The Best Pontoon Trailer Guides for 2021

Nicholas Swartz
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Buying pontoon trailer guides isn’t rocket science, but there is a lot of confusion out there. Because the market is flooded with various models and brands, even the most knowledgeable of boat owners can become confused and frustrated over the array of choices.

The main question most pontoon owners ask is, “which trailer guide is best for my boat and specific situation?” Unfortunately, the answer to this question is not straightforward.

There is a wide range of factors to consider when shopping for a pontoon trailer guide, including the type of boat, the size of the boat, the weight of the boat, the type of terrain, the most common wind conditions where you're launching your boat, and now even the overall budget!

Add in the fact that there are several different types of trailer guides to choose from and it seems there are an almost infinite number of decisions.

And if those weren't enough curveballs already, you should consider if you truly need a guide anyways, as they are most helpful in rugged water conditions and might not be necessary if you mostly go to mirror flat lakes.

In this guide, we have put together everything you need to know to make the best choice when purchasing a pontoon trailer guide. We also provide a comprehensive list of all the premier brands and models.

No matter where you live, what type of boat you have, or what your budget is, you will find a trailer guide to meet your needs on this list.

NameCategoryProduct
Extreme Max 3005.3783 Heavy-Duty Pontoon Trailer Guide-OnsBest OverallExtreme Max 3005.3783 Heavy-Duty Pontoon Trailer Guide-Ons
Guide-ON Post PontoonBudget PickGuide-ON Post Pontoon
C.E. Smith Guide-ON BUNKBOARDUpgrade PickC.E. Smith Guide-ON BUNKBOARD

1. Extreme Max 3005.3783 Heavy-Duty Pontoon Trailer Guide-Ons

Our rating: 9 / 10

Extreme Max 3005.3783 Heavy-Duty Pontoon Trailer Guide-Ons

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Pros:

  • Good for boats up to 20 feet long
  • Non-marking coating

The Extreme Max Heavy-Duty Pontoon Trailers Guide-Ons can be fitted to pontoon trailers up to 20 feet long and weigh less than 2000 lbs. This means you can use them with most 20 foot pontoon boats (pontoons).

The goal of pontoon trailer guide-ons is to help contain your pontoon and keep it straight on the trailer. This works especially well when you’re retrieving the boat from the water.

In addition, the guide-ons provide more stability and reduce the risk of injuries caused by an out-of-control pontoon.

2. Extreme Max White 45" Post 3005.2175 Trailer Guide-On-45

Our rating: 9 / 10

Extreme Max White 45" Post 3005.2175 Trailer Guide-On-45

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Pros:

  • Top notch in construction
  • Quick and easy assembly
  • Low center of gravity for more stability
  • 2-inch receiver for slightly flexible towing
  • Straightforward bolt on installation

It is one of the best pontoon boat trailer guides on the market. We found it to be particularly light in weight. The guide wheel bearings are of a particularly high caliber.

The saddle and wheel assembly appeared to be very strong. The handle and hinge assembly as one of the best we came across during our tests. They both have sufficient padding, all round.

3. Guide-ON Post Pontoon

Our rating: 8 / 10

Guide-ON Post Pontoon

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Pros:

  • Assembles in less than 5 minutes
  • Made from powder coated steel

Cons:

  • High-end pricetag

When it comes to loading your pontoon boat onto a trailer, you’ll likely need a guide system. While this does add a little weight to the hitch, you won’t have to worry about your boat tipping over as you try to retrieve it from the water.

The Guide-ON system has a nicely padded track, is compatible with pretty much any boat, and is easy to install. No need to take apart your boat trailer, just pop it onto the tracks, and you should be good to go. It’s that simple.

The Guide-ON system makes pontoon boat transportation easier. It’s a little on the pricier side, but it would be worth it if it’s going to help make lifting your boat on and off the trailers easier.

4. CE Smith Trailer Pontoon Bunk Board Guide-On

Our rating: 8 / 10

CE Smith Trailer Pontoon Bunk Board Guide-On

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Pros:

  • Sturdy and functional design
  • Works on almost any trailer
  • Made from durable all-weather materials
  • A snap to use or remove
  • Easy to install

The CE Smith trailer pontoon bunk board is a great choice, whether you want to use it on a boat trailer you already have, or to buy a trailer specifically for your pontoon.

The board is designed to provide a smooth and stable platform when you’re putting on or taking off your pontoon boat. It can be used on almost any vacation trailer.

The board can be added to a boat trailer or a pontoon trailer using any of the attachment methods normally used for deploying a boat guide.

5. C.E. Smith Guide-ON BUNKBOARD

Our rating: 8 / 10

C.E. Smith Guide-ON BUNKBOARD

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The aluminum construction guarantees it'll last in all sorts of aquatic elements, while the incorporation of wheels and a handle make it extremely convenient. The tie-down points also add to its versatility by ensuring it can easily be secured and used to lug around anything you can fit onto its 8-foot deck.

Overall, the Guide-ON BUNKBOARD 5'X8' PONTOON PWC TRAILER is an outstanding option for anybody who wants to bring their pontoon on their travels.

6. CE Smith Roller Guide-ON Pontoon

Our rating: 7 / 10

CE Smith Roller Guide-ON Pontoon

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Pros:

  • Fits 16ft.pontoons
  • Quiet ride
  • Sturdy construction

CE Smith is a company that has been around for a long time. Its Roller Guide-ON is a top seller that is designed to fit most any pontoon. This will help keep your pontoons aligned and provide a quiet ride.

As for the frame itself it is made from strong steel and is powder coated for durability.

7. Tie Down Engineering 86467 High-Impact Pontoon Trailer Guide-On

Our rating: 7 / 10

Tie Down Engineering 86467 High-Impact Pontoon Trailer Guide-On

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Pros:

  • Makes Loading and unloading your boat easy
  • Easy to mount
  • Doesn’t interfere with your rollers
  • Priced at a reasonable price
  • Will work for various pontoon shapes
  • Fits 10-30” pontoons
  • Solid construction
  • Has a little bit of flex but not too much
  • UV Resistant

Cons:

  • Won’t fit onto A-frame pontoons

8. Extreme Max 3005.3837 Single Post Horizontal Bunk Guide-On System -18" Post

Our rating: 6 / 10

Extreme Max 3005.3837 Single Post Horizontal Bunk Guide-On System -18" Post

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Pros:

  • Metal is sturdy and welded
  • Integrated rails
  • Can support a variety of boats
  • Extra wide for a smoother rollout

The Extreme Max Single Post Horizontal Bunk Guide-On System -18" Post is made of solid, welded steel, and includes all the necessary parts to install it. All weight-bearing parts are made of metal, making it durable.

The Extreme Max can handle almost any pontoon boat thanks to its 18" inch post. The Extreme Max Single Post Horizontal Bunk Guide-On System -18" Post is made of solid and welded steel for strength. It is one of the best pontoon trailer accessories for most pontoon boats.

9. VE-VE Inc. Pontoon Trailer Roller Guide-On

Our rating: 5 / 10

VE-VE Inc. Pontoon Trailer Roller Guide-On

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Pros:

  • These are very solid
  • They are easy to put on the boat
  • They are reasonably priced
  • They seem to fit just about every boat
  • Most flexible and intuitive system

Cons:

  • They are fairly heavy
  • There are a few bolts needed to attach them

These Galvanized Pontoons roller guides are great! if you know how to use them. They allow your boat to be pulled without the tires leaving marks. They only take a few minutes to put on. To put them on, you take the rubber bumpers off the trailer and remove the screws from the boat carrier. The rubber bumpers are used to keep the boat moving during the loading without causing friction. You put out the boat carrier, put on the rubber bumpers and add these Galvanized Pontoons guides as the carrier. You take the boat carrier put it on the boat trailer, put the bolts back on and reattach the boat carrier on the boat. You now are ready to use your boat guide for your pontoon boat. The boat carrier will not leave a trail on your boat. They do not cause you to have to lift the trailer at an angle which is often very hard on the motor. They make it easy to pull the boat behind you out of the water.

10. VE-VE Inc. Pontoon Trailer Post Guide-On

Our rating: 4 / 10

VE-VE Inc. Pontoon Trailer Post Guide-On

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Pros:

  • Good quality
  • Easy to install

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What are the best boat trailer guides?

These "boat trailer guides" look like a nice solution to a common problem some have, and they can save your backside if you're hauling a boat out of the water.

I would suggest them for people hauling around a fairly large boat with a trailer. Beyond that, you really need to have hydraulic landing gear on your trailer.

The problem these guides solve is one I'm familiar with on occasion. Some boat hauling trailers (usually older ones) don't provide the same kind of support for the boat's hull as they do at the bow. In fact, sometimes the rear end is just sitting out in the open, or even worse, the rear end of the boat, with no support at all. Well, these guides can provide a solution to this problem.

Do boat trailer guides work?

Nowadays, it is absolutely essential to have trailer guides in choppy water in order to keep your pontoon boat save from scratches.

There are 2 types of trailer guides that you can purchase.

The first is a straight trailer guide, also known as a stake. The stake or snap is the first piece of the setup, which you will attach to the frame of the boat. A straight trailer guide is mounted without an epoxy, but rather with a PVC coating usually.

The second type is the curved trailer guide with rollers. This is used to connect two pieces and turn them into a rollable area to reduce friction when towing the vehicle out of the water.

Sure, aluminum trailer guides are more expensive, but they provide more strength and better performance.

What size trailer do I need for a pontoon boat?

The type and size of your pontoon boat will have a lot to do with what size trailer you need. Most people with smaller boats tend to get smaller trailers to match.

The length of your trailer is usually determined by the length of your boat, so add a few more feet in there just to be safe. The ideal length for a trailer for a 17-foot pontoon boat is 21 feet. It is recommended to add a good foot or more to your boat length for safety reasons.

How do you replace a bunk on a pontoon trailer?

Simply replacing boards on a pontoon trailer is a fairly easy process, especially if you know what you are doing. Before removing a bunk from a pontoon trailer, you should consult the ownerʼs manual for your trailer for any details.

Once you’ve determined that it is safe to do so, you can remove the bunk in question. If you want to fix the problem permanently you should proceed as follows.

The first way to fix the problem is to replace just the piece of wood that ripped or cracked. You can take the new piece of wood and install it over the existing bunk to secure the new piece in with the rest of the rails.

Conclusion

Choosing a guide platform for your trailer for your pontoon boat is complicated for some because the options are quite diverse.

You can purchase a combination pontoon boat and swim platform, a separate swim platform and trailer, a trailer only nor a combination trailer and pontoon boat.

We hope this provided you with a closer look at the types of swim platforms and pontoon boat trailers available today and help you choose the best one for your needs.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
Extreme Max 3005.3783 Heavy-Duty Pontoon Trailer Guide-OnsBest OverallExtreme Max 3005.3783 Heavy-Duty Pontoon Trailer Guide-Ons
Guide-ON Post PontoonBudget PickGuide-ON Post Pontoon
C.E. Smith Guide-ON BUNKBOARDUpgrade PickC.E. Smith Guide-ON BUNKBOARD