550 Cord (Parachute Cord) Used For Emergency Boat Trailer Repair


I keep 550 cord (paracord) in my emergency gear bag and it came in handy the other day, when I launched my bass boat and then discovered one of my trailer's bunk boards had lost a screw and slid out of place.

The bunk boards hold the boat so it doesn't sit directly on the metal trailer frame. While the weight of the boat was on the board it stayed in alignment. But when the weight was removed, the board floated up a little and slide off to the side.

My boat was launched but my trailer was disabled. There was no way I could load the boat back onto the trailer with the bunk board in that condition – floating and moving freely. I did not have a replacement screw, and I wasn't sure a new screw would hold in the old wood, even if I had one.

What to do? If you are me you go fishing and worry about the trailer later. No use wasting prime fishing time when the boat is already in the water. And the fishing was good – I enjoyed the outing.

When I returned to the marina, as the light of day faded, I docked the boat and turned my attention to the trailer. A hole in the trailer frame normally accommodates a screw, which normally twists into the wood of the bunk board and holds it tightly in place. When the screw became loose it allowed movement and gouged the wood, as the trailer bounced during transit. That ate wood from the bunk board, enlarging the hole until there was no resistance and the screw fell out. Even if I had a replacement screw, it would not have been able to bit and hold in the key spot on the bunk board.

It was easy to use 550 cord to make a temporary repair. I just threaded cord through the hole on the trailer frame, lashed it around the bunk board a few times, then pushed it back through the hole and tied it snugly.

That held the bunk board tightly in perfect position, allowing me to load the boat and drive home. No crisis and little inconvenience, allowing me to get home and make a permanent repair at my convenience.

550 cord is made from nylon and it is tough. It resists damage from abrasion, won't rot or shrink when wet and won't deteriorate in sunlight. It is perfect for many emergency saves.

It sure saved me that day. It would have been tragic to drive all of the way to the lake, push the boat into the water and then not be able to fish because of a trailer problem.

– Dave Webb

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