Carpeted bunks and aluminum boats

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  • Carpeted bunks and aluminum boats

    Broke the axle on my duck boat trailer yesterday. While getting a quote to rebuild the trailer, was told carpeted bunks with aluminum boat used in salt water is a big no-no. Apparently the trapped salt eats pinholes through the aluminum. Anyone else ever hear this?

  • #2
    No

    What other kind of bunks are there?

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    • #3
      Definate pitting in the aluminum. Right now it's just wood boards as I wanted it back for last week of duck season, but it will have that plastic stuff, not sure exactly what the product is.

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      • #4
        As far as I know, I all of the high-end custom trailer builders provide carpeted bunks - that I've seen anyway.

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        • #5
          Agreed, and I'd say most people don't run an aluminum boat in salt water. It's specifically a salt water and aluminum boat issue. I duck hunt salt,
          Brackish, fresh....wherever I can find them!

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          • #6
            Saltwater on bare aluminum is not good. I bought a new Xpress 16 foot aluminum boat a year ago with trailer. My boat has a painted hull and the trailer has plastic bunk covers over wood. It is considered a "bay boat" by the maker, and should hold up to a saltwater environment. Time will tell. I do have a bit of corrosion around the transom tie-down U-bolts that I am not pleased about.

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            • #7
              Wouldn't surprise me.
              I am sure the aluminum they use is NOT marine grade and it's not all that thick.
              So, I can see sitting on a wet piece of carpet soaked in salt would be an issue.
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              • #8
                You can add those polyurethane (or whatever they're made from) bunk slicks to lift the boat off the carpet. Shouldn't cost too much.
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                • #9
                  My dad loved fishing the little creeks off the Intracoastal Waterway around Sunbury GA, but only in his 1975 Ouachita 16' Jon boat & 15 HP Evinrude. The trailer has carpeted bunks. Last year, before he passed away at the age of 84, we had to run a 500 GPH bilge pump almost continuously to keep up with the myriad of tiny geysers, all of which are lined up with the bunks. We always talked about adding Starboard slides but just never got around to it.

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                  • #10
                    Most bunk trailers use treated lumber for the bunks that has copper in the treatment. The copper migrates through the wet carpet and you get corrosion. You definitely want vinal bunk covers. The same reason you can't use bottom paint with copper in it.

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                    • #11
                      On the Pacific Northwest coast, the land of the aluminum hatch, you do have to watch out for saltwater trapped against aluminum. I've seen pitted sides from carpet applied to the interior along shelves. The carpet held the salt spray and badly pitted the aluminum from the inside. It was only discovered by a remodel of the interior.

                      I would use the plastic slicks, and keep that safety chain on until the boat was over water.

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                      • #12
                        Warning, heed the advice about chains and bunk slicks, they are! I realize aluminum is lighter but, be careful. My heavy FRP CC has to be kept in gear idling while retrieving, but it sure makes it easy to launch. Back to topic, my opinion just put thin Starboard slicks directly on carpet if you wanted, definitely not an expert! Good luck!
                        BWP

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                        • #13
                          I had them covered in that plastic like stuff, covers top and sides of bunks. Worked fine this last duck season. This is just a little boat. Float off float on. Drive it up onto the bank while I fetch the trailer then just push it out around trailer guide pole and pull on with bow line. So I can not attest to the slickness off the bunks as there is never any sliding going on.

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