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Rollers instead of bunks


LucasC

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Hi, we have a 2019 malibu and Trailer on order . But malibu USA trailers only come on Bunks and where we boat its a lot easier with rollers , Has anyone change to Rollers , Just after somePICS and ideas.

Thanks Lucas

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Personally, I like the concept of bunks for the more continuous support they give to the hull of the boat.  Rollers put the weight on a very limited amount of space, which could lead to stress cracks or other hull issues.  My vote is to stay with bunks.

Is your ramp too shallow?  You can splash water on the bunks to lubricate them a little before you unload.  My boat is probably muuuch smaller than the boat you are buying, but I don't have any problem with power loading and unloading even on very shallow ramps.  Perhaps you are trying to push the boat off the trailer by hand?  Your engine has plenty of grunt, let it do the work for you.  <Insert big ol' power loading discussion here>

For unloading, I try to back the trailer in until the tops of the fenders are just above the water, and for loading I leave a few inches of fender out.  This seems to work OK on most ramps.  We don't have a lot of steep ramps here (thankfully), so my rule of thumb probably would need some adjustment on something too steep.

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It is always funny to see those roller trailers on Australian boats.  In addition to supporting really heavy boat less evenly,  a roller trailer lets you dump the boat into water that is too shallow for the boat - or just dump it right on the ramp.

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We Beach Load/Unload  we have a special launch vehicle but sometimes we have to get a way out before we can get off trailers,  The guys on our boat yard have MC X2's with rollers find it better to load there trailers ,  a Ramp is a Luxury I wish we had .  As This is our first Malibu I am not sure what depth we are going to need before we can power off the trailer .  My draft is 32" .  and the Malibu trailer is on 18" rims.  If your saying just over the mud guards is enough to power off I feel better , 

 

 

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Bunks rock as long as the carpet is redone every 5-10 years.  

There is also a company that makes self lubricating synthetic bunks you can install.  I forget their name, I'm sure someone will remember.  

I watched a guy dump his fishing boat too shallow this fall, while using rollers.  I felt terrible for him. 

In my opinion, bunks give more control when launching and ensure there is enough water beneath the prop.  You also see a lot of people driving their boats on to trailers that aren't deep enough, with rollers.  

Edited by Pra4sno
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On 12/12/2018 at 2:21 PM, LucasC said:

We Beach Load/Unload  we have a special launch vehicle but sometimes we have to get a way out before we can get off trailers,  The guys on our boat yard have MC X2's with rollers find it better to load there trailers ,  a Ramp is a Luxury I wish we had .  As This is our first Malibu I am not sure what depth we are going to need before we can power off the trailer .  My draft is 32" .  and the Malibu trailer is on 18" rims.  If your saying just over the mud guards is enough to power off I feel better , 

 

 

I see.  Beach loading into shallow water is its own special problem. 

Like @Pra4sno mentioned, you definitely want enough water under the prop before you dump the boat in, so rollers could actually cause you to bend a prop, shaft, strut, or all three by launching too shallow.

Is this a sandy bottom that will let you blow out a channel with your prop?  Even better, borrow someone's outboard with a stainless prop and use it to blow out a channel.  Doing so would do everybody a favor as long as the channel lasts.  They usually need to be dredged again once or twice a year, but the nice thing is that you can get close to the beach with a steep enough launch area that way.  You can mark the channel with a few upright posts and have quite the setup. 

If it is a rocky bottom, I'm not sure what you could do other than start carrying a few out each time you hit the beach.... 

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5 hours ago, justgary said:

I see.  Beach loading into shallow water is its own special problem. 

Like @Pra4sno mentioned, you definitely want enough water under the prop before you dump the boat in, so rollers could actually cause you to bend a prop, shaft, strut, or all three by launching too shallow.

Is this a sandy bottom that will let you blow out a channel with your prop?  Even better, borrow someone's outboard with a stainless prop and use it to blow out a channel.  Doing so would do everybody a favor as long as the channel lasts.  They usually need to be dredged again once or twice a year, but the nice thing is that you can get close to the beach with a steep enough launch area that way.  You can mark the channel with a few upright posts and have quite the setup. 

If it is a rocky bottom, I'm not sure what you could do other than start carrying a few out each time you hit the beach.... 

Its all sand and a channel wouldn't  last 2 x tides . we manage with bunks but sometimes winching on can be a pain . but will give Lubricating the bunks a go , Never even thought of that .

Thanks for the input . 

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4 hours ago, LucasC said:

Its all sand and a channel wouldn't  last 2 x tides . we manage with bunks but sometimes winching on can be a pain . but will give Lubricating the bunks a go , Never even thought of that .

Thanks for the input . 

I used bunk lubricating spray this year for the first time.  Our launch is shallow and it was tough getting the boat on the trailer all the way.  The bunk lubricator helped out a lot.

I used this https://www.amazon.com/Caliber-Bunk-Lubricant-Spray-16-Ounce/dp/B0000BYEZI.  This worked really well, but look for a lubricant in an aerosol can.  The pump spray bottle was annoying.

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2 hours ago, oldjeep said:

If it is all sand then watch for sand getting trapped in the bunk carpet and scratching the crap out of the boat hull.

How would you propose you watch for this? Be under water while the boat is being loaded?

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2 minutes ago, ahopkinsVTX said:

How would you propose you watch for this? Be under water while the boat is being loaded?

LOL - no just making sure that when you put the trailer in to retrieve that they are not all full of sand first.  Not much you can do about all the stuff that is going to get stirred up by powerloading the crap out of a boat on a shallow sand bottom

Edited by oldjeep
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Is it impossible to dip the trailer deep enough to not have to power load?  I drift my boat all the way to the winch, hook it and the safety chain, and then my wife holds the boat equal distance between guides as I drive it out.  When I'm by myself, I use garden kneeling pads between my guides and the hull for an even spacing before I pull forward.  Always lined up. 

I don't like power loading as it's the most common way to damage a boat that I've seen, outside of beaching.

Edited by Pra4sno
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17 minutes ago, Pra4sno said:

I don't like power loading as it's the most common way to damage a boat that I've seen, outside of beaching.

It also screws up the ramps if they don't have a full length concrete apron.

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11 hours ago, oldjeep said:

If it is all sand then watch for sand getting trapped in the bunk carpet and scratching the crap out of the boat hull.

Luckily, no one can see those scratches when the boat is on the trailer since the bunks cover them....

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2 minutes ago, justgary said:

Luckily, no one can see those scratches when the boat is on the trailer since the bunks cover them....

True, but digging through the gel coat so that fiberglass is exposed under the waterline is bad. 

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2 hours ago, Pra4sno said:

Is it impossible to dip the trailer deep enough to not have to power load?  I drift my boat all the way to the winch, hook it and the safety chain, and then my wife holds the boat equal distance between guides as I drive it out.  When I'm by myself, I use garden kneeling pads between my guides and the hull for an even spacing before I pull forward.  Always lined up. 

I don't like power loading as it's the most common way to damage a boat that I've seen, outside of beaching.

Picture a very long, shallow sand bar.  The problem is that he has to back the boat waaaaay into the water just to get it wet.  No such thing as deep enough unless he wants the launch vehicle wet up to the floor also.

@LucasC, Perhaps placing teflon or other plastic strips over the bunk carpet will allow less friction.  I have seen that done, but you would certainly have more opportunity to trap sand and scratch the gelcoat.  Scratches under the boat are not much concern to me since only the fish see them, but I understand why some people are concerned.  I personally don't think you'll ever wear through the gel coat.  Spray lubricant would definitely help.

What launch vehicle do you use?  Pictures?

 

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A few comments from down under.

I started with a US boatmate trailer under my RLXI, didn't realise Galvanising trailers is not standard.

Rebuilt the rusted trailer, Galvanised & painted.

During the rebuild process the front half of the trailer I changed over to rollers, best change I did.

A few considerations.

Osmosis, if you use the boat reguarly & the bunks rarly dry between runs, next time the hull is in the water, feel for the osmosis blisters where the hull sits on the wet bunks till they dry.

All ramps have a slope to the level water, with the front half rollers this allows the boat to roll off once the rear floats. If you have a steep ramp & bunks, look for the scuff marks when you power load to get the nose up to the stop roller

If you prefer bunks, conside snaptraxs http://www.snaptraxx.com/ as these provided opportunity for the hull to dry on the bunks, if you use the boat frequently where the bunks would be wet.

If you only use the boat a few tines a year, the carpet would dry between uses & osmosis shouldnt be an issue

Front half rollers are fairly popular down under for those wishing to invest a bit on the trailer for ease of use & to save drowning the tow vehicle to float the boat off the trailer, rarly do ppl get full rollers, guessing just too slippery.

The most prominant trailer manufacturer down under is easytow trailers & have images under options of the half trailer roller arrangement should you be interested.

Just my opinion

 

Edited by Andrew63
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Osmosis, if you use the boat reguarly & the bunks rarly dry between runs, next time the hull is in the water, feel for the osmosis blisters where the hull sits on the wet bunks till they dry.

 

My 12 VLX has blisters here for exactly that reason but have never seen anyone mention it before now. No way around it that I know of. My boat goes in and out of the water every weekend from Memorial Day till October sometime and I doubt it ever dries out between the bunk and boat during that time.

Edited by dalt1
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5 hours ago, dalt1 said:

Osmosis, if you use the boat reguarly & the bunks rarly dry between runs, next time the hull is in the water, feel for the osmosis blisters where the hull sits on the wet bunks till they dry.

 

My 12 VLX has blisters here for exactly that reason but have never seen anyone mention it before now. No way around it that I know of. My boat goes in and out of the water every weekend from Memorial Day till October sometime and I doubt it ever dries out between the bunk and boat during that time.

Maybe try the snaptraxx option as these don't hold water.

Rollers on the front half of the trailer on your next boat, you'll be suprised how much easier it is to launch & retrieve the boat on shallow ramps without drowning the tow vehicle

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14 hours ago, dalt1 said:

Osmosis, if you use the boat reguarly & the bunks rarly dry between runs, next time the hull is in the water, feel for the osmosis blisters where the hull sits on the wet bunks till they dry.

 

My 12 VLX has blisters here for exactly that reason but have never seen anyone mention it before now. No way around it that I know of. My boat goes in and out of the water every weekend from Memorial Day till October sometime and I doubt it ever dries out between the bunk and boat during that time.

@dalt1, in the midwest, or anywhere where there is hot sun, I would think the carpet dries out during a 6 hr outing. Now in the front end and back end of the season, probly not if cloudy and 75, they probly dont dry out. We put in and out daily when using the boat. Tow 1 mile to the boat shed at the lakehouse.

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On 12/21/2018 at 6:26 AM, carguy79ta said:

@dalt1, in the midwest, or anywhere where there is hot sun, I would think the carpet dries out during a 6 hr outing. Now in the front end and back end of the season, probly not if cloudy and 75, they probly dont dry out. We put in and out daily when using the boat. Tow 1 mile to the boat shed at the lakehouse.

Yes the bunks will dry out in the few hours we are on the lake. I have not figured a way to get boat back on them while they are still dry. HA HA. After the boat is loaded, it gets put back in a garage for storage till the next weekend. Don't believe they dry out inn the next 6 days before getting soaked again. No I am not willing to store my boat outside in the elements so my bunk carpet might dry between lake trips.

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