I need. Should I remove the carpet? Whatís the best way to install the rubber? Not this coming weekend but next weekend Iím gonna take the motor off and everything out of the boat. Iím then gonna drag it off the trailer in my yard. To do the work. I donít know if itís an operation that I can do at a boat dock or if itís something thatís gonna take a while.

Thanks?
Old 10-25-2020, 11:18 AM
  #2  
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: Wilmington NC
Posts: 730
Likes: 0
Received 305 Likes on 160 Posts
Default

Never heard of that. Seen and had plenty of aluminum boats with wood bunks and carpet on them.

I also wouldnít replace the wood if you donít need too.
Old 10-25-2020, 11:35 AM
  #3  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 859
Received 1,229 Likes on 572 Posts
Default

replace or isolate

https://www.google.com/search?sxsrf=...4dUDCAg&uact=5
Old 10-25-2020, 11:42 AM
  #4  
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Holden Beach, North Carolina
Posts: 3,276
Received 891 Likes on 498 Posts
Default

Itís common for John boats to rot on carpeted bunks. I flipped mine (2x4) skinny side up (2Ē) and they have a hardened outdoor carpet on the skinny piece that the boat sits on. If I had to do it over I would get trailer bunk slides or a big thick cutting board from Walmart and install sections of it. That way you can counter sink the screws into the plastic. Rubber stall mats from TS work good too but I push my boat off so im guessing it wouldnít slide as well with rubber. Wrap them over and screw them in the sides (4Ē) section of the bunk. Pressure treated lumber is definitely the correct material to start with.
Old 10-25-2020, 11:49 AM
  #5  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2020
Posts: 1,503
Received 844 Likes on 441 Posts
Default

This wood company recommends 1/4Ē between the PT wood and aluminum. And only use Stainless steel hardware:

https://www.prowoodlumber.com/en/Usi...ecommendations
Old 10-25-2020, 11:51 AM
  #6  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Southern Colorado
Posts: 487
Received 78 Likes on 46 Posts
Default

I don't live near salt water, and just used regular 2 X 4's. The bunk boards don't get wet very often, and are protected from the elements, so why would you use expensive pressure treated lumber? If you are in a humid environment, use cedar and through-bolt them to trailer may solve a bad rotting issue,
Old 10-25-2020, 12:05 PM
  #7  
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Carencro, La
Posts: 7
Likes: 0
Received 2 Likes on 2 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by Fishsoup View Post
So the Jon Boat I recently purchased along with the trailer is turning out to be great. It has come to my attention that I need to fix the bunk boards on the trailer.

The previous owner told me he replaced the bunk boards with pressure treated wood and marine grade carpet. At my local boat shop a few days ago I was looking for mounting options for my trolling motor and had the boat with me.

The owner of the shop noticed the bunk boards and asked me about them. He then informed me I needed to remove them soon as possible to prevent problems. He said that the copper used in most pressure treated wood will damage the aluminum. He said it can leach through the carpet and rot the boat.

His suggestion was to use the pressure treated wood thatís already on the trailer because itís already cut and in good shape. He recommended installing rubber on the bunks to separate the wood from the boat.

I should have asked more questions. Anyway can I use any rubber, like rubber mat from Tractor Supply or is their something special I need. Should I remove the carpet? Whatís the best way to install the rubber? Not this coming weekend but next weekend Iím gonna take the motor off and everything out of the boat. Iím then gonna drag it off the trailer in my yard. To do the work. I donít know if itís an operation that I can do at a boat dock or if itís something thatís gonna take a while.

Thanks?
it is a real concern. Happened to my 1/4 inch thick aluminum hull bay boat. Cover the boards with bunk slicks. PT bunks will eat aluminum!
Likes:
Old 10-25-2020, 01:17 PM
  #8  
Senior MemberCaptains Club MemberPLEDGER
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location:
Posts: 7,036
Likes: 0
Received 449 Likes on 206 Posts
Default

If anyone doubts it check over at tinboats.com and you can see the results of PT on Alum.....
Old 10-25-2020, 01:39 PM
  #9  
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2020
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 15
Received 5 Likes on 1 Post
Default

So Iím not made of money but am I wasting my time and stress over this? I searched on the internet and found a website called ultimate bunk boards.

They seek bunk boards made from a high density Polyethylene Plastic with a UV inhibitor. Supposedly they donít need any kind of carpet plastic ect. Their advertising says they last ďvirtuallyĒ forever. I can get a set of 6 foot boards for my boat shipped with hardware for $121.

Yep this is a Jon Boat. But I want it to last as long as possible. Doubt Iíll ever sell it unless something happens to me and I canít use it anymore. Just seems like if they are good and ligit last a long time it would be worth it to never have to replace them again.

Iím gonna shop around just wandering what other people think.
Old 10-25-2020, 01:44 PM
  #10  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Boston
Posts: 1,014
Received 105 Likes on 84 Posts
Default

Interesting...I spoke with a. Big trailer shop this summer about redoing my bunks. They just said get a solid wood from HD and doNt bother with PT.
Old 10-25-2020, 10:46 PM
  #11  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Western WA
Posts: 2,713
Received 889 Likes on 541 Posts
Default

Aluminum and carpet/pressure treated is a bad combo over the long run. Salt water can get into the carpet and just sit against the aluminum, causing pitting. The chemicals in the pressure treated lumber will do the same. Just slap some HDPE strips on the bunks and you’ll be fine.
Old 10-26-2020, 04:33 AM
  #12  
MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Little Creek, VA
Posts: 85
Received 8 Likes on 5 Posts
Default

Just redid the bunks on my skiff trailer this summer. Iím in saltwater 95% of the time. To avoid any issues, I used regular framing lumber and then the trailer slicks from Cabelaís. Very happy with the setup.
Likes:
Old 10-26-2020, 05:08 AM
  #13  
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 532
Received 29 Likes on 22 Posts
Default

The newer pressure treated stuff at Lowes is done with a difference process that isn't suppose to be hazardous to metals so it may matter as to which treated stuff he used.. You could also just replace the carpet with the rubber bunk material they sell these days. That would be a very simple fix. Is the boat painted? If so, the paint isolates the metal. Of course painted boats scratch so I guess that isn't a great fall back solution.
Old 10-26-2020, 06:38 AM
  #14  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Charleston, SC
Posts: 3,428
Received 3,850 Likes on 1,719 Posts
Default

While at the Charleston boat show last year I asked a boat lift vendor about replacing the rubber extrusion that covers my aluminum lift bunks.
He referred me to a company in the Tampa/St. Pete area, iirc, where you could purchase rolls of the material. It was a supply house of some sort that a lot of lift manufacturers sourced through.
Sorry, but I don't have the exact name of the business.
Old 10-26-2020, 07:03 AM
  #15  
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 532
Received 29 Likes on 22 Posts
Default

This is on Amazon. Don't know if it's the right size but it's a start.

Amazon Amazon
Old 10-26-2020, 07:30 AM
  #16  
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2020
Location: East End of Long Island
Posts: 25
Received 5 Likes on 5 Posts
Default

Don't use rubber to cover the bunk - rubber is carbon based and will react with the aluminum, although not nearly as quickly as PT wood.

I tried PVC trim boards ( house trim boards like Azek ) on my bunks but they turned out to be too soft and had too much friction so I ordered Starboard (HDPE) from Ebay and cut strips to cover bunks. Starboard works well, high density and slick, and most importantly, non reactive.
My boat is 26' with 1/4" hull bottom so a lot heavier than a Jon boat, you may be able to do PVC trim.
Old 10-26-2020, 08:42 AM
  #17  
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Walterboro, SC
Posts: 16
Received 6 Likes on 4 Posts
Default

Gatorbak - Boat Trailer and Watercraft Lift Synthetic Bunk Covers
Old 10-26-2020, 08:48 AM
  #18  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Saint Amant Louisiana
Posts: 3,157
Received 790 Likes on 392 Posts
Default

I capped mine with the plastic bunk covers. I was ten years in with no issue.
Old 10-26-2020, 11:59 AM
  #19  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Tampa Florida
Posts: 6,713
Received 3,167 Likes on 1,814 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by Fishsoup View Post
So the Jon Boat I recently purchased along with the trailer is turning out to be great. It has come to my attention that I need to fix the bunk boards on the trailer.

The previous owner told me he replaced the bunk boards with pressure treated wood and marine grade carpet. At my local boat shop a few days ago I was looking for mounting options for my trolling motor and had the boat with me.

The owner of the shop noticed the bunk boards and asked me about them. He then informed me I needed to remove them soon as possible to prevent problems. He said that the copper used in most pressure treated wood will damage the aluminum. He said it can leach through the carpet and rot the boat.

His suggestion was to use the pressure treated wood that’s already on the trailer because it’s already cut and in good shape. He recommended installing rubber on the bunks to separate the wood from the boat.

I should have asked more questions. Anyway can I use any rubber, like rubber mat from Tractor Supply or is their something special I need. Should I remove the carpet? What’s the best way to install the rubber? Not this coming weekend but next weekend I’m gonna take the motor off and everything out of the boat. I’m then gonna drag it off the trailer in my yard. To do the work. I don’t know if it’s an operation that I can do at a boat dock or if it’s something that’s gonna take a while.

Thanks?
a better option would be to coat the bottom of you john boat with a coating like steel flex or gator glide. it will protect the bottom of your boat at all times and also help seal up any rivits! warning she will slide around really easy make sure its secured to the trailer!

just look up any airboat hull coatings!
Old 10-26-2020, 12:09 PM
  #20  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 603
Received 311 Likes on 175 Posts
Default

Wow. Lot’s of misinformation in this thread.

It is not necessary to use PT wood because while the trailer is out of the water the wood dries out and is not subject to bacterial rot.
The carpet will retain moisture, however, and WILL contribute to rot.
Ordinary, untreated wood with NO covers on the wood will make fine trailer bunks and will not harm your aluminum or fiberglass boat. I’ve got it on my ‘83 boat/trailer combo since ‘86 and is still in excellent condition. Why did I install plain wood bunks? Because the original factory carpet-covered bunks rotted in 3 years use.

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.