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Author Topic:   Soap on bunks
GeneNJ posted 04-08-2004 10:15 PM ET (US)   Profile for GeneNJ   Send Email to GeneNJ  
Will soap on the bunks help to launch the boat more easily? Right now I have the trailer dropped below the hull for bottom painting and could rub a bar of soap on the carpeted surface. By the way, I used the method described by others in this forum to block the boat, but left the trailer in place. To get more working room I removed the wheels and now have plenty of clearance to paint under each bunk.
jimh posted 04-08-2004 11:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Gene--I think the conventional wisdom would be to use a Silicon Spray on the carpet of the bunks, preferably applied when they are dry. Soap might work but it would have a limited lifetime, since it is water soluble and would be washed away when you immerse the trailer.
Chuck Tribolet posted 04-08-2004 11:29 PM ET (US)     Profile for Chuck Tribolet  Send Email to Chuck Tribolet     
Jim, Silicon is what's in your Apple/IBM/Mot computer chips
(and my Intel).

Silicone is what made Carol Doda famous and makes your boat
slide off the bunks. What you want to do is to get any salt
off the bunks (a good dunk in fresh water, or a hose will
do), let them dry, and then spray with silicone spray.

It DOES make a difference. I got the idea off a can of OMC
silcone spray. A couple of weekend later, I was off to a
three-day houseboat trip with the Montauk as gofer boat. The
second day I sprayed the bunks. The next weekend I went to
Monterey to launch to dive. In those days, I used to disconect
the winch strap but not the safety chain. As I backed down
the ramp, the boat slid to the end of the chain. It had
NEVER done that before.

It lasts about six months, launching both days every weekend,
when conditions permoit (which is about 2/3 of the time).


jimh posted 04-09-2004 01:30 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Thanks for the emendation on that missing "e".

Oh, Carol Doda! Chuck, you are dating yourself with that reference! For the youngsters, sort of the Pamela Anderson of her generation, you might say, and perhaps even more over (or on) the top.

weekendwarrior posted 04-09-2004 02:39 PM ET (US)     Profile for weekendwarrior  Send Email to weekendwarrior     
Soap will come off quickly, not sure if silicon will come off quickly or not but it can't be nice for the water. What works really really well is parafin wax. You can get it at the grocery store in a box, it's used often for canning (and for plucking birds after hunting, but that's another story). One box is only a couple of dollars and will last just about forever. When the boat is off of the trailer just rub a bar of wax all over the bunks, just like you would with soap. The bunks will be slippery, it won't disolve and disappear the first time you dunk it.
Chuck Tribolet posted 04-09-2004 07:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for Chuck Tribolet  Send Email to Chuck Tribolet     
The Silcone spray lasts me six plus months. And I launch most
every weekend, both days, conditions permitting (65-80 times
per year). The actual amount of silicone in silicone spray
is pretty small -- most of it is a carrier that evaporates
(and I live in California, if the carrier were bad stuff it
would have been banned a long time ago). Paraffin wax is an
interesting idea, though, but I question the longevity. I use
it on my drysuit zippers, and it lasts about a month or two.

Note to our foreign brethren: In US English, Paraffin is what
candles are made of. What you call paraffin, we call


greyg8r posted 04-09-2004 08:28 PM ET (US)     Profile for greyg8r    

Emandation? I did okay on the verbal parts of the SAT and GRE but you must have stomped it. I gotta know what you got on these tests.

GeneNJ posted 04-09-2004 08:46 PM ET (US)     Profile for GeneNJ  Send Email to GeneNJ     
I'll go with the silicone spray as I have a can in house.
weekendwarrior posted 04-09-2004 10:12 PM ET (US)     Profile for weekendwarrior  Send Email to weekendwarrior     
Chuck, the wax gets down in the carpet and lasts quite a long while. Give it a shot next time you're out of silicone. :)
Chuck Tribolet posted 08-22-2004 10:37 PM ET (US)     Profile for Chuck Tribolet  Send Email to Chuck Tribolet     
I tried the paraffin wax a few weeks ago. The boat has been
a BEAR to get off the trailer ever since, often requiring two
people pushing and wiggling. Yesterday at Pt. Lobos, it took
two of us AND Linda backing up Evinrude. Yesterday afternoon,
I silconed. Today, same ramp, same tide basically, I pushed it off with ONE HAND and Evinrude just idling.

Silicone rules, paraffin sucks.

Maybe paraffin works better in warm water.


CFCAJUN posted 08-22-2004 11:03 PM ET (US)     Profile for CFCAJUN  Send Email to CFCAJUN     
Reading this post, I see where some inventor got creative with my trailer.

I am guessing I have the original trailer for my 71 Katama, but who knows. The thing seems to be made of battleship metal :-) trying to lift the tongue and walk her in the yard.

Anyway, I never saw this before, but on the tongue of the trailer is a swing-arm type lever.

Well, I never used it the first few times, then I decided to give it a pull one day. It lifts the rollers in the center line up and lifts the hull up off the bunks! Wow! I thought.

So, next launch I pulled the lever, up came the boat and off she slid! Wow again!

Well, I went to trailer her and I had the rollers up. Talk about a pain in the butt. Sure she rolled on OK, but I had the trailer a little low in the water and I kept falling off track. Took me 15 or so minutes to manually push her on and off to get her center-lined. Finally I dropped the rollers and just winched her on the bunks.

Great concept, I guess the purpose was designed for launching and not trailering.

JOHN W MAYO posted 08-23-2004 01:47 AM ET (US)     Profile for JOHN W MAYO  Send Email to JOHN W MAYO     
Silicone sounds like something I will try.
I Put double stolz rollers on my trailer and that made a major improvement in getting it on and off. I also changed the cable on the winch to a web strap and that made a great improvement.
4whaler posted 08-23-2004 09:54 AM ET (US)     Profile for 4whaler  Send Email to 4whaler     
I put Silicone on my bunks and damn near launched it on a ramp the next time I put it in. Luckly it was a shallow sand ramp at Tyndall AFB in Florida and I was walking along side it in while my buddy backed it down into the water. I was able to hold it on, I almost yelled at my buddy to stop but that would have slingshot'ed it off for sure. Learned a lesson there, never, never detach the boat completly from the front tie down until its safely in the water. I now throw a loop of the bow line over the front trailer post and tie off so I can release from the helm after starting up, so I can back of the trailer under power. The Silicone works, too good~!!!...=)
Legobusier posted 08-23-2004 11:45 AM ET (US)     Profile for Legobusier  Send Email to Legobusier     
This topic has me wondering if you guys have your trailers set up properly for a Whaler - especially those of you with Stoltz rollers.

I changed out all the rollers on my trailer a few months back w/Stoltz Poly and the only thing keeping my boat on the trailer is the winch strap. I have to winch it down into the water it wants to roll so bad - no push needed and it's a fairly flat ramp.

Remember, on a Whaler you want all the weight on the keel - the bunks are just for stability, NOT SUPPORT. If you have good rollers and most of the weight on the keel, you should have no problems getting the boat off the trailer.

Somebody please correct me if I'm wrong here.


JOHN W MAYO posted 08-23-2004 12:39 PM ET (US)     Profile for JOHN W MAYO  Send Email to JOHN W MAYO     
4whaler, good point to consider, thanks for the tip.
Legobusier, yes the stolz make a world of differance, they work for me way better than the old black ones. I put new blak ones on because when I purhased the boat the trailer had frozen, crcacked, black ones,and changed them to the stolz within 6 months as was not satisfied with the black ones.
What I would like to do also, but did not think of at the time would be to replace the 5/8 shaft with stainless steel ones.
Legobusier posted 08-23-2004 12:44 PM ET (US)     Profile for Legobusier  Send Email to Legobusier     
Yes, stainless shafts are a good addition to the Stoltz rollers. I can't imagine anything being easier to roll. I can unhook it in my driveway and move it foward/back with just a slight nudge.


Chuck Tribolet posted 08-23-2004 03:26 PM ET (US)     Profile for Chuck Tribolet  Send Email to Chuck Tribolet     
Legobusier, I have an all-bunk trailer. No rollers except the
bow roller on the winch stand. And before anybody starts
ranting that you gotta have keel rollers:

A) the owner's manual says it's OK

B) Nobody ever responded to my challenge here a while back to
cite a case where an all-bunk trailer had damaged a whaler.


Legobusier posted 08-23-2004 04:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for Legobusier  Send Email to Legobusier     
Oh..all bunks are of course a different story. You are of course exempt from my advice and opinion :)

I don't know if you've tried any of those plastic/nylon "glide ons" before. Prior to replacing my rollers as noted above I was having a hell of a time getting my boat off the trailer. I put some glide ons on the bunks and it definately helped - might be worth a shot for you.


CFCAJUN posted 08-23-2004 04:57 PM ET (US)     Profile for CFCAJUN  Send Email to CFCAJUN     
For my trailer, the rollers raise up and down, but behind each roller are centerline bunks. So the keel rests on these small center bunks and the side bunks only offer support.

BTW, Because I own a 1971 Katama, the carpet on the trailer is 1970's Shag! Cool, funky long haired beige and yellow!Boat slides right off the shag.

When I put the trailer in the water, those fibers stand up and fish start moving in because they think it's a grass bed.

bwguardian posted 08-23-2004 05:28 PM ET (US)     Profile for bwguardian  Send Email to bwguardian     

The make on your trailer is a Sportsman and it is make about 6 miles from where I live in a town named Santa Fe. These are very well built trailers and in fact I had one under my 25 Outrage and now have another triple axle configuration for a 27 that I need to go back and get here pretty soon in Houma, La. (if you know someone looking for one it will be up for sale in the Marketplace section by days end). These trailers do allow the keel to rest on wooden blocks and the sides are supported by bunks to stabilize the hull; however, once the rollers are raised she goes off and on real easy. I could launch and recapture my 25 by myself quicker than most with much smaller hulls at the ramp.

Calm Seas...

Marsh posted 08-23-2004 09:22 PM ET (US)     Profile for Marsh  Send Email to Marsh     
Waxed my bunks on April 16, and have had VERY easy launch/retrieval ever since: approx. 25-30 trips, in fresh water and in salt, in cool weather and in warm, in cool water and in warm. I cannot conceive why one would have a more difficult time launching with wax, than without. My hull fairly glides off the trailer all by itself, six months after application of the wax. Non-aerosol, non-polluting wax. Cheap, easy.

Not candle wax; canning wax, from Gulf products.

170 Montauk
Karavan all-bunk trailer

Chuck Tribolet posted 08-23-2004 11:11 PM ET (US)     Profile for Chuck Tribolet  Send Email to Chuck Tribolet     
CFcajun: Beige shag? My HOUSE has that. Was here when I
moved in about 1983. Replaced the most used room about 1990.
Will do the rest of the house sometime, but there are more
important things in life.

Lego: Silicone a couple of times a year makes it just fine.
We'll get a good measurement on the life of silicone the
next time I launch. After I put the boat "on" the trailer
Sunday (it was still floating), the trailer sat in the water
for about an hour while we cleaned dive gear and waited for
some folks to clear off the clean up area (I was in no rush,
and there was NO other ramp traffic).

March: How warm is your water? Mine is 50F.


chopbuster posted 08-24-2004 09:08 PM ET (US)     Profile for chopbuster  Send Email to chopbuster     
CAROL DODA: Rise and Fall of the World from a Sexual Position, circa 1972.
Marsh posted 08-25-2004 07:59 PM ET (US)     Profile for Marsh  Send Email to Marsh     
Water temp here in east Tenn (above the dam) is a balmy 86, last time I checked...much cooler below the dam, I suspect. I doubt our water temp gets as low as 50 even in winter!

Now that you mention it, I'll bet the wax is pretty nasty stuff in 50 degree water! Silicone all the way in cold water.

50 degrees? Brrrrrrr, chatter, shrinkage! LOL


gil carpenter posted 08-25-2004 08:40 PM ET (US)     Profile for gil carpenter  Send Email to gil carpenter     
I sprayed my bunks with a little WD-40 when the fabric was dry and it worked great but what made the boat slide onto the bunks the best was a good waxing of the hull. I guess the combination of the two was winner in my case.
where2 posted 08-25-2004 11:40 PM ET (US)     Profile for where2  Send Email to where2     
One of the last times I was tinkering with the trailer for my 15' Sport, I squirted the bunks with STP Son-of-a-Gun (aka: Armor-All). Glad I had the winch locked when I backed down the ramp, because it slid off the trailer much easier after that...
handn posted 08-26-2004 11:56 AM ET (US)     Profile for handn  Send Email to handn     
Thanks guys for the silicone spray tip. When I retrieved my 305 Conquest the last time, the carpet bunkers took off swaths of bottom paint.
thekidd posted 08-27-2004 10:43 AM ET (US)     Profile for thekidd  Send Email to thekidd     
It may be off the subject a bit, but I think the guy launching next to me a few weeks ago may have been using too much Silicone. Seems he broke rule number one when unlatching his boat (a bayliner btw)prior to being in the water. Now picture this...the only reason the boat stayed on the trailer as long as it did, was because his buddy (standing in the boat) had already lowered the tilt down. So as the prop was bouncing down the concrete, someone caught the attention of the driver who then finished the launch off with a stomping of the brakes. Off she went, about five feet from the water. Ouch... I didn't have the heart to stay around and watch them "drag" the boat down to the water. I heard from a friend that the dragging was a story in and of itself. I have seen this more times then I can count, so I'll stick with a little shove once in a while and a little SILICON on the side.
CFCAJUN posted 08-27-2004 10:57 AM ET (US)     Profile for CFCAJUN  Send Email to CFCAJUN     
I once tried rubbing the carpet on my bunks with Ivory Soap.

.....didn't work too well. The whole trailer floated to the top and I couldn't get the boat off.

Maybe that's it. Ya'll think Whaler's are filled with Ivory Soap to make them unsinkable?

Why am I afraid men in dark suits and sunglasses are going to be knocking on my door soon?


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