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Trailer Bunk Material and why the need to have stay dry?

Petrel

Member
Hi all,

I will be replacing the covering on my trailer bunks. I hope to eventually make a contoured bunk but may do just a reupholstery for now. I want to put some foam cushioning under the bunk carpet materials and have some sheets of ~ 3/8" foam that is made from the same stuff as pool noodles (not sure of the type, is it urethane? But I also have some rubbery foam (yoga mat stuff) that is thinner, but I suspect is porous and holds water. Can I use that rubbery stuff and if not because it holds water, why is it that it's not good to have wet bunks or water on hull. This is perhaps a "dumb question" but I don't know the answer. I mean, people leave their Fishes in the water at lakes, so ...

I will try later on to make the contoured bunk/s but am not sure how many contoured/shaped cradles I need. Can someone tell me? Maybe just one at mid section to bow? I also an not sure of the sort of name of the brackets what will hold a 2x6 board on edge. If someone could tell me that, I'd appreciate it. Thanks.
 

Wavedancer

Upside down?
Staff member
Keep it simple!

If the bunks stay wet for a long time, the hull will delaminate in the contact area.
 

Petrel

Member
Thank you, WD.
"Keep it simple" means --- don't use rubbery foam? Don't contour bunks?
I am a tad lazy about working on boats -- rather be sailing. Can I just re-cover the edge on bunks with carpet and drive 15 miles each way to pond? It is sweltering here and simple sounds good. But please elaborate a wee bit for me? Thanks.
 

Wavedancer

Upside down?
Staff member
Thank you, WD.
"Keep it simple" means --- don't use rubbery foam? Don't contour bunks?
I am a tad lazy about working on boats -- rather be sailing. Can I just re-cover the edge on bunks with carpet and drive 15 miles each way to pond? It is sweltering here and simple sounds good. But please elaborate a wee bit for me? Thanks.
You can buy marine type carpeting for your bunks (at WestMarine, for instance), but most types of indoor/outdoor carpeting will work just fine.
Ideally, the bunks should be perpendicular to the hull, so as to properly support your Sunfish.
There is no need for foam underneath and, in fact, I would advise against it. That's why I wrote to keep it simple. The point is to let the bunk carpeting dry as quickly as possible. Mine always gets wet due to way I load my boat on the trailer that I use, but if you can keep the bunks dry, there is no need to worry.
 

brianZ71

Member
Have them out as wide as possible and it won't damage the hull. No need for foam.

You want them to dry because if they stay wet, the foam will likely fall apart, and you'll grow lots of mold and mildew and it'll smell like poop.
 

Petrel

Member
Thanks. I hadn't paid attention when we put the fish on that trailer. Hardly anything but wood. eek. Costly lesson.
 

minas man

Member
I used half inch foam from a camping mat as it high density and does not hold water and easy to apply before covering bunks with carpet.

><> Minas man <><
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
I used half inch foam from a camping mat as it high density and does not hold water and easy to apply before covering bunks with carpet.
I recently saw, and briefly stored—up-side down—a 1974 Sunfish hull that was near-perfect in every way. However, where the 2x4 carpeted bunks had contacted the hull, there were perfect depressions of the bunks in the hull. :oops: (And one small crack inside the cockpit). :confused:

To verify my suspicions, I'll have to remember to follow a trailered Sunfish. I suspect that a Sunfish takes a beating from trailers that are "oversprung"—and that Sunfish should be tightly cinched-down onto the longest and softest contoured bunks possible.

Heck, I'd use an entire mattress! ;)
 

danpal

Active Member
I purchased a trailer off of craigslist for $60. The trailer was originally setup for a jon boat so I needed to replace the bunks. I followed the instructions that I found on the Sunfish Sailor yahoo group under Skylarkmk1s Trailer in the photo section. He used sill seal which is closed cell foam used for insulating the sill around a homes foundation. I've had the trailer for a year now and I'm very happy with the way it performs and how it supports my sunfish. I'll post pictures as soon as I get a chance.
 

danpal

Active Member
Here's a couple of pictures. DSC_0108.JPGDSC_0106.JPG I did need to replace the bearings and add a few other parts but the trailer frame and axel were in perfect shape. The trailer was originally completely covered with camouflage duct tape and I think this protected it. The sill seal does not absorb any water and the bunks are covered with indoor/outdoor carpet.
 

AQBill

Member
Very nice work! Those galvanized trailers will last a very long time in a freshwater environment. If you're handy, you might want to consider taking a leaf out of the trailer springs since I'd bet that this trailer was rated for a much heavier cargo such as a jet ski. Better yet, make a rack and buy another Sunfish to go on top! One for you and one for a friend...
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
If you're handy, you might want to consider taking a leaf out of the trailer springs since I'd bet that this trailer was rated for a much heavier cargo such as a jet ski.
I agree, but don't agree that the Sunfish should be cinched down to the body of the trailer. Allow the bunk bolt-connections to take-up some of the roadway-irregularities instead.

(Feel free to ignore my observations, as I car-top my Sunfish) ;).
 
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