Can't remove bailer. Please help!


New Member
Thread starter #1
Have a stainless bailer which is bad corroded and seized. Upon attempt to unscrew the whole assembly broke loose inside hull and the whole unit spins freely. Know of anyway to get this thing out? I assume it was installed during manufacturing and is too big to come out thru hole. Help appreciated



Active Member
Makes me cringe every time I see the cap cut off but what can you
do? Things are worth $60 on Ebay. I guess you could try grinding
the lip off the cap but once the whole is removed I've no idea where
you could go from there. Possibly replace the flange nut and drill
a hole in the top of the cap? There is one on E-Bay but alas. the
cap is also frozen in the bailer. Anyway, have your friend hold
a pipe wrench on that bailer and try twisting a pipe wrench on the cap.
You may be the first to get this method to work.

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Don't hit it, you will damage the hull, possibly pop the seam between the cockpit and the hull. Ask me how I know.

Try soaking it in pentrating oil for several days, oil it once a day for 4-5 days. Then find something to hold the cap stationary while you use a large screwdriver to twist the bottom part.

That didn't work? If you are good with a grinder and cutoff wheel you could slowly cut pieces off of the cap. You'll need to lay down wet towels to catch the sparks.

If you get the cap off you can use a drill and drill several holes right next to each other, around the inner diameter of the nut. Then take some vise grips and break the parts off.


Well-Known Member
I'd be half-tempted to leave it in place, but stepping on it while sailing could be embarrassing! :( (And possibly leave a big hole). :eek:

The threaded external flange is missing, but available at ACE and True Value Hardware stores in the plumbing department. Agreeing with the above advice, which is not to force it. :confused:

The De Persia bailer is made of aluminum: sparks are unlikely. Grinding wheels used on aluminum will clog-up with molten aluminum.

The internal threads are large and subject to a high rate of corrosion. A grinder's thin edge could be used to make a screwdriver slot, but don't start turning until completing this step:

PB Blaster spray ($8) applied several times a week (or month) could save the De Persia bailer (and $46). Tap the top with a small hammer during each application. (Tapping shocks the corroded thread "interface" of cap and body, encouraging the solvent to creep in). Kroil spray is a pricey alternative. MM (Marvel Mystery Oil) is an old US Navy favorite—mixed with kerosene for ideal penetration.

Using the snorkel tube provided, spray PB Blaster anti-corrosive through the bottom opening. (If all you have right now is WD-40, start with that). Here's a cutaway picture, to show what you're facing:

For later on—Restoration of the De Persia bailer:
Restoring Metal DePersia Bailer with Plastic Bailer Parts |

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
I'd try flushing around the outside of the bailer with PB Blaster from Lowes or auto parts place and get rid of that gunk. Use a long screwdriver or pry bar inserted in the bottom opening to gently work it around and up and down a bit. If you can see one part of the bailer cap that is binding, try filing that area down. You might also try opening up the bailer hole the tiniest amount with a tiny drill bit, like 1/8 inch or less. Keep a wet towel handy if drilling a lot or grinding to cool down the cap periodically or you can melt the resin in the fiberglass....which might create the opening for the bailer to fall out!

Once you get it out, take a good look at the seam between the cockpit bottom and the hull, it may open up during the twisting, filing, etc...If so you can inject thickened epoxy into that area to seal it up. That is a key point to check, a hidden leak area right at the spot that is supposed to help get water out of the boat. Here's a video of what a leak there looks like.

And use the plastic bailer when you replace the old one, unless you want to do monthly preventative maintenance on an aluminum bailer, the manufacturer recommended Vaseline applied to the threads once a month.


New Member
Thread starter #8
I don't see my earlier post here? Anyway, I am obviously new to sunfish and I thought there was an inner hull never realizing the other side of bailer was on outside of hull. Embarrassing, but I bumped it with my hand and it fell out. I sure appreciate all the posts.