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Trailer Bunk Question

Old 04-09-2018, 05:38 AM
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Default Trailer Bunk Question

I've got a new-to-me 18' flats boat, and have only trailered it a handful of times. The previous owner informed me that the bunks on the bottom of the trailer are a bit warped, so I know I need to get those replaced at some point. In fact, when launching the boat, it needs a good shove to get it off the bunks because of the dip in the bunks. That's annoying, but it is what it is at this point.

My question is regarding the other two bunks that are on the sides of the boat. It seems that they are about 4 inches wider than the beam, and this allows for some play and wiggle room while trailering. The boat tends to ride up against the starboard one, and actually looks like it may have rubbed against the hull and caused some (at least) cosmetic damage. In addition, I've noticed that the tie down straps at the stern don't stay tight, which may or may not be related to this. I'll post pictures of the two bunks shortly...

Is this normal? Do I need to get the bunks adjusted? I'll be towing the boat from SC to FL later this month, so if that 800 mile tow will exacerbate anything, I want to get it fixed beforehand. If I'm overreacting about something minor, then I'll leave it be.

Thanks in advance for all the advice!
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Old 04-10-2018, 10:03 AM
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Port bunk, a few inches of clearance between bunk and hull




Starboard bunk, rubbing up against hull, some signs of wear on hull
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Old 04-10-2018, 10:50 AM
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The bunks should be adjusted for the boat to center on the trailer. I am not sure what you call them, but what you refer to as side bunks are to assist in centering the boat on the trailer. There should he a space on each side once the boat is loaded and not against the side of the boat.
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Old 04-10-2018, 10:53 AM
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Need a further away pic or pics
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Old 04-10-2018, 12:42 PM
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Originally Posted by snookaffinity View Post
The bunks should be adjusted for the boat to center on the trailer. I am not sure what you call them, but what you refer to as side bunks are to assist in centering the boat on the trailer. There should he a space on each side once the boat is loaded and not against the side of the boat.
Thanks. I assume most any place can help me adjust my trailer, is that right?
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Old 04-10-2018, 02:18 PM
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Yes
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Old 04-10-2018, 02:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Platticus View Post
Thanks. I assume most any place can help me adjust my trailer, is that right?
Take it to a trailer shop so they can hoist up the boat to adjust the bunks to custom fit it.

Last edited by waheero71; 04-10-2018 at 04:50 PM.
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Old 04-10-2018, 05:18 PM
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Here are some further photos that I'm posting for David:





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Old 04-11-2018, 10:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Beasdoc View Post
Here are some further photos that I'm posting for David:
<br /><br />Thanks Beasdoc.<br /><br />As you can see from the views of the port and starboard bunks, there's a gap on the port side. Also, it looks like the bunk underneath the starboard keel might be warped along the length of the trailer, but can't tell for sure. Does this confirm/deny anything for you guys? Thanks in advance for the help. Going to call around to some different places today to see if they can adjust this for me.
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Old 04-11-2018, 10:27 AM
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Looks like if you adjust the left side out more, that strake would keep the boat from moving anymore to the right than you want it too.
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Old 04-11-2018, 10:48 AM
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If you can squeeze your guide poles against your rub rails, then you'll be set. I've done this with every float on trailer i've owned to center the boat. It'll keep it from rubbing against the side guides and keep it from rubbing your gelcoat off. It doesn't look like you've got enough before it hits the bend in the guide pole.
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Old 04-11-2018, 11:15 AM
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If the side bunks are causing damage to the gel coat, they are not padded well enough. You need to check to see if the bunk cover is worn or if staples are on the inside. You need to be sure that the transom straps from the boat eyes to the trailer are tight, and adequate size. It may also help when you get proper bunks under the trailer--an irregularity of the bunk under may favor one side.

I have been using trailers with side bunks for many years, and never had any damage from the bunk, properly installed and padded.
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Old 04-12-2018, 07:25 AM
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Originally Posted by 30Concept View Post
Looks like if you adjust the left side out more, that strake would keep the boat from moving anymore to the right than you want it too.
this
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Old 04-12-2018, 07:30 AM
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Call Jason at Peterson. He can tell you exactly how the trailer should fit to the boat. Not sure where in FL you are but if you are in the Tampa area, he will likely have you schedule an appointment to bring it by.

Peterson Boat Trailers - Saltwater Boat Trailers, Australian Compliant Boat Trailers
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Old 04-13-2018, 04:07 PM
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The bunks on the bottom can and should be adjusted while you are at it.

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Old 04-13-2018, 08:16 PM
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Guide poles arent doing shit as far out as they are. Inside bunks could be adjusted out to the Strakes too
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Old 04-15-2018, 05:42 AM
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I find that adjusting the bottom bunks all the way to the side strakes makes getting the boat between them difficult with a flat bottom boat. Unless you can give it a shove to position after it is out of the water. I don't use side bunks with my flat bottom boat and leave plenty of wiggle room for bottom strakes. Knowing the sweet spot as far as how far to dunk the trailer is the key to loading a flatty. without side bunks.
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Old 04-15-2018, 05:43 AM
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I find that adjusting the bottom bunks all the way to the side strakes makes getting the boat between them difficult with a flat bottom boat. Unless you can give it a shove to position after it is out of the water. I don't use side bunks with my flat bottom boat and leave plenty of wiggle room for bottom strakes. Knowing the sweet spot as far as how far to dunk the trailer is the key to loading a flatty. without side bunks. I do have a lot more room between boat and fenders though.
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Old 04-16-2018, 09:20 AM
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It looks to me like the scrapes on the side of your new boat are horizontal and not vertical. Probably there from improperly loading the boat onto the trailer, like power loading and unloading in shallow water possibly. Who knows. But for your trip it looks as though the boat is supported properly enough to get it done. It can't go anywhere up or down really, left or right either. But if the straps are loosening that is a problem. Are they ratchet style straps or pull straps? The pull straps tend to loosen more so than a ratchet strap. Your boat is light enough you could easily adjust by loosening the u-bolts on the bunks with the boat on the trailer. Loose one bunk at a time, and tap the bunk into place where you want them with a hammer from underneath. Should slide over fairly easily. Re-tighten bolts. Apply ratchet strap.
Good luck!
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Old 04-16-2018, 10:55 AM
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Move the guide posts in until they touch the rub rail and call it a day. The boat is centered fine looking at the inside bunks.

If the rear straps are loosening the boat is moving. Is it winched tight to the post roller??

The boat requiring a shove to get off the trailer just means it is not floating. Shove it, power it back or back in deeper.

Keep a check on the bunk carpets to avoid scratches.
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