How to Choose the Best Boat Rollers for Your Rig

If you're new to the world of boating and starting from scratch, you may be setting up your rig to enable you to tow your new boat to a remote dock. You've purchased a trailer and are now getting ready to convert it so that you can easily load and unload your vessel, but you've found out that there are several different options available when it comes to the boat rollers. Much will depend on the type of material used as well as the host trailer itself, so what do you need to know?

Three Choices

Typically, there are three different types of material used in the construction of boat rollers: polyethylene, polyurethane and rubber.


The rubber rollers are considered to be budget items with limited lifespan and less flexibility. They are certainly cheaper to buy, but over time, they may tend to split or crack. You will need to pay particular care to their upkeep if you choose this option as otherwise you could cause damage to both your trailer and your boat and spend much more money than you would like.


If you have an aluminium boat, then the HDPE polyethylene roller is better for you. This type of plastic is designed to last much longer and will stand up to wear and tear more effectively. If you install this type of roller correctly, then it will not split or crack and you may find it easier to load and unload your boat as well.


Polyurethane trailer rollers have been designed with fibreglass boats in mind. These rollers are made of a much softer material and are not particularly suited for use on aluminium. Once again, these rollers are not likely to split or crack if you install them correctly, but don't expect these to last forever, especially if you skimp on maintenance or cleaning.

Choice of Style

You may become even more confused when it comes to the style of these individual boat rollers. After all, you can choose from concave, parallel, cotton reel, bow or dogbone rollers, all of which come in either rubber, polyethylene or urethane material. You may also need to use tube side adjusters to help modify the position of your roller brackets once you have narrowed down your style and material.

Making Your Selection

It's imperative that you install the correct size of roller to suit your boat and trailer. To help you make the best choice, talk carefully with your product supplier, and they will help you to make the most of your investment.