Bunk Trailer vs Roller Trailer

Brian N

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I am currently on a roller trailer, but I also have a good bunk trailer that I am debating with myself whether to switch to for my 18 foot boat.

Looking for opinions on the pro's and con's both ways.
 

Good Grief

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IMHO - rollers give you more flexibility, most notably w/ shallow ramps - as you wouldn't have to sink the trailer to the trucks' back wheels to launch/recover.

We had a 25 express pocket-cruiser on a trailer - rollers (and electric winch!) No way that old girl was coming up on a bunk trailer. On an 18 footer, that wouldn't really be a concern.
 
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Bill D.

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I see very few roller's down here. Probably due to salt enviro. Our ramps can be very small slope to very steep. If the boat is trailerable most have bunk style. In days of old there was a issue of hulls getting warped/dents from rollers, probably no longer a issue, I do not know. Boat ramps tend to be very busy down here and if you single handle retrieve or not being able to power load and have the boat stick against the bow stop, or very close to it, is nice. I'm not sure how that works with rollers. BTW-- I know the issue to power loading, but down here it is just a fact of life. I say, use what you are comfortable with. Also, lots of tricks to making bunks slick.
 

alk

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I love my rollers. I sort of remember helping friends load onto bunks, we were always messing around trying to get the boat straight when the current was ripping through. never an issue with rollers - hook the strap, start pulling, and it self straightens. and i can go in or out at low tide, as long as the back few inches of the hull are wet. With bunks I remember the hassle of timing launch and haul with the tides. or backing down the ramp and slamming the brakes to get the boat off, and power loading to get back on.

But as mentioned, the hull is not as well supported, and the maintenance will get you eventually. My rollers are 22 years old, most of their time in saltwater. So I've gotten a nice life out of them. But I should probably replace this off season. Not looking forward to that job.
 

sugilbert

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But as mentioned, the hull is not as well supported, and the maintenance will get you eventually. My rollers are 22 years old, most of their time in saltwater. So I've gotten a nice life out of them. But I should probably replace this off season. Not looking forward to that job.
After 20 years with bunks, I put on my 3rd carpet last summer. They wear out, as does the wood underneath. Had to replace the wood also this time.
Moral, I guess is: There's no free ride.
 

Bill D.

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I sort of remember helping friends load onto bunks, we were always messing around trying to get the boat straight when the current was ripping through.
Have to laugh a little at that, not at you but at many people. I remember once when My buddy Harlan and I were retrieving my Whaler at a ramp where the current was raising hell with people. There were folks taking upwards of 30 min. to get a boat loaded. People in the water helping, it was a zoo. There was a crowd watching the FUN. Harlan went and got my truck and trailer and got in line for the single lane ramp. My trailer was properly setup for my boat. I had put time and effort into setup. When it was our turn I told people to get out of the way. Harlan backed the rig in. I throttled up into the current and under power cut in and on to the trailer running up to the bow stop. We cleared the ramp in under 2 min. When I shut the engine down a guy on the dock watching said, "Damn, you guys have done this before." It takes confidence and practice to load in current just as it does to dock in current and high wind.
 

November Charlie

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Have to laugh a little at that, not at you but at many people. I remember once when My buddy Harlan and I were retrieving my Whaler at a ramp where the current was raising hell with people. There were folks taking upwards of 30 min. to get a boat loaded. People in the water helping, it was a zoo. There was a crowd watching the FUN. Harlan went and got my truck and trailer and got in line for the single lane ramp. My trailer was properly setup for my boat. I had put time and effort into setup. When it was our turn I told people to get out of the way. Harlan backed the rig in. I throttled up into the current and under power cut in and on to the trailer running up to the bow stop. We cleared the ramp in under 2 min. When I shut the engine down a guy on the dock watching said, "Damn, you guys have done this before." It takes confidence and practice to load in current just as it does to dock in current and high wind.
My Bristol Skiff is an absolute beast in any kind of wind. Flat bottom, light as a feather up forward, and if the skegs don’t line up between the bunks just right - which is fun to do since the after end is still floating when the bow is on the stops - it’ll never sit right. I’ve trailered all sorts of boats, large and small, more times than I could even guess at, and that little skiff embarrasses me almost every time. One of these days I’ll put some time into maki g some trailer adjustments and probably set my dignity aside and just put goalposts on it to keep the skegs lined up.
 

Bill D.

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My Bristol Skiff is an absolute beast in any kind of wind. Flat bottom, light as a feather up forward, and if the skegs don’t line up between the bunks just right - which is fun to do since the after end is still floating when the bow is on the stops - it’ll never sit right. I’ve trailered all sorts of boats, large and small, more times than I could even guess at, and that little skiff embarrasses me almost every time. One of these days I’ll put some time into maki g some trailer adjustments and probably set my dignity aside and just put goalposts on it to keep the skegs lined up.
Now that you're "totally" a retired gentleman with lots of "extra" time you can do those "trailer adjustments". (Of course you probably need to go back to work to have any extra free time) :LOL:

Note: "which is fun to do since the after end is still floating when the bow is on the stops) often the same thing as my admirals lil' 13' Whaler Sport can be trouble at times. I put goal post on its trailer mostly because it has a very short tongue length and when the boat isn't on it I can't see the trailers. Even a very slight 'correction' will cause the trailer to angle off track. I've been adjusting its trailer as well. I've added a another set of bunks near the bow that catch and align when I power on.
 
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Phillbo

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For me it's bunks every time . I can power load and launch and retrieve single handedly so the bunks make it much easier. Just drive it up to the stop and only have to wench it about 2".
 

alk

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I don't know why the ramp we used back then made such a huge deal about powerloading - I guess it erodes the ramp? There were huge signs warning of a $500 fine and lifetime ban for powerloading. The ramp I use now, they don't care at all - in fact sometimes when I'm alone the owner sees me coming down the channel, backs my truck down the ramp, and hooks my boat after I power myself up to the stop. But the ramp we used to use back in the mid 90's, federal offense if the prop was spinning.
 
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