Boat Trailers: Bunk vs Roller

DennisG01

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#2
It's all personal preference. I've had boats bigger and smaller that a 272 with both styles. One is not inherently better than the other. The 272 is neither too big or too small for either trailer. Use 'yer google skills and you'll come up with lot's of info on this. It's all opinions. The only thing I'd say about a roller, though, is to make sure to get a lot of rollers. Don't skimp out and get a cheapie with minimal rollers (hull support).
 

RussGW270

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#5
Rollers are for ease of use, at the time, but require maintenence, as others have said. For me, bunks are better because I am usually alone when loading or unloading the boat.

The last thing you want, if you do not have multiple people assisting, is a boat that slides around easy on the trailer heh. Things move too easy or fast for safety :p

If in doubt, I say go bunks. They get the job done, without the work or worry.

Russ
 

Fishtales

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#6
I think the bunks are easier to maintain. If you are in normal conditions (approach angle and sufficient water) bunks win.
 

family affair

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#7
The only way I would ever want a roller trailer is when ramps are shallow requiring significant winching to pull the boat onto the trailer. Otherwise, you couldn't give me one. Yes, I've had both.
 
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SkunkBoat

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#8
Topic comes up a lot.

Rollers-
Way better when ramps are short and steep and tide swings are big (4 ft or more)
You can pull the boat onto the trailer with only the first roller touching water...and roll it off too
Tow vehicle stays on dry ramp.
Usually, the rollers will align the boat
You can paint the bottom while on the trailer and roll it back a foot to get under the rollers.Same with power washing.

require a steel frame so they may be heavier. This comes into play with bigger boats and trailer weight.
more expensive

Bunks-
less expensive
you can get aluminum frame to save weight
simple is good

You CANNOT crank a big boat onto an aluminum trailer.
The boat has to float...In a wind this can be a problem
The boat has to float...on a steep short ramp this can make it impossible at low tide.
To paint and power wash , you have to lift the boat.


so consider
the ramps and tide in your area.
the size and weight of the boat & trailer.
How often you will launch?
Bottom paint?

I tend to think a 27' should use an aluminum bunk trailer unless you do a lot of launching and you have big tides and steep ramps
 
Last edited:

leeccoll

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#9
I have rollers. I like being able to drive the boat back onto the trailer when I come back to the launch.

BUT

Last season one the lead rollers failed, and it happened just as winter hit, so I had to wait until the next spring for the snow to melt and float the boat off the trailer in the water, then replaced all the lead rollers quickly while my my boat was at the dock. It worked out but was a frustrating situation that would not have happened with bunks.

Next trailer I will opt for bunks. I had no choice with my current one.
 

wrxhoon

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#10
I used rollers for many years until 12 years ago . I'm on my third boat since all on bunks, never go back to rollers
. I use slides on the bunks when I get to the ramp I unhook the boat then reverse a bit more truck still on dry concrete touch the brakes and the boat is off, buddy in the boat he starts and motors to the pontoon. I park the truck walk to the pontoon and we are off, all up less than 5 minutes.
When we come back I drop buddy of to the pontoon he reverses the truck and I drive the boat on to the trailer , he will winch the last few inches if any, all up time less than 5 minutes fro the time I drop him off.

The best thing about bunks when you trailer it there isn't any movement ( boat on trailer doesn't move) , the rollers always sway a bit. ON rollers you have all the boat weight on a tiny area a couple square inches times say 32 rollers so more risk of damaging the hull.
 

Ky Grady

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#11
I've always had bunks on all my boats. I've had friends with rollers and when it was time for a new trailer, they switched to bunks. With bunks, for guys that trailer long distance like myself, the boat sits lower on the trailer reducing center of gravity and possibilities of sway to a degree. Overall height is lower also.