Bunk Boards or Guide Poles?

fish4lunch

Cadet
Joined
Dec 9, 2023
Messages
29
New here and couldn't find a search engine for this ??? . . . So, my trailer needs either bunks or poles. First, which would you recommend? And if one or the other, what size do you recommend? Boat is a 2000 16' Lowe FM 165S. And there can be wind where we fish! (Wyoming)
Trailer is the original that came with the boat.
 

airshot

Rear Admiral
Joined
Jul 22, 2008
Messages
4,555
New here and couldn't find a search engine for this ??? . . . So, my trailer needs either bunks or poles. First, which would you recommend? And if one or the other, what size do you recommend? Boat is a 2000 16' Lowe FM 165S. And there can be wind where we fish! (Wyoming)
Trailer is the original that came with the boat.
I would add bunks and side guides over poles anyday. Longer side guides will do much better in wind conditions. I have a full roller trailer with 4 ft long side guides for my 16' and it works great !!
 

JASinIL2006

Vice Admiral
Joined
Feb 10, 2012
Messages
5,595
The guidepoles are mostly helpful for locating the end of the trailer. If your boat gets blown into them, they will bend. If you're looking for something to help guide your boat onto the trailer in windy or swift current conditions, I'd go with side guides.
 

fish4lunch

Cadet
Joined
Dec 9, 2023
Messages
29
24" and 5' bunks are the lengths available. Not sure what the benefit to either may be.
 

bruceb58

Supreme Mariner
Joined
Mar 5, 2006
Messages
30,512
I used to have side bunks on my 24' Wellcraft. My newer 26'Cobalt doesn't have them and I don't miss them since I have almost no wind ever at my launch ramp and I only need to launch/retrieve once a season since my boat sits in the water all summer.

If you aren't like me and have wind or current....side bunks for the win. My bunks were at least 8' long.
 

FLATHEAD

Captain
Joined
Dec 29, 2002
Messages
3,045
I have 5’ side bunks on my trailer for my 16’ crestliner. Never a problem no matter the current or wind.
 

youmansjason

Seaman
Joined
Jun 3, 2005
Messages
70
I have a 23' V-hull bowrider and side bunks would be too deep for me. The boat would float up on top of them.

Instead, I have guide poles and they work great. Granted, I'm in a freshwater lake with just normal side wind based upon whatever weather is occurring. No currents to deal with.
 

airshot

Rear Admiral
Joined
Jul 22, 2008
Messages
4,555
When bunks were mentioned I was thinking for the boat to sit on, but I see your reference to side guides as bunks. In my opinion, longer are much better and easy to add a tall pole if needed for visual. The side guides are also adjustable for height to get them where you need them depending on ramp you use...
 

04fxdwgi25

Chief Petty Officer
Joined
Mar 25, 2022
Messages
484
Have super long side guides on my 22' and never have a problem loading, even in wind and current.

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Cortes100

Petty Officer 2nd Class
Joined
Apr 30, 2006
Messages
175
I had a set of poles on one of the previous boats but removed them after the first couple tries. The plastic poles would just bend over and not provide much support.
My current boat/trailer comes with the guides from the factory. They're only about 2ft long but do a great job on centering when the weather doesn't cooperate.
 

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cyclops222

Chief Petty Officer
Joined
Mar 21, 2024
Messages
453
Guide on poles will ALWAYS provided maximum centering of the boat down onto the trailer. In high currents and wind of the worst levels. I always have 4 poles on any trailer. They are made of Electrical Aluminum Pipe. {1} 90 degree bend and part of a 10' straight tube. 2 U bolts to clamp each 90 bend to the trailer. I add a white PVC sleeve over the vertical pipe section to prevent / reduce scratches.
 

airshot

Rear Admiral
Joined
Jul 22, 2008
Messages
4,555
Over my 60 plus years of boating, I have had trailers with both, poles and side guides. Needless to say the longer side guides were by far the easier to load with when conditions were bad. Poles are OK, but when conditions get tough, side board guides are far better in my opinion.
 

dingbat

Supreme Mariner
Joined
Nov 20, 2001
Messages
15,668
Guides or poles depends on the trailer configuration.

I have a #6000 rated “drive on” bunk trailer. A pair of 3” dia. x 60”, sch. 40 PVC poles line up the boat with the trailer, while keeping the transom centered. The target bunks upfront capture and hold the bow centered to the winch post.

It would take a hurricane to blow me off course while loading..lol
 

ScottinAZ

Senior Chief Petty Officer
Joined
Jun 25, 2009
Messages
759
ill vote for the side bunks..... had them on one of our older boats, and loved them. Have them on the new boat, but havent had it in the water yet. Other boat, does not have them, and at the lake we usually go to, the wind is crossways to the ramp.... Loading can be a PITA when it gets gusty.....
 
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