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Boat bunk replacement


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It’s time for me to replace the 4 bunks on the trailer of my 20’ aluminum bass/bay boat. The factory boards are sagging and cracked, and look to be made of low quality lumber.
 

The bunks have a ribbed plastic cover as opposed to the usual carpet. The covers on the factory bunks are definitely not the hdpe sliders, as there is some friction between the boat and the boards. The factory bunk covers look to be in good shape (5 years old). I could:

 

1. Replace the 2x4 bunks with new wood and recover with the original covers (cheapest option).

 

2. Replace the 2x4 bunks with now wood and cover with something new. Looking for advice on what covers to use.

 

3. Replace the bunks with some non-wood alternative. Haven’t done a lot of research but this looks to be the most expensive option. 
 

I am looking for advice on a) what material to cover the new bunks with, b) what wood to use, and c) any other alternatives I should consider. 
 

I am leaning toward using 2x4 non-pressure treated for the replacement bunks. I don’t know what to cover them with. I would also consider non-wood recommendations, especially if they were a permanent solution. Thanks in advance for any and all advice. 

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  • Super User

If replacing with non-treated, before adding carpet - 2 coats of oil based Spar Urethane - then put the carpet on.

 

If you want the best non-wood application - Original Ultimate Bunk Boards

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  • Super User

I had mine professionally done last year.  The shop used treated lumber and covered them with the same carpet that is in my boat.

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Today's " treated" lumber is a joke, I wouldn't waste the money on it.  Becarefull with treated around aluminum as it has been known to cause corrosion. How easy do you want your boat to slide off ?  That will determine the covering on the bunks.  On my trailer, I spent the money and went with roller bunks and won't live long enough to worry about replacements.  Do your research.......

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  • Super User

I've had to replace my bunk carpet on one side twice.  The bunks themselves are fine.  I inspected them both times.

 

The ripping of the bunk carpet was my own fault.  When I was loading the boat, I used to sit in the driver's seat and there was extra weight on that side when loading, which led to the bunk carpet eventually getting ripped.  I fixed that problem by moving my weight closer to the center of the boat when loading.

 

Another item to consider is to make sure you back in fully when loading the boat back up so that the entire bunks get wet.  It really helps the boat slide better on to the trailer.

 

If you intend to replace with bunk carpet, make sure you use stainless steel staples too.

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Thanks to all who have contributed so far. In doing a bit more research, I believe that what I have in the bunks now is gatorbak (or something that looks just like it). If I go wood I was concerned that PT could interact with and corrode the aluminum, especially when water is added to the mix. I assume this is a valid concern?

 

I need to go fishing so I can assess if the gatorbak is in good enough if condition to reuse. I’m leaning toward two options based on the feedback I’ve gotten. 
 

1. Use non-pt wood and reuse the gatorbak. This would be the budget option for sure. 
 

2. Use ultimate bunk boards. 
 

Based on the pricing, it looks like ultimate supreme boards would be roughly $600. Gatorbak replacement strips would be $300. It doesn’t make a lot of sense to me to buy new gatorbak when I still have to use failure prone wood. I would just go ultimate in that case. Reusing my existing gatorbak would make the job super inexpensive (but I’d probably be redoing it once again in 5 or 6 years).

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  • Global Moderator

My 1957 aluminum boat has been sitting on PT wood for…… 67 yrs now? I’ll let ya know if it ever reacts 😂 

 

it’s never seen a garage 

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Whew....a thousand bucks ??  You could convert to rollers for less and never have to replace them again. 

On my last conversion, I bought used roller sets off market place, less than 200 for all of them in great condition to...your call.....

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  • Super User

I went with the Supreme Ultimate bunks on my jon. I was replacing bunk boards every 4 - 5 years, never again.

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