Bunk Boards or Guide Poles?

bruceb58

Supreme Mariner
Joined
Mar 5, 2006
Messages
30,511
Kinda funny you would want to use aluminum electrical pipe for a side pole unless it was a small rowboat.
 

stresspoint

Lieutenant Junior Grade
Joined
Sep 19, 2022
Messages
1,028
guide poles , leave them loose but not too loose , , i leave mine just tight enough so as they don't move unless i hilt them with the boat at speed , preventive maintenance, keep the rubber padding in hood condition.
 

cyclops222

Chief Petty Officer
Joined
Mar 21, 2024
Messages
431
I forgot the most important thing about my trailers. There are 4 posts on each of them. I load in the Delaware River with current & stiff Pennsy winds. The poles have 2" of clearance. I back the trailer very deep and angled DOWN RIVER. make it a lot easier. I load the boat alone. Drive up to the bow rubber bumper and leave the boat idling in forward. climb on the trailer neck to the car and secure the bow chain & winch back in the boat and shut it off. pull off ramp and finish tiedowns.
Got dicey during spring high water.
 

FLATHEAD

Captain
Joined
Dec 29, 2002
Messages
3,039
I forgot the most important thing about my trailers. There are 4 posts on each of them. I load in the Delaware River with current & stiff Pennsy winds. The poles have 2" of clearance. I back the trailer very deep and angled DOWN RIVER. make it a lot easier. I load the boat alone. Drive up to the bow rubber bumper and leave the boat idling in forward. climb on the trailer neck to the car and secure the bow chain & winch back in the boat and shut it off. pull off ramp and finish tiedowns.
Got dicey during spring high water.
Where do you launch on the Big D?
 

dingbat

Supreme Mariner
Joined
Nov 20, 2001
Messages
15,645
The problem you run into with these types of discussions is we’re comparing apples to oranges to pears.

What works “best” for a 14’ Jon boat isn’t going to work well for an 28’ offshore boat with a lot deadrise to accommodate.

On top of that there are a lot of different bunk designs on the market. They range from the simple, two flat boards with carpet attached to sophisticated, multi-leveled and or articulated bunk designs designed specifically to accommodate the particular hull designs

In the end, it’s all about finding the best design for your situation, your hull and your skill level as an Operator. Nobody but yourself can make that determination ;)
 

ChooChooSnakeMan

Seaman Apprentice
Joined
Dec 11, 2023
Messages
44
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.
This is spot on. The guide poles are too "whimpy" to deal with much side force such as from high winds or current even for a 16' boat. I just purchased a 26 1/2' bowrider that sits very flat on the trailer bunks. If there is any current or wind it is very hard to load and get the hull lined up straight on the bunks. I purchased some roller side guides, I think they stick up 24" and are mounted on the end of the trailer side tubing. I think they were C.E. Smith brand that I purchased on Amazon. At 24" they stick out of the water enough to serve as markers for the end of the trailer sides. Even though they are probably stout enough for a smaller fishing / bass boat as purchased I took them to a local fabrication shop and had them bent to the exact side angle of my hull and then had thick gussets added to them at the bend radius for strength since my boat weighs over 5000 lbs. A good coat of rust preventative primer and paint and I think I have just what I need to make putting my boat on the trailer a relatively easy and foolproof (I haven't used them yet so we shall see) process. I set the roller guides about 1 1/2" off the side of the hull but not so much that the hull could get the strakes on the bottom crooked on the bunks. I understand that side bunks also work very well but I didn't like the fact that they would block to an extent wiping the hull down after use which I do and they would be more difficult to mount on my trailer. The side roller guides were simple to mount, just use U bolts sized for your trailer tube size. Good luck, one thing for sure - a 16' boat will not need as strong a solution as a larger heavier hull.
 

cyclops222

Chief Petty Officer
Joined
Mar 21, 2024
Messages
431
My trailers HAVE BOTH on them. I run alone a lot in not great condition. No rule requiring only 1 type.
 

fish4lunch

Cadet
Joined
Dec 9, 2023
Messages
29
Thanks for all the opinions. I have decided to go with these: Haven't got them tested yet, but think they will do the trick!
 

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