If you often go boating alone like me, you might find it quite difficult to launch the boat and move it out of the water at the ramp. It is because of the limited width of the launching ramp. From the driver’s seat, I can barely see the position of my boat trailer. It gets harder when the water is rough. That is when the idea of making boat trailer guides comes to my mind.
After researching and trying it myself, I’ve succeeded in making a boat trailer guide-on. I can’t wait to share the techniques and process with you. No worries, I’ll make it as straightforward as possible, and the whole process should take you less than one hour.
The idea is to attach two pieces of PVC pipe onto the sides of the trailer so you can see its position from the driver’s seat. For further detail on each step of how to make boat trailer guide posts dive in!
Table of Contents
What You Will Need
Besides helping with moving the boat on and off the launching ramp, homemade boat trailer guides will help you locate the boat trailer position when hauling it on the road.
Gather the following to proceed.
A measuring tape
To DIY a boat trailer guidepost, you will need to take some measurements. The best bet here is a steel measuring tape.
A PVC pipe and four caps
Buy a 10-foot long PVC pipe that is around ¼ inch thick. This thickness is for the durability of the posts. The diameter of it doesn’t matter much. Make sure the pipe is big enough for you to see easily in the car’s rear mirrors.
While you are at the store, buy four caps that fit the pipe diameter. Since the pipe will stay vertically to act as a guidepost, caps are needed to close them up. When it rains, we don’t want water in the pipes.
A set of hardware
Drop by the store to get a set of hardware if you don’t already own one. You will need two U bolts, four nuts, and four washers. These should be from stainless steel or galvanized, not zinc plated, as they have to stand up to harsh weather conditions at marinas.
All of them should be the size of ⅜ inch in diameter. To know the U bolts’ width, measure the trailer’s thickness. Then, buy the U bolts that have their width equal to or slightly larger than the trailer’s thickness.
These are to secure the PVC pipe to the sides of the boat trailer. Therefore, adjust them as needed to fit the trailer’s sides.
A hand drill
No need for any heavy-duty drill, as a small hand drill can get the job done.
Cable ties or two wood blocks
It is optional but highly recommended. Cable ties or wood blocks will help reinforce the PVC pipe guidepost, preventing it from collapsing during heavy rain or strong wind. Thus, remember to choose nifty ties that are durable and water-resistant. If you use wood blocks, make sure their width is equal to the U bolt’s width.
Later in the article, I will tell which one to use in which situation. Keep reading.
Prepare a few pieces of cloth for cleaning up along the process.
You will work closely with sharp objects. Hence, work gloves are crucial. In addition, you will drill and cut the pipes. To protect yourself from plastic particles, please wear goggles and a face mask.
Steps to DIY a Boat Trailer Guide Post
Step 1: Cutting the pipe into two pieces
You will need a hand saw for this step. Divide the 10-foot long PVC pipe into two equal pieces by:
- Use the measuring tape and a sharpie to mark the middle point of the pipe.
- Ensure that the pipe is kept firmly in place and the hand saw is clean.
- Slowly and cautiously cut through the pipe.
- Use a cloth to remove plastic particles left on it.
You can avoid this step by asking staff at the store to cut the pipe or ask for two pieces of 5-foot long PVC pipes when purchasing.
Step 2: Drill two holes on each pipe
This step is for placing the U bolt into the pipe. The U bolt will then act as an attachment between the pipes and the trailer. Drill two holes on one pipe using the following steps:
- Measure 5 inches, mark the first point with a sharpie.
- Place the U bolt on the pipe widthwise to mark the second point.
- Keep the pipe firmly in place.
- Slowly drill two holes at the two points you marked. Drill through the other side of the pipe.
- Use the cloth to wipe off plastic particles.
Repeat the same steps for the other pipe.
Step 3: Cap them up
With glue, glue two caps to two ends of each pipe. As mentioned above, this prevents water, dust, or dirt from getting into the guide posts.
Step 4: Attach the pipes to the trailer
Place the U bolt onto the pipe at the position you drilled. Then, with a wrench, tighten the nuts to secure the PVC pipe to the trailer.
Repeat the same steps to attach the pipe to the trailer’s other side. There you have it, homemade PVC boat trailer guides.
Step 5: Add reinforcements
Here is the part when you can get a little creative. Every boat trailer is slightly different. In most cases, wrapping cable ties around the U bolt and the pipe is enough to keep the guide posts in position.
However, if your guideposts still move around and wiggle, you can slide a wood block between the pipe and the trailer. Tighten the nuts to secure it. This way, I guarantee the guideposts will stay in place.
Step 6: Final check
The work is done. Now, attach the boat trailer to your car. From the driver seat, how can you see the PVC guide posts? They should be spotted easily and effortlessly.
Every car is different. These 5-foot posts work perfectly for my truck. However, make adjustments to your desire. Feel free to move the posts forwards or backward along the trailer side if you can see them clearly that way. You might want them a bit lower or higher depending on your vehicle.
These PVC guideposts can be a lifesaver. They will prevent damage from bumping the boat trailer into the garage’s walls and fences. Plus, you can load your boat more quickly with the help of these guys.
We helped save you some money with this pontoon trailer guide posts DIY article. If you choose to follow the process of how to make boat trailer guide posts, please share your result in the comment section. We can’t wait to hear from you.
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.