Roller bunks?

Discussion in 'Boat Modification Journal' started by cantstopgrandma, Sep 3, 2007.

  1. cantstopgrandma

    cantstopgrandma New Member

    Messages:
    955
    State:
    MD
    I have a 14' flatbottom riveted jon boat (4ft. wide floor) w/ a 25hp tiller motor. Nothing fancy. My question is, if I convert my bunk trailer to roller bunks, would it provide enough support for my aluminum boat? I've heard the stories of rollers not providing enough support, but my boat is light and only being supported by the 1 1/2" side of the 2x4 bunks. bunk rollers have rollers that are 3 or 4 inches wide, and i would replace the 2x4s with rollers of the same length. wouldn't this provide at least as much support as the bunks??? the reason i ask is this boat is brand new and i dont wanna screw it up. I'm hoping it lasts me a long time because i will not be able to afford to replace it for many years. I use many different ramps, and on some of the not-so-steep ramps its hard to get the trailer in deep enough to get the boat on and off at low tide. anybody have any experience with roller bunks? What does everybody think? Thanks for your help!!
     
  2. vfourmax

    vfourmax New Member

    Messages:
    251
    State:
    Va
    I had a semi-v front Lowe jon which I converted the trailer over to the roller bunks from Bass Pro. I ordered the longer set as if I remember they had two different lengths available. My boat was not the lightest as I had added a front casting deck, bow mounted trolling motor, Two deep cycle batteries ect and mostly ran it with a rude 30 hp motor. I never saw any types of concerns as a result of the roller bunks and some of the crappy ramps sure were much easier to load and unload on. I had also heard "rumors" of the bunks denting the hull but no problem with mine. I sold that boat to a buddy of mine and it is still set up the same way on the bunks and after about 9 years still no ill effects!
     

  3. AwShucks

    AwShucks New Member

    Messages:
    4,532
    State:
    Guthrie, Oklaho
    Just a personal opinion, but I'd think your current bunks would support the boat better than the rollers. The whole purpose of the rollers is to make the boat slightly easier to load/unload. The next time your go out, before you load your boat, spray an entire can of silicone on your current bunks...eventually you'll get the bunks where you can push the boat off on dry land. You do that, it is not going to matter how shallow those ramps are...your boat will fly. I once had a 19 1/2 Renken semi-deep V with an 85 HP Evinrude. I took the boat off the trailer, removed the rollers, took some 1/2" round rod, drilled a 3/16" hole in the metal with a long bit. Tapped the puppy and put in grease zerks. I could unload the boat with one hand on extremely shallow ramps at low tide. The point is, you just have to overcome the initial friction.
     
  4. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    I'm still trying to figure out why the bunk boards are standing on the edge.
    Drop those down flat and you've gained 2" on your trailer heigth.

    Bunks are better support for a boat hull. Its not just what the bunks do sitting in the yard its what they do traveling down the road.
    Trailers take alot of abuse and whats on them has the abuse transferred thr ugh it.
     
  5. Angler2007

    Angler2007 New Member

    Messages:
    489
    State:
    Missouri
    Ironwood Pacific makes these things called bunk slides and they work great. They are made out of plastic and just screw right on to the bunks. I have a 20' Xpress and they work just like having rollers on your trailer.

     
  6. cantstopgrandma

    cantstopgrandma New Member

    Messages:
    955
    State:
    MD
    Thanks for the replies guys. I've been thinking about the bunk slicks instead of the rollers, they're cheaper anywways. $35 for slicks or $120 for rollers. If the slicks are as good as everybody says, I'll have the support of bunks with the ease of loading/unloading of rollers. I found out my uncle has roller bunks on his jonboat trailer, with no ill effects now after almost 20 years and thousands of miles trailering, and vfourmax has had good luck as well, but i'm a "better safe than sorry" kinda person. thanks for your help everybody!