Bunked Vs Roller boat trailer

There are many different views on this subject, basically its based on experience of a particular trailer, good or bad.  Our aim is provide options to our customers rather than point you to one specific trailer.

Stress points

Before even considering bunked or roller we strongly recommend that you check with us or the boat manufacturer as to what their preferred option is. Quality brands like Warrior have looked long and hard into this subject and how to spread the load of the boat in the best possible way. This does not mean that another set up will not work but if we had the option we would always recommend following the boat manufactures guide lines where possible.


There are many good reasons for using a bunked trailer but it will depend on the shape of your hull to make sure there is enough contact with it to spread the load.

The Pro’s-

Cheaper to make and this is passed on to the customer, so cheaper to buy

Less maintenance as you are not looking after rollers and cradles

The Cons-

Harder to recover in shallow waters

Second-hand value due to people often thinking they are not as good as other types

The roller version of the boat trailer has the reverse pro’s and con’s and hence we would recommend the type that is closest to your launching needs.

Launch in different places and or shallow water = roller version

Launch on good average to deep slips and rarely on shallow slips  and bunked version

This is obviously subject to manufactures recommendations.


“Its harder to recover using a bunked trailer”

This is simply not true as many come with float-em poles i.e. poles at the back of the trailer that make sure that the boat is always straight when the boat is recovered. Adding these to a new trailer is still cheaper than a roller type boat trailer.

“Electric winches are best”

Sadly this is not true and also they should not be needed if buying a good trailer. Electric winches have short warranties due to the exposed climate that they are used in – we know of numerous failures that have left customers in an interesting predicament!.  Having used both the SBS and Vanclaes winches we are 100% positive that you will be delighted by how easy they are to use, so unless you have a very specific reason we would not recommend this expensive upgrade.

If you have any questions regarding what type of trailer you need please contact us and we will do our best to help.