Trailer guides mounted on vessel trailers execute very vital roles when loading or launching any watercraft. Whether you do the job on your own or you need an assistant to help you carry out the task, the best boat trailer guides are truly a must-have for you. These are beneficial in that they could help ward off accidents that may cost an arm and a leg and these could safeguard the finish of a vessel.
The good news is that if you are seriously in need of top quality trailer guides for your boat, then there are a lot of boat and marine supply stores and online shopping sites that you could depend on. Since these execute a valuable job of centering your boat, it is just right that you pick the one that would not only fit your budget but could also execute the job without any serious trouble.
By having a premium quality trailer guide for your boat, loading and launching or maneuvering your vessel does not need to be a very troublesome task for you to manage and you would appear like an expert at the ramp. In this post, you can learn more about the different trailer guides that are built to different versions of vessel styles.
Hence, if it is your wish to end up investing in the most suitable trailer guide for your watercraft, consider looking into the following product reviews and buying tips shared in this article so you could successfully navigate any vessel ramp the soonest possible time.
Table of Contents
Best Boat Trailer Guide Reviews of 2023
1. CE Smith Trailer Post Guide-On with Unlighted Posts
Are you planning to purchase superb quality Jon boat trailer guides? If yes, then you may see for yourself what makes this brand a standout from other similar choices sold on the market at present. These trailer guides are sold in pairs and the package already includes the mounting hardware needed. Indeed, it is also possible to execute the necessary adjustments to ensure the precise fit to what you need it for.
In like manner, these trailer guides for vessels are useful solutions to those who seriously wish to make vessel loading more effortless. These can provide a more secure and safer support; they are crafted to be sturdy and can even withstand hazardous elements. There is no need for high maintenance and are known to be more exceptional as compared to standard equipment.
2. Extreme Max Heavy-Duty Roller Guide-On System
These boat trailer roller guides are engineered with custom-made 97-degree arms and 13-inch roller assembly by up to 14-inches or 16-inches of horizontal adjustment. Once bought, it already consists of a single pair of solid roller guide-ons that can ensure less complex bolt-on assembly. This could also provide exact fit to roller or bunker style frameworks that measure by up to 3-inch W x 4.25-inch H.
Please be guided that these are designed with zinc coating feature that makes them adept at repelling freshwater corrosion issues; even so, these may not be ideal to utilize for brackish and marine application. Likewise, the shape and the size of the trailer frameworks could extremely vary reason why it is substantial to measure your watercraft on the trailer prior to ordering one so as to guarantee a suitable fit.
3. Fulton Economy Trailer Boat Guide
If you are presently in search of boat trailer loading guides and would like to launch and pick up a vessel without much sweat, then you could start in doing so by investing in this brand. This works wonders in helping you back up to the vessel ramp in order for you to pick your vessel. Without these, it would be quite tough for a trailer to execute the job.
What sets these trailer guides for vessels apart from the rest is their suitability to different kinds of environment. They may be costly but they won’t fail you even when you need to launch and retrieve the boat under the worst weather conditions. Their innovative and distinctive design combined with great value and superb quality is what makes them more prominent options of today. Whether you intend to use them for marine or recreational applications, these would work exceptionally for your purposes.
If you are going to observe these trailer guides in a much closer approach, you would unveil that they are designed to be solid yet comes with very flexible PVC material that enables users to park their vessel on the trailer and keep you aligned. They are quite reliable when it comes to giving you the freedom and ease of movement every time.
4. Extreme Max Heavy-Duty Pontoon Trailer Guide-Ons
Do you want to solve a plenty of boat loading problems? Then, you may ponder on getting these pontoon boat trailer guides for you. These are primarily engineered to help users load with more ease and convenience and in a more risk-free approach. The guide-ons are crafted to perform in extreme weather conditions and are ideal for pontoons that come with 30-inch height.
What is more, their 2.5-inch industrial grade steel framework is covered with non-marking PVC that is specifically intended to safeguard the finish of the pontoon vessel. It can be assembled instantly over a 2-inch W x 3-inch H cross members. It is interesting to note that each set already contains a couple of guide-ons.
While these can be slightly overpriced, they are solidly constructed that makes pontoon loading a very plain sailing task for you to manage. You may especially need to do some sorts of adjustments to get these trailer guides to fit a 21-foot pontoon vessel trailer, but they could perfectly work.
5. CE Smith Guide-ON BUNKBOARD 2′
Looking for unparalleled boat trailer side guides nowadays appear to be a little tight considering there is a very rigid competition among world-class brands. Anyhow, if you are a novice in the field of launching and retrieving vessels, then this product can help you accomplish your task without much hassle. These guide-ons are perfect solutions if you hope to get the watercraft back on the trailer without much trouble. Majority of rookies find the horizontal boards more excellent at offering more guidance as compared to the goal post guide-ons.
These are definitely impressive guide-on boards. More than that, the black carpeting is thoroughly wrapped and seems to be held on in a more secure mode. The kit comes complete with the necessary hardware and is capable of going together without any difficulty. Thus, these guides are practical for rookies who find it stressful to retrieve and launch a vessel.
6. VE-VE Inc. 47″ / 65″ Boat Trailer Post Guide-On
Are you in the hunt for boat trailer guide-ons that can be safely utilized for both freshwater and saltwater applications? These products are definitely the ones you need if you wish to guarantee more secure, speedy and appropriate centering of your vessel whenever you need to launch or load it at a congested vessel landing. Many expert boat launchers and retrievers prefer this brand because the guides work efficiently in terms of guiding the trailer to the suitable spot and appropriate water depth.
The package comes complete with all the needed mounting hardware that suit frameworks by up to 3-inch in width x 4-1/4-inch in height. Unlike other similar alternatives on the market, these guides come with hot-dipped galvanized finish so it could also provide the much needed protection. The guides’ gold-zinc plated finish allows them to provide better shield against corrosion as well.
7. CE Smith – 27610 Guide-ON 9″ Roller & END CAPS
Shopping for boat trailer bow guides nowadays is not that problematic at all considering there are many credible brands that you could bank on. Hence, if you’d like to end up buying the right trailer guides for your watercraft, start checking out the features of this model so you could decide if these guides fit you well.
In substance, these trailer guides are perfect choice for those who load and unload their vessel on their own. These are not laborious to assemble and use and are something you could lean on even on windy periods.
8. Extreme Max 3005.2199 4′ Bunk Trailer Guide-On
If you want to spend wisely on heavy-duty bunks that are not cumbersome to put together and are supreme at running the vessel up in a moderate heavy wind; then this version can be your safest bet. With them, it is now possible to load the vessel in a more sleek mode and the cross wind would not bother loading.
In addition to these, the hardware was wonderfully finished and enables users to execute diverse mounting alternatives, underneath or above the trailer frame. These are great guides even though they entail some work to ensure precise fit.
9. CE Smith Trailer Post Guide-On with LED Lighted Posts
These boat trailer guides with lights are must-haves because they are the best solution for boaters who would like to clearly see the position of their trailer when backing down the ramp. Indeed, these allow users to know the location of the trailer as your vessel approaches it at evening periods.
Correspondingly, these guides are very beneficial to use for ramp launching, pontoon vessels, small boats, personal watercraft as well as large vessels. They are useful particularly at dusky periods since the LED lights are illuminated and these are effortless to locate when submerged.
10. Extreme Max 3005.2181 Roller Guide-On System-Pair
Please take in mind that it matters to gauge your vessel on the trailer prior to ordering one so to guarantee a precise fit. The shape and size of the trailer frames could significantly vary and could be set to alter the rollers at varying heights on the side of the watercraft. These work accordingly to any vessel trailer.
This product comes with durable boat trailer guide pads to offer additional protection and these are known for being perfect addition to vessel trailer. You won’t need to be troubled even when loading or unloading in heavy winds, dark locations and even if you are still a novice in trailering. These guides are excellent to get the trailer deep enough to load the vessel.
What to Look for When Buying Boat Trailer Guides
As previously mentioned, boat trailer guides execute very vital functions when it comes to keeping the watercraft steady while loading. Hence, it is just right to be extra careful when picking the one that’s right for you.
Here are some buying considerations for you to bear in mind:
- Types of Boat Trailer Guides
There are 3 different types of trailer guides for you to select from and these include roller, bunk and post guides. To better understand the difference of these types, you may refer to the different types of trailer guides shared in this post.
These are mounted to each side of a vessel trailer. They are generally place towards the back portion of the trailer; however, these could be fastened in other areas as well. And, for you to load the vessel with the guides, someone must back the trailer onto the water. Then, another person must drive the vessel onto the trailer.
The vessel’s front portion is then affixed to a rope that hauls the vessel to the front section of the trailer with the aid of a winch. The guides help keep the watercraft centered on the trailer since it is being levered forward.
These referred to as exceptional features of trailer guides because of their adeptness to serve as light mounts. It is interesting to note that trailer lighting is notably prone to malfunction. Moreover, trailer lights tend to fail since they are submerged in water each time a watercraft is launched or retrieved.
Mounting trailer lights on guides lift the lights much higher and help in minimizing the number of times the lights are submerged in water and extend their service and lifespan.
Trailer guides are manufactured with different heights. Bunk style versions come with 18 by up to 24 inches in height while post style models are generally in ranges from 36 by up to 60 inches in height.
Another important factor that must be looked into are the trailer guides that are made of metals. While it is true that these are super stable, they could damage or scratch the external portion of the vessel as they are loaded. Be reminded that the scratching could be avoided through simple covering the trailer guides with foam or PVC.
Other Important Factors to Consider
What is a boat trailer guide and how does it work?
Trailer guides for boats certainly serve a very vital purpose. These are meant to guide watercrafts onto the trailer to maneuver it to and from the vessel landing or launch. Besides, these are intended to assist you center the vessel in order for you to instantly load it in a safer approach.
Trailer guides for vessels work by making it smooth sailing for users to load the watercraft onto the trailer and back the trailer down the ramp. These are ideal for safely guiding the vessel and are capable of providing the much needed support for the bow.
These are firmly attached to the vessel trailers so to impede various types of accidents and to also provide the necessary shield for the vessel’s finish.
What are the different types of boat trailer guides?
There are different types of boat trailer guides for you to select from and these consist of:
- Roller Guides
These come with modifiable roller assembly that is bolted to a vertical bar or tube that is fastened to the trailer. They glide sleekly so that the vessel slides without difficulty onto the trailer. Moreover, these versions are ideal for spots that encounter a lot of rugged weather since they allow the boat to slip effortlessly onto the trailer.
In the same way, a non-marking rubber roller keeps them from marking or damaging the vessels side gel coat.
- Post Guides
These models are generally comprised of a pair of PVC tubes that glide over ninety-degree formed metal tubes which is mounted to the side framework of the trailer. Fundamentally, there are distinct forms for pontoon trailers and conventional vessel trailers.
Typically, pads could be joined with the posts so to inhibit any sorts of damages on the vessels gel coat; nonetheless, they commonly rub against the vessels rub rail. If these are lengthy enough, they help guide the watercraft even under profound water loading slope and are also useful when supporting a discharged trailer into the vessel landing or launch.
- Bunk Guides
These models appear like the underneath the framework bunks on a trailer bed. What is more, they come with carpet-cushioned parallel bunk boards that are mounted to 2 upright supports that are fastened to the side framework of the trailer.
It is worth noting that the larger surface area is the one that holds the watercraft in a more secure mode to the trailer on the two edges. Generally speaking, these are labeled as the most overpriced among the diverse forms of trailer guides for boat; however, these are capable of providing a lengthier than a single-point type of guide.
Why do you need a boat trailer guide? (Benefits)
If you own a vessel trailer and needs to frequently load or launch a watercraft particularly during windy periods, under strong currents and rough weather conditions, then trailer guides are must-haves. Basically, these are beneficial tools to consider because they are the perfect solutions to make boat launching and retrieving a less intricate task for you to deal with.
Aside from these, they are especially designed to help launching and retrieving vessels executed in a faster and safer mode. Once they are solidly affixed to vessel trailers, they serve a very valuable role when it comes to avoiding serious and expensive accidents. These are also reliable in terms of providing the necessary shield for your vessel’s finish or side gel coat.
Various models of trailer guides are manufactured to be durable, functional and capable of executing what they were engineered for. Due to this, they are superior and dependable to use for a longer period of time. While some of them are slightly costly, these are cost-effective options because they help you make your launching or retrieving job less time-consuming and less tedious.
These are highly recognized for ease of assembly, ease and convenience of use and are very valuable tools that you could invest in if you own vessel trailers. Many of them are designed with additional accessories that make them more beneficial and practical to utilize.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the most trusted boat trailers guides brands?
Before getting boat trailer guides for you, it is quite imperative for you not to solely check out various product options but also to carefully learn more about the manufacturer of the product you are planning to invest in. This is because, once you buy from a legit and credible brand, you can be guaranteed that the product you chose is a smart and worthwhile investment that would pay off in the long run.
Of course, everyone wants to ensure that they get the real worth of their hard-earned money, so in order to avoid getting faulty products and end up being wasted in the end; you’ve got to buy vessel trailer guides that were engineered by the following brands:
- VE-VE Incorporated
- Extreme Max
- CE Smith
Fundamentally, the aforementioned manufacturers are highly acclaimed in the field of boating and marine supplies. You can always count on them whenever you need anything that relates to your boating and trailering needs.
How tall should boat trailer guides be?
It is essential to understand that trailer guides for boats are designed with a number of heights. There are bunk style trailer guides that are commonly much lower and are typically at a height of 18-inches by up to 24-inches. These versions are designed with less visibility; nevertheless, they generally provide more lateral stability.
Meanwhile, the post-style trailer guides for boats usually range from 36-inches by up to 60-inches in height. Please be guided that the higher the trailer guide is, the more effortless it is to see.
How to install and use?
Since trailer guides for boats come in different forms, it is a must to carefully refer to the manufacturer’s instructions when installing and using them because they may differ in some ways.
Each kit and trailer guide packages include step-by-step assembly procedures that users can refer to when getting started. It is strongly advised to strictly adhere to the manufacturer’s directions to ensure that the trailer guides work as expected.
How to adjust boat trailer guides?
Inspect the lowest portion of the vessel’s bottom so to confirm if the keel is resting on the line of the rollers in center section of the trailer. If this is not aligned, utilize an adjustable wrench to unscrew the bolts that hold the keel roller in place.
Beginning at the front section of the vessel, lift the keel roller till it touches the underneath portion of the keel. Secure the first bolt, tighten the next bolt and execute the process with the other bolts. After the initial securing using the adjustable wrench, torque the bolts to the range indicated in the trailer’s manufacturer’s instructions and use a torque wrench to execute this process.
Your watercraft would rest on the bunks while you do the required adjustments to the keel roller; thus, there is no further bunk modification needed here. Modify the bunks if your vessel is setting on the keel, but is unsteady on the trailer. You may utilize an adjustable wrench to unscrew the bolts that hold the bunk supports in place for the trailer.
Lift the forward edge of the bunk till it touches the underneath section of the vessel and then secure the forward-most bolt. Execute the same process till the entire bunk touches the underneath section of the vessel and all the bolts on the bunk have been secured.
How to make boat trailer guides?
Here are some guides when making boat trailer guides:
The materials you will require include bolts, power drill, 2 three-fourth-inch PVC end caps, 2 portions of half-an-inch aluminum pipe that’s 6-ft. in length, 2 aluminum pipe-mounting brackets as well as 2 portions of three-fourth-inch PVC pipe that’s 6-ft in length.
- Wash the vessel trailer to eliminate any dirt. Inspect the location at the back of the back axle. Gauge one foot in from the end of the doublewide approaching the back axle and from there mark it with a pencil or a chunk of tape.
- Put a single pipe-mounting bracket flush made of aluminum, do this with the left edge of the trailer in the forefront of the gauged mark and you may start drilling the required holes to embed the bracket bolts to the doublewide and bracket.
- The next phase would be to tuck in 1 6-feet portion of aluminum pipe into the bracket. See to it to tie up the pipe by means of tightening a bolt into the edge of the pipe and bracket till it is secure.
- Slide 1 6-feet of three-fourth inch of PVC pipe over the aluminum pipe in order to provide necessary shield to the surface of the vessel when it grinds against it.
- Afterward, carefully bore a hole throughout the aluminum pipe and PVC. Embed the bolt and secure to tighten the 2 pipes together.
- Then, the next stage would be to simply enclose the top end of the three-fourth-inch PVC pipe using an end cap to provide proper shielding for the vessel’s finish from coarse or rugged edges.
- Lastly, execute the entire procedure on the other edge of the trailer.
What is the warranty?
Almost all shoppers in both local stores and online shopping sites these days are smart and responsible. They want to ensure that they only get the best whenever they shop. And, one of the best ways to guarantee that the product you bought is well worth the money, then you’ve got to check out if it is backed up by a warranty.
Aside from checking out the practical features and selling cost of the product, it is also wise to inspect if the manufacturer offers product warranty. This way, you can avail money back guarantees, replacement of defective parts or other solutions that could give you peace of mind in the event you encounter some issues regarding the product you invested in.
Where to buy?
By happy chance, you could easily find gilt-edge boat trailer guides in various local boat and marine supply stores. It is important to visit local stores that sell different kinds of boating and marine supplies just like trailer guides for various kinds of vessels so that you can have a number of selections to check out when shopping.
Still and all, in case you find it hard to look for the most suitable option for you, another great option to consider is buying trailer guides from trustworthy online shopping sites like Walmart, Amazon and WestMarine. These sites are heavily stocked and are more capable of providing consumers with a plenty of number one brands and products for you to choose from.
How to care and maintain?
Fortunately, trailer guides for boats do not call for high maintenance. All you need to do is to ensure that everything is secure and connected. Inspect for rusted fasteners, stress cracks and check if the nuts or bolts are tightened well.
Also check if the bunks are in better condition. As for the carpeting, inspect for any frayed or torn issues. Check the PVC material and foam too to ensure that there is no scratch or damage from rubbing.
To sum things up, if you would like to load and launch your boat without much struggle at the ramp, then one of the most practical approaches to consider is investing in the best boat trailer guides. However, if you are still feeling perplexed on the most must-have features of the trailer guides that could work like a charm for your needs, then you’ve got to ensure that you keep in mind the shopping guides and product reviews tackled in this post.
As what you have learned from this post, different brands are designed with different features and functions; so the choice is yours. Aside from the price tag, there are surely a number or more important features and factors to consider so to guarantee that you could enjoy a smooth sailing trailering experience. Since trailer guides would execute a vital role in centering your craft, then it is just right that you do some sort of contemplation whether a certain product is right for you or not.
Trailer guides for boats are undoubtedly very indispensable for loading and launching watercrafts. Thus, products comprehensively reviewed in this article could provide you some useful information and techniques to obtain what you’re currently searching for.
I am Dave, Marine Talk’s content creator. Boating experiences matter when planning a boat trip for your family or going by yourself. Therefore, I am here to tackle all things relevant to boating so even the inexperienced ones can start their boating safely.