With Instructables you can share what you make with the world, and tap into an ever-growing community of creative experts. When I was a boy, I was amazed how my grandfather could make flotsam and jetsam into useful things. The boat to the right is my friend's vagabond 14, you can see the depressions in the bottom of the hull from those lengthwise bunk boards. This is both because of the weight of the trailer, and also the strap you put on to secure the boat to the trailer. When you hit a pot hole, that quick snap thunking noise you hear is transmitted directly to the hull. For light boats that don't have much structure built into them, a bunk which runs perpendicular to the hull that has a curve that matches the hull will spread all the force across the hull, and more importantly to the chine area (curves on the sides) which is a MUCH stronger area than the flat bottom. Another important trick is to put foam padding between the bunk board and the carpet covering. Have you ever tried to hammer a nail into a board, while the board was sitting on carpet with foam backing? I used the leftover foam to make boat cushions and pads by gluing strips together, then cover with vynil fabric. For this hull, I am making a curved bunk board that goes cross wise and will support the hull all the way across. I mark the curve onto the bunk board by pulling the stick and pen from side to side, as the point of the stick makes contact with the hull, the pen makes contact with the board, only offset by a couple of inches. The important thing to do is keep the stick vertical at all times, otherwise you won't copy the curve correctly.

The bottom of the bunk board was a little on the thin side, so I laminated another board to the bottom of it, and on both sides.
Sorry I don't have a picture of this, but what you do before you put the carpent on, is to put some foam on the board.
I use concrete border foam - it is used around the perimeter of concrete pads so that they can expand and contract without cracking the neighboring concrete. Burt Revell came up with this idea to make an adjustable offset tool, he added a screw to the end of the block so the distance can be adjusted in small increments. Put the back end on the beam the front of the rear bunks are on and the other on the cross member in front of it.
McClain trailer parts has the 2x2 square bunk brackets and tubing in various lengths on their website. That kit I mentioned above comes will all stainless hardware and the bunks are covered in Black.
I decided to leave the carpet intact for appearance, although it now serves no other purpose. Whether you're researching a new boat, or are a seasoned Captain, you'll find The Hull Truth Boating & Fishing Message Forum contains a wealth of information from Boaters and Sportfishermen around the world. I don't think it would hurt anything, as the PVC is probably softer than the fiberglass. I like the way yours used square tubing for posts instead of the flimsy channel that I have.
They sell the nylon glides, which as far as I know can be used on glass boats, so I would think this would be ok, too.

With the boat in the proper position, either pry up with a 2x4 on the back bracket bottoms until there is a very slight lift to the boat. I can get the tubing easy enough but it's the brackets that clamp the square tubing to the cross member that I'm trying to find. These guide on rails will make loading your boat a snap by yourself or in windy conditions.
I used a substantial ratchet from the bow eye to the welded on chain link at the base of the wench stand. Then I cut a slight bevel on the front end of the pieces and lopped the top corner off the rear ends. Use the brackets attached to the cross member to secure the 3x9 but move them out so the 3x9 is slightly outboard of the step on the boat.
And, if you have antifouling paint on it, it will probably wear that off and make a mess of the glides, too. I also planed and sanded down both top sides for the length of the boards so there were no sharp corners in contact with the hull of my boat.
You can also mount the guides above or below your trailer frame for extra adjustment so that they can meet your boat at just the right spot. The side bunks are mounted towards the rear of your boat trailer to assist you in lining up your boat on the trailer.

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Comments to “How to make bunks for boat trailer parts”

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