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Bunks How-To's

How to Replace Carpet on Boat Trailer Bunks

Re-carpeting Boat Trailer Bunks – The Process

Trailer bunks are used to load and unload a boat. One of the most crucial materials that feature on the boat trailer bunks is the carpeting. This particular kind of marine-grade carpet makes launching easy. It is friendly to the gel coat, ... read more paint, or varnish found on the boat hull. The fabric can also withstand the elements. However, overtime, the carpet will start deteriorating. This may be caused by wear and tear, improper loading, and elements of weather. Rather than replacing the entire bunks you only need to re-carpet it.

The following steps are necessary to restore it:

Items Needed:

· Flathead screwdriver
· Fine grit sandpaper
· Needle-nose pliers
· Measuring tape
· Marine-grade carpet
· Scissors or utility knife
· Staple gun
· Stainless steel staples
· Waterproof carpet adhesive (optional)

Step 1: Remove the Old Carpet

Start removing the worn-out carpet from where it has started to peel. Work your way along the bunk. Use the crowbar to lift edges that are hard or where it might be stuck. Once all the carpet is gone the next thing is to remove the staples. Take a flathead screwdriver and remove any screws or staples. There will be some staples that might be difficult to remove. You can pull them out using needle nose pliers. Always take care since the staples may prick you.

Step 2: Inspect and Sand It Down

After completely removing the carpet, screws and staples, the bunk will be quite rough. First you should inspect it to see if there is any damage beneath. Things to look out for include dents, rotting sections, cracks, or bulges. If the bunk is badly worn then it needs to be replaced. If no dents, cracks or rot exist then the bunks can be sanded down using the fine-grit sandpaper. Ensure all the carpet adhesive and splinters are removed, and smooth surface is achieved.

Step 3: Take measurements

Measure the length and width of each bunk then note down the measurements. Add two inches to the measured length. Multiply the width by two and add a further two inches. Another alternative is to add three inches on the length as well as the width. Use the new length and width measurements to cut the marine-grade carpet. This will make certain the carpet covers the boat trailer bunks surface completely.

Step 4: Cut the Carpet

Transfer the measurements of the flat carpet and mark with chalk. Take a utility knife or pair of scissors and cut the carpet. Always try to cut it along the fiber line to minimize the amount of fraying.

Step 5: Drape the Bunks

Drape the carpet over the bunk making sure the bunk lies at the centre. Fold over one of the lengths of the carpet, then use a staple gun with the stainless steel staples and start stapling the folded edge. Space the staples at a distance of three inches. Do the same to the other length. Once done with the length fold over the width (the ends) and tuck them in. Using a utility knife or scissors to trim off any excess material and staple it. Repeat the same process for the other bunk.

Replacement Carpet for Bunks on a Trailer

Handy Tips

· Exposure to too much water especially salty water makes the staples rust. Therefore, you may use waterproof carpet adhesive in addition to the staples to attach the carpet to the bunks.

· The carpet adhesive should be applied on the top side only. Using it on the bottom side makes the carpet pull together or form pleats when the boat is launched.

Not all people find it necessary to use waterproof adhesive alongside the stainless steel staples. They argue that the carpet will usually age more quickly compared to the staples starting to rust.

Aging or deteriorating trailer bunks is part and parcel of the boating experience. Some people will replace the whole trailer bunks when they notice aging or the carpet starts to rot. However, this is not necessary. You can simply replace the old carpet with a new one. This task can be done by anyone who feels competent enough. In fact, with the proper tools and material a weekend is more than enough to replace the boat trailer bunks. Besides saving your boat from damage when launching you also save on cost as well.
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