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Damaged Cockpit drain-plug straps


Our sailing club has a half-dozen damaged straps, the ends of each have torn off. The strap that I refer to is that piece of white rubbery material that acts as a retainer for the cockpit drain plug. The entire strap is in fine condition except for the tiny piece that we use to grip the plug.
See the attached photo, the part that has torn off is that little piece just to the right of the plug part of the strap.

Does anyone have a good workaround for this? Such as:
1. using it as-is.
2. by feeding a small piece of line under the strap before putting the plug in.
3. using something else as a plug. (especially if the substitute does not get kicked out as easily).

Sunfish bailer strap.jpg

Alan S. Glos

Well-Known Member
...or option 4. Buy new ones. They are not that expensive and will probably last 5-8 years. I think these plastic straps get sun damaged, dry out/harden and then crack.

I have always wished the Sunfish came with a proper Elvstrom style stainless steel cockpit bailer, nice flush bottom when closed, better function when open and just about bullet proof.

Alan Glos


Thanks for the input.
I'm trying to increase our club's fleet utilizing some unused boats that need parts. Some of the parts needed are much more expensive than these straps but I'd still like to minimize club expenses.


Well-Known Member
When a plastic bailer fails, I replace it with a 1¼" automotive "freeze plug", mounted with the larger washer inboard. ($6 at NAPA).

If I had your recurring problem, I'd pull off about ten inches of 2" white Gorilla tape, punch a hole through it, and wrap the offending plastic part lengthwise to make a tape "sandwich". Where the sharp bend occurs, the tape can be wrapped around a ¼" wooden dowel or a pencil fragment to keep the end handy and off the cockpit floor.

Just a thought. ;)


Thanks L&VW, I’ll give that a try. I am going to order some replacement plugs but in the event that the plugs are unavailable I’ll have a “Plan B” ready to go.


Here’s a variation on L&VW’s idea of a Gorilla Tape repair:

I used some black tape so that it would show up better in the photo. It’s the 2-inch wide tape and I used a 2 & 1/4-inch strip of it. Cut the hole with a pair of scissors.3ACEB730-02C0-4D97-A6E0-3C3354A3FA10.jpeg0433A476-5BD2-4930-8B81-C52BE408F07F.jpeg

I am concerned about trying to grip the wet tape with wet fingers.

Sunfish Direct sells them for $13 each
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This prototype used a 4-inch piece of Gorilla Tape and then an extra 1/2-inch by 2-inch strip to reinforce it.
I put the plug in tightly and I could pull out the plug without ripping the tape. I don’t know how well it will work after it spends a summer wet and in the sun though.
I’ll give it a try if the replacement plugs are not available.5DE41526-E5D5-4510-A245-FBF2D3DED34F.jpeg