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View Full Version : Going to be working on bunks this winter--a few questions


strad
10-23-2013, 12:36 AM
My bunks are fastened to the trailer with incorrect fasteners, several of which are loose/stripped. So my plan is to do one side at a time. Dump the boat off in the lake in the early morning, drive back to the house (not far) replace the bunk and do the carpet, then drive back and pick up the boat. Do the other bunk the next week. Since the boat is not going to be in a secured area, I need to have my ducks in a row and have the replacement go like clockwork. Which is where you guys come in lol.

I'm assuming stainless fasteners? my plan was to through bolt it -- bolt going down from the top (recessed in the wood) and a nut on the bottom. Then wrap the carpet over the top and staple it on on the bottom edges? My bunks are 11 feet 1 inch long, 2 x 6 wood. I see overtons sells carpet at 12 feet by 12 inches wide? That would work for the overlap right? And pressure treated wood? That's about all I can think of. I haven't done the recesses before -- don't have the drill bit for it either. What bit do I need? Plan was to use those bolts with the round head (I forget what they are called -- similar to lag bolts). and nuts and washers on the bottom side. Any other suggestions welcome.

JMann
10-23-2013, 01:02 AM
I did mine a couple years ago. I bought the 2x6 cut them to length and wrapped with scrap carpet I got for free. I didn't through bolt because I was concerned if they ever became loose and I did t catch it they may scratch my hull. I brought all 4 bunks pre wrapped with carpet out the boat in the water and did the work in the parking lot. I clamped the new bunks in place piloted out the holes and put in stainless 5/16" x 1 1/4" lag bolts with lock washers. It's worked for me so far but I do check them every now and the. To make sure they are all tight.
Also I didn't use PT wood its never in the water long enough to matter.

Good luck it's not hard.

Tristarboarder
10-23-2013, 01:37 AM
You want carriage bolts, round top, through bolt, stainless for sure. No need for PT wood, just buy regular 2x6 boards. I bought my carpet from Home Depot. Also Lowe's carries it. Just get some grey or black outdoor carpet, available in 12' lengths, cut to whatever length you need, far cheaper than Overtons. Buy a decent staple gun, with stainless staples, glue not necessary. Google "recarpeting boat trailer bunks" and there is a site that will tell you the exact width you need for both 2x4's and 2x6's. You will find that it is pretty easy, just take your time. You should be able to do it all in 1 afternoon, no prob.

mtajpa
10-23-2013, 02:59 AM
Strad here are a few pics of how I did mine. Use stainless for sure. I did use PT wood.
Drilled a recess hole for the carriage bolt slightly undersized. Then I put 3M 5200 on the underside of bolt. Smack it in with a hammer and fill recess with more 5200. Put some masking tape over the 5200 so it doesn't get all over everything. Then put a first layer of carpet over the boards not over lapping. Then carpet wrap the bunks. The 5200 will take a week to set up so just tighten the bunks down snug. Then go back in a week and tighten again and double nut.

bhanson
10-23-2013, 10:05 AM
X2 with JMann. My 12 year-old trailer had lag screws from underneath, never had a problem, so I just kept it that way. Was able to pre-build my new bunks then install them in the parking lot. Measured my existing bunks, cut four 2x4s to length, and covered them with black carpet (same process as above). Then floated the boat, off with the old bunks, clamped new bunks in place, predrilled the underside, installed lag screws ... done in about 30 minutes.

blackhawk
10-23-2013, 11:02 AM
IMHO pressure treated is the way to go. That bunk carpet will stay wet for a long time under the boat before it dries out.

bochnak
10-23-2013, 12:47 PM
What size staples?

I have this gun, will it do the job?

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51C5S5WNSHL._SX300_.jpg

Table Rocker
10-23-2013, 01:01 PM
If you have an air compressor, a pneumatic stapler is a great tool to have. I have the low budget Harbor Freight model and it does a great job. I think mine was on sale for $10.

bochnak
10-23-2013, 01:10 PM
If you have an air compressor, a pneumatic stapler is a great tool to have. I have the low budget Harbor Freight model and it does a great job. I think mine was on sale for $10.

I have a pneumatic brad nailer that may also may take staples. Thanks for the reply.

2010Prostar197
10-23-2013, 01:11 PM
Bhanson....

Did you only have one lag screw at each mounting point or did yours have two lag screws? My boards are 2x4's with one carriage bolt.

bhanson
10-23-2013, 04:01 PM
One lag screw per mounting point, three mounts per bunk, total of three lag screws per bunk. The mounting points are pretty much same width as the 2x4, so each bunk is very tight and solid with no flopping or rattling around.

Kweisner
10-23-2013, 04:52 PM
I just replaced all mine:

Stainless steel carriage bolts though the wood. Drill in this order:
Start with a small diameter pilot hole--say 1/8" all the way through the wood.
Drill a countersink from the top using a 3/4" spade bit (or forstner if you're OCD like me) about 3/8" deep. Finish the hole using a bit the same diameter as the carriage bolts--I made the hole tight so that the wood would hold the bolt firmly.
Stainless flat AND locking washers. Stainless steel nuts.
Pressure Treated 2" x 4". While the wood doesn't stay in the water very long, the very nature of carpet is to hold water so your wood is in constant contact with moisture one your boat is back on the trailer.
Double layer of carpet:



Layer one is only as wide as the top surface board--does NOT wrap around the sides, but does wrap around the ends.
Layer two goes over layer one, and wraps around the sides and ends. Stainless steel staples, and lots of them.

For the first week or so after replacing, check the tightness of the nuts.

jdnsx
10-23-2013, 07:34 PM
I have not seen anyone mention stainless steel staples. Normal steel staples holding the carpet will not last very long.

JMann
10-24-2013, 12:55 AM
Bhanson....

Did you only have one lag screw at each mounting point or did yours have two lag screws? My boards are 2x4's with one carriage bolt.

I believe I had 2 lags per mounting point and all 4 bunks were 2 x 6's but its been a couple years. I can check if you need me too.
Also I didn't use stainless staples and they are holding up fine. Remember they are only wet for about 5 minutes when you put in and 5 minutes when you pull out. It summer and warm out so they dry quickly. I did use an air stapler gun not a hand handle.

bturner2
10-24-2013, 08:36 AM
Strad here are a few pics of how I did mine. Use stainless for sure. I did use PT wood.
Drilled a recess hole for the carriage bolt slightly undersized. Then I put 3M 5200 on the underside of bolt. Smack it in with a hammer and fill recess with more 5200. Put some masking tape over the 5200 so it doesn't get all over everything. Then put a first layer of carpet over the boards not over lapping. Then carpet wrap the bunks. The 5200 will take a week to set up so just tighten the bunks down snug. Then go back in a week and tighten again and double nut.

This is pretty much how I did mine. Great write up. Should be a sticky for how bunks should be done IMO.

JRW160
10-24-2013, 11:45 AM
I have not seen anyone mention stainless steel staples. Normal steel staples holding the carpet will not last very long.
Monel staples are what you are supposed to use. I used stainless because I waited until the last minute to buy them and couldn't find the monel ones locally.

The worst part of the whole process for me was removing the old bunks. The carriage bolts would just spin when I tried to remove the nut. I had to chisel into the wood until I could get a wrench on the square part under the head of the carriage bolt to keep it from turning.

I replaced all of the hardware with stainless stuff from lowes. That was probably the most expensive part. I think it was around $50 for the hardware. I used pressure treated 2x6's and two layers of marine carpet from lowes as well.

I would recommend at least getting an electric staple gun. You can probably get one at harbor freight for $20. You don't want to put in a few hundred staples with a manual stapler.

I did not counter sink the heads of the carriage bolts. When you tighten them down, they bite into the wood and recess themselves enough. This is how the factory bunks were done.

strad
10-24-2013, 01:50 PM
Well I thought I would through bolt them until seeing how many here were lag screwed like mine. Seems like at least some were that way from the beginning Now I'm tempted to lag screw mine again. I like the idea of lag bolting but it is tempting to be able to prefab the whole thing and then just fit it down at the lake. Hmmm.

2010Prostar197
10-24-2013, 02:04 PM
Through bolts bother me in the sense that each time you tighten them it pulls it further through the board and as some have found even using stainless they tend to spin when you are trying to remove them.

Lags on the other hand you can tighten and know they are still gripping the board and much easier to change by lifting the hull slightly and sliding the board out say during the cold months

I have 2x4's on the 2010 trailer and would probably feel better using lags if it had 2 bolts per point as when 2x6's are used

So what size boards do most have and whether they are carriage or lags???

mtajpa
10-24-2013, 02:30 PM
Well I thought I would through bolt them until seeing how many here were lag screwed like mine. Seems like at least some were that way from the beginning Now I'm tempted to lag screw mine again. I like the idea of lag bolting but it is tempting to be able to prefab the whole thing and then just fit it down at the lake. Hmmm.

Just use the stainless lags. I used regular on the front pad and they are already rusted. I will use through bolts this winter.

Using the 5200 will prevent the carriage bolts from ever turning. They also don't have to be real tight just snug then double nutted.

jschildm
10-24-2013, 06:45 PM
I have helped hold too many lag bolted bunk boards on other peoples trailer for them while they loaded the boat. I love my through bolted boards.

jafo9
10-24-2013, 10:01 PM
What size staples?

I have this gun, will it do the job?

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51C5S5WNSHL._SX300_.jpg

i have a similar stapler. i can't imagine doing the bunks with it. i bought a decent bostich (sp?) model i used for my seat recovering and it made doing bunks a snap. of course, you will need an air compressor, but if you don't have one, its a great excuse to buy one. you'll be amazed how useful it can be. don't forget to use stainless staples no matter what stapler you use.

JRW160
10-25-2013, 12:47 AM
I have helped hold too many lag bolted bunk boards on other peoples trailer for them while they loaded the boat. I love my through bolted boards.
My buddy's ramlin trailer for his nautique has lag bolts. It definitely makes it easier to install new ones at the ramp, but if you are have a couple of hours to spare, you might as well use through bolts. Lags bolts will probably hold up fine, but the marginal additional effort required to through bolt them was worth it to me.

strad
10-26-2013, 01:41 PM
Yes I have a small air compressor already, so an air powered tool will be fine.

PVBMC
10-27-2013, 02:11 PM
Just wondering if anyone has ever tried that plastic/composite lumber instead of wood or treated wood for bunks?
http://www.lumberock.com/2x4_rail.php
Is it not strong enough? would it work? anyone tried it?

Kweisner
10-27-2013, 03:18 PM
My concern would be that this composite is designed inherently for support every 12" to 16" and that it would snap without that support over its length.

JRW160
10-28-2013, 03:02 PM
I have heard good things about these:
http://ultimatebunkboards.com/

mtajpa
10-29-2013, 08:19 PM
Yes I have a small air compressor already, so an air powered tool will be fine.

More than welcome to borrow the one I used. You will have to find the stainless staples though.

blackhawk
02-15-2014, 12:24 PM
Anyone tried this bunk carpet from Overton's? It is the heaviest that I have found at 20 oz.

http://www.overtons.com/modperl/product/details.cgi?pdesc=Overtons-Malibu-Boat-Lift-Bunk-Carpet&i=39362&str=malibu+carpet&merchID=4005

FrankSchwab
02-15-2014, 02:13 PM
I did mine out at the lake last year. Took way too much time and effort, because it's difficult to prepare much ahead of time. My opinion:
1. Through bolting is the most solid and secure method. It's also a PITA and doubles the amount of work you have to do out at the lake.
2. Through bolted bunks are a PITA to remove once the wood gets old and starts rotting. As JRW160 noted, removing them is difficult because the head just rotates. Unfortunately, the previous bunks didn't have the heads embedded in 5200.

Next Time, I'm going to carpet all the bunks at home in the garage - it's a nice afternoon winter job. Then, I'll take the boat to the lake, dump it in, spend an hour cursing and getting the old carriage bolts out of the old bunk boards, put the new ones on and spend about 20 minutes lag bolting them in and be done. 5 or 10 years later when the lag bolts get loose, I'll just rinse and repeat. The problem with lag bolts isn't that the wood gets soft and the bunks come loose - it's that the wood gets soft and the owner chooses to live with it for too long and the bunks come loose. Make the decision to deal with it when you notice it loose, and life will be just fine.

1redTA
02-15-2014, 03:18 PM
I used an impact wrench to get the old boards off, it doesn't matter if the heads spins a little ;-)

wheelerd
02-16-2014, 12:18 AM
Don't forget if you plan to do it at the lake . . . if you're using an electric staple gun or an air gun with compressor you will need a power source.
- don't know if an inverter off the vehicle battery would run a staple gun
- otherwise, a portable generator or another AC source and a long extension cord

TresRiver205
02-16-2014, 01:20 AM
My bolts spun.

Since I was replacing the bunk boards and carpet I just cut the boards on both sides of the bolts with a circular saw then smashed the remaining wood out with hammer and chisel. Then I held the bolts with vise grips to loosen. A couple were stubborn so I just used the 4" grinder to cut them.


Nice stress relief.

JMann
04-29-2014, 04:08 PM
I just got some of the Ultimate Bunk Boards to replace my V bunk on the front of my trailer. I have to say the material seams a lot like this material

http://www.plasticboards.com/recycled-plastic-products/fiberforce-plastic-lumber/

We use this to make exterior sign structures for the parks service. The only difference I can tell is the fiber force seems a little heavier than the bunk boards.

I'm going to use the Bunk Boards for my "V" bunk now. What do you guys think about doing the trailer bunks with this Fiber board?

bzeller33
05-22-2014, 11:35 AM
JMann, interested in how well the Ultimate Bunk Boards are working? I think it's a no brainer to figure out some way to avoid carpet as long as the strength is there. Not sure why anyone would choose carpet over something that never requires replacement as long as cost would remain under 2x - 3x and not break under the load of an inboard.