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Author Topic:   Trailering: Bunk-style Guide-on's
ShrimpBurrito posted 12-11-2002 10:28 AM ET (US)   Profile for ShrimpBurrito   Send Email to ShrimpBurrito  
In a separate thread, someone eluded to the fact that bunk guide-ons on the trailer can mar the finish of your boat. Has anyone had this experience? Should they be snug up against the boat to work most effectively?
JBCornwell posted 12-11-2002 11:22 AM ET (US)     Profile for JBCornwell  Send Email to JBCornwell     
Howdy, ShrimpBurrito.

Sunshine III has been on and off her trailer with both roller and bunk guide-ons dozens of times. No problems so far.

Red sky at night. . .

whalersman posted 12-11-2002 02:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for whalersman  Send Email to whalersman     
I have owned my Montauk since 1988. The trailer has 4' side bunk guide-ons and I have never had a problem with maring the boat. I put on new bunk material when I purchased the boat and have not had to replace it so far.

When the boat is on the trailer, the bunks are about 1" away from the sides of the boat. I don't believe it is necessary to have the bunks tight as they are only "guide-ons".....

You can view photos here:

Monnas Rock posted 12-12-2002 03:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for Monnas Rock  Send Email to Monnas Rock     
My only problem with guide-ons is.. I don't have them yet on my new trailer. I've always had the bunk type on previous trailers and they always worked just fine, never any damage. But, I've been considering verticle roller type guide-ons this time as they are taller (for steep ramps), I can mount brake lights on them and they are less expensive. Has anyone had both types? Any preference, one over the other?
lhg posted 12-12-2002 03:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Get the tall ones, with slip-on PVC tubing.
These work quite well, but they must be installed so they are snug against the rub rail. If the trailer is submerged enough, these will always work, whereas the short bunk style will not. That is why they have to so long horizontally, so that some portion of them will still have effect. They also prevent you from cleaning and polishing the hull sides.
ShrimpBurrito posted 12-14-2002 12:28 AM ET (US)     Profile for ShrimpBurrito  Send Email to ShrimpBurrito     
Thanks for the responses everyone.

I installed bunk guide-ons a few months ago, and the one time I landed the boat (15' SS)after the installation, I didn't think they helped at all. They were about 0.5-1" or so away from the boat, so I thought they possibly were too far away. Maybe I have to move them up as well.

I'll have to take a closer look at how high above the water they are during landing. I like the PVC idea......easy to clean the boat too.

FISHNFF posted 12-14-2002 09:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for FISHNFF  Send Email to FISHNFF     
I use the vertical roller guide-ons with great success on my 17 Alert/Montauk and Pacific galvanized bunk trailer. My previous Montauk had the horizontal side bunks, but the extra waterline rubrail on my Alert does not permit their use. I actually like the vertical rollers better. Easy to clean hull and greater height with a few reflectors make easier visibility.

My .02

Landlocked posted 12-14-2002 10:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for Landlocked  Send Email to Landlocked     
I have the verticle rollers as well. Like them fine but the black rubber does leave marks on my hull if I hit hard due to current wind etc. I've been thinking of switching the rollers to the yellow type avail at West. They look like harder rubber that might not leave marks.


fester posted 12-15-2002 12:46 AM ET (US)     Profile for fester  Send Email to fester     
I have bunk style guide-ons on my Pacific Trailer for my 20' Outrage which I am very pleased with. I often boat alone and the launch which I normally use is windy which makes it nearly impossibe to retrieve a boat with out some type of guide-on. While I have used the rollers guide-ons in the past, they did not work that well for me. The problem was that the rollers helped get the boat lined up on the trailer initially but failed to hold the boat straight. The rollers would not prevent the front of the boat swinging out of position on a windy day. Good bunk guide-ons will hold the boat straight, even in bad conditions. The trick is to have a very sturdy guideon with virtually no flex and set them up so that they are fairly tight against the boat. The cheap guide-ons at West Marine are not strong enough. I like them set up so that I am unable to slip my finger between the boat and the guide-on bunk. They work great and really make it easy to retrieve a boat.

Good guide-ons are expensive. Many trailer manufactures charge over $500 for them. I made mine out of 3" galvenized tubing, a few U bolts and 2 X 6 lumber covered with a good quality indoor/outdoor carpet. They cost me about $125 to make. As long as good quality carpet is used and maintained in good condition and no screws or bolts protrude through the carpet, they should not damage your boat. The only drawback to the bunk guide-ons is that they make it more difficult to polish the sides of your boat.

jimh posted 12-15-2002 10:20 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
[Edited TOPIC; was "Have you had any problems with bunk guide-ons".]
andygere posted 12-16-2002 11:46 AM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
I have bunk style guide-ons on my Montauk keel roller trailer, and they work quite well. An added benefit is that they provide a high and dry location to mount the tail lights, and in a position of better visibility. I modified my side bunks with stainless T-nuts countersunk under the carpeting so the guides can easily be removed for cleaning and waxing the boat. I also rounded the ends of the timbers and doubled the carpet on the ends to further protect the hull if it should bump the end of the guide-on.
ShrimpBurrito posted 12-19-2002 12:41 AM ET (US)     Profile for ShrimpBurrito  Send Email to ShrimpBurrito     
andygere - great idea with the T-nuts.....
andygere posted 12-19-2002 01:03 AM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
I forgot to add that I have an extra 3 feet of wire for each tailight zip tied to the trailer frame so when I remove the side boards I can leave the lights attached. I just cut the zip tie and move the board out of the way. I usually slip it under the trailer while I work.

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