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Old 10 May 2024, 15:13   #1
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Composite decking for trailer?

About to rig a trailer to carry a honwave.
For the bunks, I was thinking of composite decking?
Any advice on this material?
The edges will be sanded off, though my concern is that they harder than HDPE, of which I cant find...
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Old 10 May 2024, 15:38   #2
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I’m about to tackle a composite decking job this weekend, one of the never ending “Dad jobs”. I’ve had a play with some samples & it machines very well. I’ll be using the router to bullnose the edge boards.
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Old 10 May 2024, 18:41   #3
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will you use 2 planks side by side? base or top side up?
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Old 10 May 2024, 19:31   #4
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I have buffalo boards but found they were too slippy when towing so I carpeted them, tantalised timber will do if two boards used set them in a vee to stop slip OMO
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Old 10 May 2024, 21:54   #5
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Not quite sure what you mean there.
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Old 10 May 2024, 22:21   #6
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I use composite decking for exactly what it's made for, would I use it for bunks? Very questionable, when it chips it breaks into very sharp shards which will rip through your Honwave like a hot knife through butter.
Why can't you find HDPE?
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Old 10 May 2024, 23:43   #7
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I use composite decking for exactly what it's made for, would I use it for bunks? Very questionable, when it chips it breaks into very sharp shards which will rip through your Honwave like a hot knife through butter.
Why can't you find HDPE?
TY,
Answer i was looking for.
HDPE not to be found locally, unless I'm looking in wrong spots
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Old 11 May 2024, 07:09   #8
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I got mine on eBay. From memory I think it was 1500 x 500 x 10.
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Old 11 May 2024, 07:22   #9
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https://www.mindustrialsafety.co.uk/...RoCNuEQAvD_BwE

HDPE is very slippy a doesn’t glue too very well for info, my last post I mean if you. Cup the tube in a vee with the boards it doesn’t move sideways even when strapped down I found.

HDPE is very expensive for the thickness required.
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Old 11 May 2024, 08:18   #10
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To be honest I can't recall it being that expensive.
I marked the sheet out then screwed it down to an old piece of ply I had, to stop it moving about as I cut it. Then screwed it (stainless & countersunk) to the bunks before routing a radius on the edges. Think this is the third year they have been on now.
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Old 11 May 2024, 11:51   #11
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Personally, most of my bunks are bare wood, I certainly don't like carpet - and being bare means it dries out nice and quickly too, plus I can keep an eye on condition. But composite decking - I had not thought of that. Hmm....
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Old 11 May 2024, 14:27   #12
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Working with it as we speak, cuts & drills like a dream. No splintering or cracking. Seems to be more plastic than wood. Supposed to be 50:50 recycled wood/plastic.
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Old 11 May 2024, 21:38   #13
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Composite decking is too flimsy and will sag if used on a trailer that doesn't have a lot of support for the bunks. It is designed for 16" on center decking layout. They do make a specific boat bunk version which is stiffer, but very expensive. A good cedar or pressure treated wood works well enough.

HDPE is great for hard boats, but expensive at the same time to purchase. PVC like what they use for cheap base boards is not very functional and too soft. There is something to be said for carpet on a soft hulled boat. Silicon spray makes it slide on and off easier. *shrugs* I had carpet on my SIB trailer and was happy with it.

A couple pointers if I might. When the boat is being stored release all tension on the front and rear straps. Over time it will pull the glued on pieces off. Set the outboard in the down position and throw some wood blocking under it for support to take a large amount of weight off the transom. Make darn sure the transom is fully supported by the bunks. I am one who swears by "transom savers" the part that tips the outboard up putting some of the weight onto the trailer while towing.
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Old 13 May 2024, 08:15   #14
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There is something to be said for carpet on a soft hulled boat. Silicon spray makes it slide on and off easier. *shrugs* I had carpet on my SIB trailer and was happy with it.

I am one who swears by "transom savers" the part that tips the outboard up putting some of the weight onto the trailer while towing.
Good point for a soft hulled boat. I do bare wood on my hardboat hull, but something a bit softer would be appropriate for a SIB.
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Old 14 May 2024, 16:27   #15
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Composite decking is too flimsy and will sag if used on a trailer that doesn't have a lot of support for the bunks. It is designed for 16" on center decking layout.
I'd assumed that the HDPE/Composite decking/PVC etc wouldn't be load bearing in a boat trailer scenario, it would be used between a steel support frame & the boat hull simply to act as a buffer between the trailer structure & the boat. I.e bolted to the top of a galvanised box section or angle iron. The stuff I've been using is certainly as "strong" as a similar section of PVC or HDPE, if not more so.
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Old 14 May 2024, 16:54   #16
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Quote:
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I'd assumed that the HDPE/Composite decking/PVC etc wouldn't be load bearing in a boat trailer scenario, it would be used between a steel support frame & the boat hull simply to act as a buffer between the trailer structure & the boat. I.e bolted to the top of a galvanised box section or angle iron. The stuff I've been using is certainly as "strong" as a similar section of PVC or HDPE, if not more so.
That was my assumption as per pics in #10
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Old 14 May 2024, 21:23   #17
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I'd assumed that the HDPE/Composite decking/PVC etc wouldn't be load bearing in a boat trailer scenario, it would be used between a steel support frame & the boat hull simply to act as a buffer between the trailer structure & the boat. I.e bolted to the top of a galvanised box section or angle iron. The stuff I've been using is certainly as "strong" as a similar section of PVC or HDPE, if not more so.
Mostly what I see in the USA is wood bunks of 2x4inch material with 2-3 supports for smaller boats, then either carpet which is cheap so very common, with HDPE on higher end trailers as the stuff is expensive. I honestly can't say I have ever seen a galvanized box tubing bunk setup, but although heavy, it looks nice. I'd think aluminum would be preferable, but so would an aluminum trailer.

Composite decking is common now, even though not recommended in fire prone areas, like I live in. If you pick a 16ft (5+ meter) board up in the middle both ends will still be resting on the ground as it is so flexible. The stuff is also very heavy.

Even with cost aside, I would always use carpet over wood with a SIB. Definitely NOT rollers.
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Old 14 May 2024, 21:57   #18
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I suppose it's each to there own Peter. I hated carpet on the bunks too much friction for my liking and I wasn't keen on using silicone as I'd heard it could cause problems with pvc tubes.

I ended up with HDPE fixed to 4 x 2 timber bunks. Never looked back and it works well for me (thanks Jeff Stevens)

https://www.rib.net/forum/f49/carava...ler-86495.html

From memory it cost around £75, at least 3 times the price of carpet but it will probably last 10 times longer.
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