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Old 14 August 2006, 18:36   #1
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Trailer bunks - what to cover them with

My trailer - home made non roller jobbie as in the photos - has bunks covered in some sort of heavy duty fire hose fabric, and a keel support covered with a sort of heavy duty rubbery conveyor belt stuff.

Would I gain much (or anything) in "slipperyness" by re-covering the bunks with carpet or something - what does everybody use for bunk coverings and how easy is it to get your boat off in shallow water??

Recovery is easy, but getting the boat off the trailer can be difficult if there is not quite enough water as it seems to "stick" to the bunks and there is not a lot of thrust in reverse - all you get is a bilge full of minced kelp

I have tried spraying the bunks with a thick layer of wax furniture polish and it made a little bit of difference for one launch but that was all, it didn't last.

Somebody suggested (on a previous thread) some sort of bolt on synthetic super slippery plastic bunk covering but the supplier was in the US and there would be no point in trying to arrange freight from anywhere other than the UK as it would be too difficult. Does anybody in the UK sell this sort of thing? - details of a supplier would be great if so.

The option is a new roller trailer - an option I like - but the cost of that is horrific - freight is done per cubic metre and a decent trailer landed here will be in the £2500-3000 bracket which is probably too much for a boat that only cost £7000.... freight is so much it is hardly worth getting a cheap second hand trailer, might as well get a new one then at least it will last.

Thanks

Stephen


Forgot to say: any suggestion for a commonly available thing (apart from carpet!) that I don't have to order and ship 8000 miles would be even better
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Old 14 August 2006, 19:10   #2
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Most bunks Ive seen are covered with carpet. Even then it's still really hard to get a boat off bunks if the trailer isn't deep enough.
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Old 14 August 2006, 19:14   #3
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I use a very cheap carpet with a kinda corded surface. Sometimes I've had to buy it with a foam back but a wire brush removes that easily. However, I reverse into the water far enough for the boat to float off. The runners are soft wood so that they deform to the hull after a while. The carpet is glued on with contact adhesive and nailed underneath with galvanised clout nails, the type used for holding roofing felt. The carpet has never torn or rucked and the boat weights about 3 tons.

I also have two of the runners made from the softest timber I could find and I rubbed candle wax onto them. They've been there for a long time and seem fine. After being dipped into the water for a while the wood surface became sorta soft and hairy.
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Old 14 August 2006, 21:02   #4
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Ta

So there isn't really a magic solution that I have overlooked then, if you want to launch in shallow water then rollers are the only way?

Lots of money....
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Old 14 August 2006, 21:22   #5
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Yup, get rid of that long sausage in the middle and replace it with rollers. That is where all the friction is coming from , I think. Because you have side bunks you only need straight rollers not ones with a "V". Set up rollers so that they are taking the boat weight and bunks are just touching as guides/ supports.
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Old 14 August 2006, 23:11   #6
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What you need is polypropylene sheet which is prob what the expensive "non stick" ones are. Hold them on with recessed countersunk screws - nothing will stick to the stuff!!! Failing polyprop most slippery forms of plastic will do.
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Old 14 August 2006, 23:35   #7
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Teflon lined bunks has gained popularity in the last few years. I've noticed a few trailers around the area with teflon and the owners swear by how easy the boats slide on and off.
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Old 15 August 2006, 03:42   #8
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As Jeff said go for a cheap carpet, the rubber that you have on at the moment will tend to "hold" the boat. The 9m that I had had carpeted bunks on it and I had no problem getting it off, infact I used to have to tie it on to when getting it out at it would want to slip off.
HTH
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Old 15 August 2006, 04:44   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BogMonster


Forgot to say: any suggestion for a commonly available thing (apart from carpet!) that I don't have to order and ship 8000 miles would be even better

Penguin Skin?
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Old 15 August 2006, 04:52   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BogMonster
... if you want to launch in shallow water then rollers are the only way?
Err...no. Modify the trailer so the boat is lower. The problem with central rollers which are rubber is that over time they distort when under the load of the boat and they become reluctant to turn because the boat has to rise to roll.
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