Every boat owner knows how difficult it is to load your boat when conditions are not ideal. Even the slightest wind or current can swing your boat around and make loading your boat highly stressful.
Boat trailer guides are essential to ensure that every time you take out your boat you’ll be able to easily and safely load her back on your trailer. With the right boat trailer side guides, you can keep your boat stable and avoid any damage.
The best way to match your boat and trailer is to custom design your trailer guide-ons to make sure they perfectly fit the dimensions of your boat. A custom trailer will precisely support the hull of your boat. That makes it simple to center your keel no matter what the conditions are.
If you’d like to know more about boat trailer guides then read on. In this guide, we’ll explain what the different types are and how they’ll make your life easier.
How Do Boat Trailer Guides Work?
Boat trailer guide posts come in a variety of sizes and styles. At their most basic these L-shaped metal post are attached to the sides of your trailer frame to align your boat onto the trailer. They are often covered with PVC pipe to protect your boat from scratches and some have rollers to further prevent abrasion.
Once you have trailer guide posts you’ll no longer have to wade out into the water to swing your boat in line with the trailer. The guide posts will keep the keel of your boat positioned on the centerline of your trailer. This makes it easy to load your boat even when the current or wind is pushing it sideways.
With trailer guides, you can say goodbye to stressful loading and avoid ever having to repair your trailer after an unnecessary accident.
What Are the Different Types of Boat Trailer Guides?
There are three main types of boat trailer guides. Choosing what type is best for your trailer will depend on the size of your boat. Let’s take a closer look at each type and how they can benefit you.
Boat Trailer Bunk Guides
These planks of wood are attached to your trailer stretching along the length of the hull. They are connected midway along the trailer with one or two adjustable upright supports. To prevent scratches they’re covered in marine-grade carpet material.
They generally extend from 18 to 24 inches above the trailer frame. This means they’re not as easily visible as guide posts. Once your boat is partially on the trailer they prevent your boat from moving as she slides into position.
Bunk guides are suitable for large boats with steep hulls that need careful alignment on a trailer. They provide the greatest lateral stability compared to other types of trailer guides. As soon as the bunk guides make contact with your hull they will ensure that your boat is correctly positioned on the trailer.
Boat Trailer Guide Rollers
Unlike bunk guides, these posts are attached to the rear of your trailer. Each one has a sturdy non-marking rubber roller that turns as the rub rail of your boat makes contact with them. They are generally only used with larger boats.
The advantage of the roller is that even in strong winds you can still winch your boat up without scuffing or scraping along the post. If you regularly have to deal with current and wind when loading your boat then guide rollers will make a huge difference.
The only disadvantage of guide rollers is that they need to be set at the height of your rub rail. This means they are not as visible as guide posts when reversing your trailer down a ramp.
Boat Trailer Guide Posts
Similar to guide rollers these metal posts attach to the rear of your trailer. Instead of rollers, they have PVC pipes fitted over them to protect your boat from scratches. They are generally used with smaller and lighter boats that won’t push against them too hard.
What makes them especially useful is the height they can extend above the trailer – up to 60 inches. This means that even on steep inclines you’ll be able to see them as you reverse down the ramp. Moreover, you can easily align your boat no matter how deep the water is.
Another great feature to add to your guide posts are LED lights. Not only do these help when loading in low-light conditions they also improve the visibility of your trailer when hauling on the road. With constant submerging rear trailer lights fail often whereas guide post lights stay dry and last much longer.
Advantages of Boat Trailer Guides
If you like to take your boat out alone then boat trailer guide posts are crucial. They allow you to safely load your boat in all conditions. Even a light chop on the water can make loading extremely difficult if you don’t have someone to help you steady and position the boat.
With trailer guide posts you can keep your boat centered on your trailer no matter how strong the wind or current is. They allow you to operate the winch without worrying about your boat moving off your trailer. The same is true for charter boat captains that may need to load up their boats alone.
Another advantage of trailer guide posts is the increased visibility they provide. As you back an empty trailer down the ramp it often dips below your line of sight. Guide posts allow you to see where your trailer is even when it’s completely submerged.
Are You Looking for Custom Boat Trailer Guides?
Boat trailer guides are the best way to prevent accidents while loading or launching your boat. Even in rough weather you can avoid scratching your hull gelcoat or damaging your boat trailer.
If you’re looking for precise boat trailer guide-ons then Owens and Sons Aluminum Slide-On has you covered. With over 38 years of experience, we can custom build your boat trailer to fit your boat. Our trailers are not only rugged – they look great too.
We operate in Tampa Bay Florida and ship trailer parts anywhere in the U.S. You can contact us online or call us at (727) 323-1088 to discuss your custom boat trailer guide requirements.