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Old 14 August 2006, 17:36   #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, 18:10   #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, 18:14   #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, 20:02   #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, 20:22   #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, 22:11   #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, 22:35   #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, 02:42   #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, 03:44   #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, 03:52   #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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Old 15 August 2006, 05:39   #11
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Originally Posted by CAH
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.
Any idea on a supplier for that please? A bundle of teflon planks would not be too expensive to ship down... or failing that polyprop - where from? I'm guessing at most we'd be talking about a couple of hundred quid which is far more agreeable than a couple of thousand! I'm assuming that over time these things will wear out, so there must be somebody making replacements....?

What are the bunks made of if you buy a new bunk-type trailer from Admiral, Dixon Bate etc?

I think the 'mentalists would start to yap and bicker if I flayed a few penguins or seals to upholster my trailer with, but it's an interesting idea

In the short term I can probably grab some cheap carpet and wax it, if the general thought is that this would be a big improvement on conveyor belt 0 what is best then, really el cheapo short fibre stuff? and what do you normally nail it down with?
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Old 15 August 2006, 07:09   #12
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A couple of hundred? I was thinkinjg more like 30!!! I know that doesn't include shipping but you must be able to find some sort of slippery plastic sheet locally? Failing that as someone else said wood impregnated with grease.
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Old 15 August 2006, 12:06   #13
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Quote:
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Penguin Skin?
Sheep instead of carpet ?

Of course you could always try and ponce a couple of rollers off the next visiting RN vessel's supply crew....get the p1ssed enough one night and you could end up with a new rib!
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Old 15 August 2006, 13:21   #14
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My bunks are carpet covered but there are rubber rollers in the middle . The bunks are much wider apart then yours .

I had a trailer more like yours for another boat and I used to grease the centre bit so the keel slid easily , worked ok for me . I carried a tin of chain lube for motorbikes and just gave it a spray after launching occasionaly.

pengiun has to good Kernow is right there i reckon or maybe seal Jiz
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Old 15 August 2006, 16:16   #15
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In terms of using lubes like grease or chain lube, what will the long term effect be of mineral oils on the fibreglass hull? I did wonder about grease or something but didn't do it on the basis that I thought it might damage the hull?
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Old 15 August 2006, 16:21   #16
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Quote:
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In terms of using lubes like grease or chain lube, what will the long term effect be of mineral oils on the fibreglass hull? I did wonder about grease or something but didn't do it on the basis that I thought it might damage the hull?
Well I have petrol in my fibreglass tanks and they seem fine!!!
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Old 15 August 2006, 16:27   #17
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Well I have petrol in my fibreglass tanks and they seem fine!!!
Fair point - I just don't want to do it and then find the gelcoat goes all squidgy and falls off.... I've already had enough disintegrating boat problems with the bouncy bit round the outside!
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Old 15 August 2006, 16:38   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BogMonster
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....
Depends how resourcefull you are. A couple of pneumatic jockey wheel sized rollers combined with your bunks might just be the job .

Usually only the launch is a problem with bunks. Might be worth an investergation.
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Old 15 August 2006, 17:13   #19
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Fair point - I just don't want to do it and then find the gelcoat goes all squidgy and falls off.... I've already had enough disintegrating boat problems with the bouncy bit round the outside!
If the hull is permanently sitting on grease, I reckon there is bound to be some uptake. Then the day will arrive when you want to do a little gelcoat repair.....

Cod's tanks will not (should not) be normal laminating resin.

What you really need is for the boat to float off then launching will be effortless. Get some smaller road wheels. Tilt the trailer so the rear goes down. Fit the axle above the chassis etc., etc.
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Old 15 August 2006, 17:43   #20
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If the hull is permanently sitting on grease, I reckon there is bound to be some uptake. Then the day will arrive when you want to do a little gelcoat repair.....

Cod's tanks will not (should not) be normal laminating resin.

What you really need is for the boat to float off then launching will be effortless. Get some smaller road wheels. Tilt the trailer so the rear goes down. Fit the axle above the chassis etc., etc.
Pretty much my thinking on greases etc....

Smaller wheels are on the to-do list, the current ones are 7.50R16 Land Rover wheels/tyres and I have some worn but good Michelin 235/70R16 tyres I apprehended from work to go on, which are a few inches smaller in diameter, about 29" instead of 32", so that'll be an inch and a half less water required straight away just trying to find some cast-off rims at the moment so I can chuck the old ones away, they are pretty scabby!
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