How To Re Carpet Boat Trailer Bunks

Boat Trailer Bunk Carpet

How To Re Carpet Boat Trailer Bunks

In Australia, many boats and jet skis with fiberglass hulls opt to use boat trailer bunks that are wrapped in carpet. Common questions we constantly receive at roxom boat trailer parts is; what is the best carpet for trailer bunks? Where to purchase carpet for boat trailer bunks and how do you install new carpet on your bunks?

The aim of today’s tutorial is to give you a quick user guide and reference on how to re carpet your boat trailer bunks.

When choosing which type of carpet to use on your boat trailer bunks, it is important that you choose the correct type to suit the marine / water environment.

When choosing new marine carpet for your bunks it is important to remember that over time; your marine carpet will start to deteriorate. This can be caused by numerous factors that are simply out of your control. These factors can include; general wear and tear from simply using your boat often, improper launch and retrieval as well as the Australian weather.

Rather than replacing the bunks altogether, in most cases it is only necessary to replace the carpet. Lets take a look at how this is done.

Step By Step Guide On How To Replace Boat Trailer Carpet Bunks

Boat Trailer Bunk Carpet

Before we get started on replacing your boat trailer bunk carpet, lets list the tools and products required to help get the job done as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Items required:

Flat Head Screwdriver.

Fine Grit Sandpaper. 

Needle Nosed Pliers.

Measuring Tape.

Scissors or utility knife.

Staple Gun.

Stainless Steel Staples.

Chalk or Marker

Waterproof Carpet Adhesive (optional).

Marine Carpet.


Step 1: Remove Your Old Carpet

To get started, you first need to remove your old worn down carpet. Find the spot that has started to rip or tear first. Work your way along your bunk with the screw driver or other tool that is easy to help lift the carpet up for easy removal. Some spots may be stuck harder than others, so take your time and be sure not to injure yourself on any staples that may be sticking out.

Once all the carpet has been removed it is time to remove the staples. By using the flat head screwdriver, and remove the screws or staples that were holding your carpet in place. If some of the staples are hard to remove? Use a set of pliers. This will make things alot easier. Be safe and try not to get pricked by any staple sticking out.

Step 2: Inspect & Sand Down Your Wood Bunks

After you initially remove the old worn down carpet, staples or screws, the timber may be quite rough as it has taken a lot of use and a fair beating from the water. It is important to inspect the timber to make sure there is no damage or splitting in the wood. Other things to check for are dents, rotting sections and weak spots. If their is, it may be better off to replace the timber as well as the carpet! 

If the bunks seem in good condition, you can now sand down the bunks using the fine grit sandpaper. It is important that all the adhesive, and splinters are gone and the timber is nice and smooth.

Step 3: Take Measurements Of Your Trailer Bunks

So we can apply the correct size marine carpet to your bunks, we need to get the correct sizes. Start by measuring the length and width of the timber and take notes. Add approximately 50mm (2 Inches) to the length. Multiply the width by 2 & add a further 50mm or 2 inches. 

Use your new measurements to mark a cut out / template of your marine grade carpet. By cutting a slightly larger profile, this will ensure the marine carpet completely covers your wooden bunks for a nice and clean install.

Step 4: Cut Your Marine Carpet To Size

Using the measurements from above that you marked down, outline were you are going to take a cut with some chalk. Take your utility knife or scissors and cut your marine carpet accordingly. 

Always cut along the fiber line to help avoid the amount of fraying.

Step 5: Drape The Bunks

Drape the carpet over the bunks making sure the bunk lies in the centre of the carpet. Fold over one of the side lengths of carpet over the top of the bunk. Grab your staple gun and staples and start applying the staples to the folded edge of the carpet. As a general guide, space the staples approximately 75mm or 3 inches apart from each other.

Once done, repeat the first process with the other side length of the carpet.

Once both long lengths have been applied to your bunks, you can now move to the ends. Start by folding the ends into the top of the bunk and tuck them in neatly. Use your utility knife or scissors to trim off any excess carpet that is not needed. Repeat for your 2nd bunk.

Helpful Tips When It Comes To Marine Carpet & Timber Bunks

  • Bunk exposure to salt water can cause the staples to rust. Use adhesive to help secure the carpet to your bunk as well as staples.
  • If using waterproof adhesive, you only need to apply to the top of your bunk.
  • Some people will argue, by using adhesive, this will limit the life span of your carpet. With correct care and use, the lifespan of your bunks should be longer.
  • Carpet bunks should not be used on aluminium hulls. For aluminium boat hulls it is highly recommended to you plastic. Plastic trailer bunks are longer lasting, slippery and will not rip or tear like carpet would if used on aluminium hulls. 
  • Wear and tear is standard in all boating. Take proper care of your boat and trailer and your experiance on the water will be much more enjoyable. When issues do arise, be sure to attend to them quickly. If you let the problems go on and on, this can potentially cause damage to your pride and joy and cost alot of un-necessary money in the future.