Should a boat sit on rollers or bunks?  Differences about convenience between bunks and rollers

Should a boat sit on rollers or bunks? As boat owners, one of the biggest decisions we have to make is whether or not to let our boat rest on rollers, an adjustable cradle-like system, or bunks. Both support systems offer numerous benefits and drawbacks that can impact your boat’s usability and overall quality. Therefore, it’s important to carefully consider which option is best suited for you before making a decision.

Should a boat sit on rollers or bunks?

Should a boat sit on rollers or bunks?

In this blog post, Scott Ewart will explore differences about convenience between bunks and rollers and other aspects. Read on for more information about why you should choose one over the other!

Should a boat sit on rollers or bunks?

Should a boat sit on rollers or bunks?

Should a boat sit on rollers or bunks?

Do you want to use bunks or rollers on boat trailer? It ultimately depends on your needs and preferences. Bunks are more comfortable, but they can cause uneven pressure around the hull. Rollers provide uniform pressure across the entire bottom of the boat. However, they offer a less comfortable ride for long-term storage. Here is a comparison of a few key differences between the two to help you make the right choice for you.

Definition about rollers and bucks

Definition about rollers and bucks

Definition about rollers and bucks

Roller trailer: It is a popular choice for launching and retrieving boats. It features rollers instead of bunks, which help cradle the hull of your boat as you launch it into the water. Although it may cost more and require regular maintenance, the convenience makes it worth your while. However, when using this type of equipment, a winch system is required to pick up the ship.

Bunk trailer: A bunk trailer is a reliable, easy-to-use design that can hold up under the weight of your boat and get it in the water without issue. Bunk trailers are an economical option both when buying and maintaining them because they have fewer moving parts.

Differences between function and application between bunks and rollers

There are some differences between bunks and rollers when it comes to functions and applications.

In term of use



Carpeted bunks are essential for ensuring your boat’s stability and successful launch.

Utilizing the power of gravity, rollers help launch your boat into the water with ease.

The table here is comparison about these tools regarding their application:

In term of application

Good for



Know where to launch and have a good ramp

An ideal way to launch your boat in shallow or rocky seas and can’t submerge the trailer

Be fine partially submerging your trailer

More effortless boat launching and retrieving process

Boat needs even support

You’re a frequent boat rider and don’t mind paying extra

Want low-maintenance

Bad for

Bunk Roller

Launch in shallow water or poor conditions

Desire the most efficient and cost-effective solution.

Want to the easiest ramp launch

Larger boats or longer trips require additional hull support

Differences in pricing between rollers and bunks

Differences in pricing between rollers and bunks

Differences in pricing between rollers and bunks

Not only will it be less expensive to buy a bunk trailer initially, but it will also require less money to keep it in good operating order over its lifetime.

While a roller trailer contains many moving parts that are bound to fail at some point, a bunk trailer. On the other hand, a bunk trailer seems to be able to continue functioning normally regardless of how much wear and tear is placed on it. If you are seeking an alternative that will last for a long time, a bunk trailer will sell itself to you very quickly.

To reduce the amount of friction your boat is exposed to, there are a lot of lubricants and sliding trailer pads available for purchase.

Differences about convenience between bunks and rollers

 Differences about convenience between bunks and rollers

Differences about convenience between bunks and rollers

Easy to launch

The lack of friction makes roller trailers easier to use. Press a button and watch your boat launch itself. Bunk trailers need extra effort to enter the water. Low water levels make bunk trailer boat launches impossible.

Submerging at least the rear axel of your bunk trailer can cause significant damage over time. Especially if you launch this bunk trailer in salty water and don’t rinse off your trailer right away. The saltwater can corrode your boat’s structure. To avoid this wear and tear, use a cleaner solution that not only flushes out engines but also cleans any exterior components.

Easy to loading

This is where the bunk trailer truly shows off its strengths. A bunk trailer offers a unique advantage to boat owners: it enables you to drive your boat onto the trailer.

In contrast to a roller trailer, which requires the boat to be “winched up” and “wound back onto the trailer”. After the trailer has been submerged, the boat is driven straight back onto it.

Differences in support and safety

Differences in support and safety

Differences in support and safety

Bunks: are the superior choice for boat trailers as they spread out your vessel’s weight evenly along their length. This method is less likely to cause damage to your hull while you tow it. Plus, bunks provide stability and reduce swaying thanks to a lower center of gravity than rollers can offer.

In the unfortunate event of a winch strap malfunction, bunks are an ideal back-up solution, as they use friction to hold your boat safely in place. However, take note that carpeted bunks may cause damage to your watercraft’s paint over time.

Roller: When you use the correct size and secure your boat before driving off, rollers will provide solid support. Rollers have numerous points of contact with a boat’s hull that can create slight indentations or “dimples”. This situation will happen if left in place for an extended period on foam-cored boats. To avoid any mishaps while moving, it is essential to keep all straps fastened until launch time.

Differences in maintenance between bunks and rollers

Differences in maintenance between bunks and rollers

Differences in maintenance between bunks and rollers

Bulk: Carpeted bunks are an easy-to-maintain option for your boat since they’re composed of mostly carpet and wood. Depending on how often you use them, you can expect up to 6 years’ worth of use before considering replacements. Wooden components will also experience wear over time, so you should inspect the carpeting regularly as well. Marine-grade materials resist mildew growth while helping preserve the hull’s integrity beneath it.

Submerging your bunks in water could cause corrosion of the components used to operate your trailer (such as brakes, axles, and springs). This means you will likely have to replace these parts more often than if you had opted for rollers.

Roller: Since there are more moving parts, the rollers are more likely to malfunction and need repair or replacement.

By not having to submerge your trailer in water, the durability of your running gear is extended because it corrodes less.

Finally, whether you use the boat with rollers or bunks, knowing which boat has the right of way when sailing is extremely important. Besides, you should grasping clearly 14 advice for pregnant woman when boating to protect your passengers. It will help you have a safe and interesting trip.

Reasons why bunk trailers have rollers

Reasons why bunk trailers have rollers

Reasons why bunk trailers have rollers

For heavier and longer boats, bunk trailers are usually fitted with rollers to ensure that the vessel is balanced during transit. Two or four bunks will depend on the length and weight of the boat, respectively.

As a general rule, larger vessels are typically moved on trailers that feature four bunks. On the other hand, the smaller boats will primarily use two-bunked trailers.

FAQs: Should a boat sit on rollers or bunks?

Can a bunk trailer be changed into a roller trailer?

Unfortunately, it is not possible to convert bunk trailers for boats and other watercraft into rollers.

Should a boat be level when it’s being transported on a trailer?

Before you set off on your journey, it is critical to make sure that the trailer connected to your car is properly leveled. Not just a boat trailer—any kind of trailer needs proper leveling for optimal safety and maneuverability while driving.

Are rollers on a boat trailer preferable to bunks?

A bunk trailer is incredibly durable, making it ideal for withstanding regular use and abuse. On the other hand, a roller trailer has many mechanical components that can wear out from constant motion over time.

In a boat trailer, where should the rollers be located?

Aim for a 5-degree angle to facilitate your boat’s on/off motion. All the rollers should be evenly in contact with both sides of the hull. That way, you’ll have maximum support and stability as you cross the water!


So, should your boat sit on rollers or bunks? The answer may vary depending on who you ask, but both have their pros and cons. If you take the time to research what will work best for your boat and situation, you can’t go wrong. As always, if you have any questions or need help deciding, let us know by leaving a comment below. We from would be delighted to assist you in any way we can.

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