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Do You Dip Your Boat Trailer In The Water? Take a Look Here

We define and discuss roller wheels, guide posts, marker lights, support braces, tie-downs, and other items you’ll need to safely load a boat on or off a trailer.

At CARiD, we understand that owning a boat is about passion. It involves an appreciation for the vessel itself no matter how large or small, and the satisfaction that comes with being around it. Spending time on the water also signifies relaxation, camaraderie, sport, and a sense of pride that is hard to find elsewhere. We know that your boat is your baby and that you want the best for it - whether it's on sea, land, or in between. In this article, we'll cover many of the accessories we offer to make trailering your boat easy and safe.

Because we hand-select only vendors with proven records of craftsmanship, quality, and durability, you'll find only the best products in our Trailer Accessories Section.

Some Helpful Terms

For those who are new to the passion of boating, or for gift givers who may not be familiar with all the boating product terms you'll see, we've defined some key ones below.

"Bunk"

Bunks
Bunks are shown here covered with black carpeting.

A bunk is a padded, horizontal support that actually makes contact with the bottom part of the boat to support it. Bunks are usually long and fixed in place in the center of the trailer, because they do the heavy work of supporting the boat's weight. However, some bunks come in the form of roller wheels.

"Bunkboard"

Bunkboards
Bunkboards are shown here surrounded in black carpeting.

Bunkboards are similar to bunks in design and purpose. Instead of supporting the bottom of the boat's hull, these are positioned higher, acting as side rails to support the sides of the boat and prevent it from toppling off.

"Bunk guide" or "bunkboard guide"

Bunk Guides
"Bunk guides" or "bunkboard guides" are positioned at the end of the trailer.

These are essentially bunkboard pieces, but shorter. They're positioned at the rearmost end of the trailer and are intended as side markers to help guide the boat as it is coming onto the trailer. Once on the trailer, these may or may not be used to help support the weight of the boat.

"Guide piece" or "guide post"

Guide Posts
Guide posts such as the ones shown here provide a visible reference where to aim a boat when the rest of a trailer is submerged out of sight.

These are posts that bolt to frame rails at the rear of the trailer. They extend vertically (up to 75 inches high in some cases) in order to be seen for guidance when the rest of the trailer is submerged in water. We offer some that feature built-in LED lights at the top.

"Keel" rollers

Keel Rollers Protect Center
Keel rollers protect the center keel underneath a boat.

These cushion and protect the keel, which forms a point as a centerline along the bottom of the boat from front to rear.

"Bow" rollers

Bow Roller Wheels
Bow roller wheels.

These cushion and protect a boat's bow, which is the sharp point running vertically up the front of the boat.

Dollies For Carrying And Moving Small Boats

If you've got a small rowboat, canoe, or dinghy, the Garelick Boat Dolly is designed to let you load a small boat off a trailer and move objects up to 250 pounds thanks to 7-inch wheels with rubber tires. A zinc-plated steel frame ensures high strength with excellent corrosion resistance.

Garelick Boat Dolly
The Garelick Boat Dolly.

For moving and cradling heavier objects such as JetSkis or other small motorized boats up to 1,000 pounds, the C.E. Smith Personal Watercraft Dolly is an excellent choice. Because heavier objects such as these must be moved slowly and cautiously, four caster wheels swivel to allow full flexibility of movement over smooth surfaces. Galvanized steel provides high strength and rigidity, and the spacing of the support bunks can be adjusted to three widths as needed.

Smith PWC Dolly
The C.E. Smith Personal Watercraft Dolly.

When there's a need to steer and maneuver a small to medium-sized trailer around the driveway, we offer several trailer dollies with extra-long handles. Not only do these handles provide greater leverage to lift the front of the trailer off the ground, they allow easy steering in tight spots thanks to a very tight turning radius. If you've got a camper, utility trailer, or a trailer for smaller boats, snowmobiles, ATVs, or other equipment, these will make your life much easier. The C.E. Smith Heavy Duty Trailer Dolly comes with a 48" handle and a 1 7/8" hitch ball that connects to your trailer tongue. The dolly is rated to support a trailer tongue load of 700 pounds, and pneumatic air-filled tires cushion the rough stuff.

Smith Heavy Duty Trailer Dolly
The C.E. Smith Heavy Duty Trailer Dolly.

Purchase A Complete Small Trailer

Smith Complete Boat Trailer In Box
The C.E. Smith complete Multi-Sport Trailer - shipped to you for assembly at home with standard tools.

For small boats up to 12' long and 800 pounds, we offer the C.E. Smith Multi-Sport Trailer - a complete trailer that's shipped directly to you for assembly with standard tools at home. Because it's delivered to your door, you benefit from the lower cost of an unassembled trailer without the hassle of lugging a bulky box home.

Fully assembled, the trailer has an overall length of 140", an overall width of 54", and 18" of clearance between the frame and the ground. Fully designed for public roads and highway speeds, it includes D.O.T.-approved lights, 5' carpeted bunk boards, 4.80x8" tires, hitch coupler with safety chains, winch, winch stand, hook, and strap. All frame components are crafted from galvanized steel for high strength and excellent corrosion resistance.

Guide And Support Pieces For Boat Trailers

Horizontal Bunkboard Guide Pieces

If you need horizontal bunkboard guide pieces to position at the end of the trailer for guidance and support when loading a boat, C.E. Smith offers pairs of them in 2-foot and 5-foot lengths. Both lengths feature 2" x 4" thickness, galvanized steel construction covered with durable marine carpet, and mounting hardware that allows positioning above or below the trailer frame rail. Both sets are designed to tilt as needed to hug the hull, and can be adjusted 13 inches out from the frame on each side.

Tie Down Engineering Side Roller Guides
The Tie Down Engineering Side Roller Guides.
Guide Piece Kit With Led Lights
The C.E. Smith Guide Piece Kit with LED lights provides guidance at night or when trailers are completely submerged.

We’ve also got the Tie Down Engineering Side Roller Guide (with 20.5” tall posts) and C.E. Smith Roller Guide-Ons (with 21"-tall posts) with roller wheel posts that mount on the rear of trailer frame rails. Fulton also offers galvanized steel Boat Guides that can be selected with or without rollers in the product options field.

Vertical Guide Pieces For Loading Boats Onto A Trailer

Because pontoon boats are wider at the bottom, they typically require vertical guide posts that allow more room in between. C.E. Smith offers a series of galvanized steel guide post kits designed to bolt on to your trailer's rear cross member and fit in between the pontoons. For best value, choose the 22" high Pontoon Post Guide-On kit that includes 2 3/8 " diameter white PVC posts designed for frame rails up to 3" width by 4 1/4 " height. For slightly larger pontoon boats that require the trailer to be backed further into the water, there's the Post Guide-On kit with 40", 60", or 75" high posts (see product options to make choice).

Led Lights For Top
LED lights for the top of guide posts are also available separately.

For the ultimate in vertical guide rail convenience, C.E. Smith offers the Post Guide-On with LED Lighted Posts - a lifesaver when a trailer and its guide posts have to be completely submerged underwater. See product options for 40" or 60" post choices. The LED lights are available separately for individual purchase. And should you desire to relocate your trailer's factory tail lights to a higher position at the top of your roller or bunkboard guide-ons, the Tail Light Bracket Kit includes a pair of universal brackets designed just for this purpose.

Horizontal Bunk Support Pieces For The Bottom Of The Boat

When you're on a ramp where floating your boat directly onto a trailer isn't possible, C.E. Smith offers galvanized steel bunk shafts equipped with five polypropylene roller wheels on each side. These bunks allow you to "drag" a boat onto the trailer safely without damage. These Roller Bunks kits are available with bunk shafts in 4- and 5-foot lengths which can be selected in the Product Options field. The wheels are 2" in diameter, and a pair of Roller Bunks can support up to 1,500 pounds of well-distributed weight.

Smith Roller Bunks Kit
The C.E. Smith Roller Bunks kit.
Smith Jon Boat Support Bunk
The C.E. Smith Jon Boat Support Bunk and Bracket Assembly.

For flat-bottomed "jon boats", C.E. Smith offers the Jon Boat Support Bunk and Bracket Assembly that provides support by mounting across the trailer tongue. The bunk itself is Southern Yellow Pine wood covered with marine grade carpet, and the adjustable mounting bracket is galvanized steel.

Roller Guide Wheels That Can Be Positioned Anywhere

Roller Guide Wheels

Depending on the size and shape of your boat, you'll want to place roller wheels on your trailer frame exactly where they'll be needed most to provide insulation and allow for some movement while trailering. We let you do that with a wealth of individual soft-touch roller wheels mounted on galvanized steel bracket assemblies. See our main page to choose from different sizes available. Should you need replacement ribbed roller wheels, C.E. Smith offers a 4-pack of 5" x 3" ribbed rollers in gold or black with polypropylene hubs, Delrin bushings for 3/4" shafts, and applicable hardware.

Large Variety Of Roller Wheels
We offer a large variety of roller wheels in brackets ready to mount on your trailer wherever you need them, such as this one.
Smith Stationary Keel Roller
The C.E. Smith Stationary Keel Roller Bracket Assembly.

If your boat has a fixed keel underneath that doesn't adjust, C.E. Smith offers the Stationary Keel Roller Bracket Assembly with a black rubber roller that supports your boat's keel as it sits on the trailer. It prevents the bow from making contact with your winch or anything else, and it effectively absorbs harshness and vibration during trailering. Should you prefer a keel roller with a bracket arm that can be adjusted, see the Adjustable Keel Roller Bracket Assembly.

Smith Bow Bell Roller
The C.E. Smith Bow Bell Roller Assembly.

For the bow area of your boat, we've got individual bow bell roller wheel assemblies that help to center the boat and prevent bow-to-bowstand contact. C.E. Smith offers the Bow Bell Roller Assembly them in two sizes (see Product Options). First, there's the 3" designed to fit inside 3" center roller brackets. It has a 1/2" shaft, is 4 1/2" in diameter, and is 6" wide. There's also a 4" Bow Bell Roller Assembly designed to fit inside 4" center roller brackets. It has a 1/2" shaft, is 5 1/2" in diameter, and is 8" wide. For both, a selection of colors is available.

Trailer Convenience Accessories

For those who can use an extra step bar directly behind the wheel fender of your trailer, the C.E. Smith Fender Step Pads provides a beefy 12 gauge galvanized steel foot pad bar that's 15 1/4 " long and 3" wide. Weld it on, or use the included bracket pieces to bolt it to the trailer frame rail. Or, the Fulton 12” Tire Size Plastic Fender comes with three integrated step pads built into it. For other sizes, check out our Fulton page.

For effective security against trailer theft, the Trimax Wheel Chock Lock is a hardened steel boot which locks in place around the trailer wheel to ensure everything stays just where you leave it. For safety, Folding Wheel Chocks provide extra safety to prevent the trailer from rolling when parked or when a tire is being changed.

Smith Bolt On Fender Step Pads
The C.E. Smith Fender Step Pad.
Trimax Wheel Chock Lock
The Trimax Wheel Chock Lock.
Smith Heavy Duty Spare
We also offer spare tire carriers for trailers.

We also offer brackets for mounting lights/reflectors onto guide-on posts, license plate mounting brackets, metal tail light protectors, and spare tire carriers designed to store wheels horizontally on top of the trailer tongue, or vertically on the side of the trailer.

Other Boating Accessories

If you plan on doing fishing off the side of your pontoon boat or other boat equipped with square railings, C.E. Smith offers pontoon boat fishing rod holders that adjust to fit any 1" to 1 1/4" square-shaped rails. The holders are actually 9" stainless steel tubes with plastic insulator sleeves to grip your rod snugly and hold it in position. The tubes can be adjusted to any angle then locked into place, and drain holes prevents water from collecting. Or, choose one-piece polypropylene fishing rod holders designed for standard boat side rails with pockets for two fishing rods, 4 lures, and 1 knife.

Stylish Functional Fishing Rod Holders
We've got stylish and functional fishing rod holders designed to fit pontoon boat rails (shown) and traditional boat rails.
Marine Grade Carpet Sections
We've got marine-grade carpet sections in multiple sizes and colors.

Need marine-grade carpeting for trailer bunk pieces, boards, or walking areas of your boat? You'll appreciate Carpet Roll sections available in multiple sizes and lengths. To keep the inside of your boat or trailer smelling fresher, we've got Fulton Water Wicks filled with calcium chloride that can absorb and remove a whole quart of water out of the air - reducing mold and mildew. And last but not least, we’ve got life vests, life rafts and survival gear, first aid kits, flares & signaling devices, marine safety lights, and other essentials to bring along.

Hooks And Tie-Down Pieces

We’ve got a whole section devoted to trailer straps, tie-downs, and other pieces. There, you’ll find a huge selection of recessed floor rings, forged D-rings, bolt-on J hooks, steel strap buckles, tie-down hardware, strap frame adaptors, wheel grease caps, wheel bearings, grease seals, and more. We invite you to read our related article Secure Your Trailer Load With Quality Tie-Down Straps which provides guidance regarding these items.

Hooks Tie Down Pieces

As you can see, there's more to transporting your boat than just the boat and trailer. Some of these featured accessories are must-haves; others are wonderful-to-have. Either way, all of our boat trailer accessories ultimately serve to make your boating experience the best it can be!

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