Old Metal Bailer Question

Thread starter #1
I suppose to some this might seem like a dumb question, but . . . how do I find out if the ball is still inside the old style metal bailer without removing it? If it is gone, can the ball be replaced? I'll be honest, if the only alternative is to remove the old bailer and purchase a newer, plastic one - I will probably just manually bail. I haven't heard a lot of great things about the bailer anyway.


Jamie H.


Well-Known Member
You should be able to see the ball rolling around inside. (Look from underneath). A kit with four or five late model plastic bailer balls is available. Check with an advertiser here. Those balls may JUST fit from underneath--some judicious filing may be required--but there's a recent thread here about a total restoration of the metal bailer. (Search DePersia).

If you tackle the restoration, the hardest part will be in removal. Start a daily spraying of WD-40 today!


Active Member
I have an intact metal bailer. It's junk and is basically only functional to drain water when on the trailer. Even when at top end speeds, it doesn't really suck water when underway. The small holes in the threads restrict the water too much also. The design seems good on paper....it just doesn't work however

beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
The plastic bailer works better but the metal one wasn't all that bad if I recall, but it was a looooonnngggg time ago I last sailed with a metal bailer. BTW if you only open the bailer when you are going fast enough to have it work, the ball is unnecessary. The ball is to keep water from coming in when going slowly, but it hardly works well.


Active Member
I've been messing around with NOS parts for a metal bailer and I
can now say it's not worth the effort. The old ball gasket was glued
in with something. I've tried using 3M 5200 and it's not worked.
Maybe silicon?, I don't know. I think it will drain better without
the ball. Racing rules and trailer draining is what it's good for.


Well-Known Member
Racing rules and trailer draining is what it's good for.
How is that a bad thing? :oops: The De Persia is smaller and unbreakable. :confused:

Older De Persia bailers may be salvageable with a slightly trimmed garden hose washer, soap ;), and the standard ball kit from Sunfish Direct. (I haven't tried a slightly-oversized O-ring yet).

Did the move to the subsequent De Persia pop-up version improve "automatic" bailing?

Restoration talk:

Restoring Metal DePersia Bailer with Plastic Bailer Parts | Page 2 | SailingForums.com


Active Member
Nothing bad about the De Persia bailers, I'll find them used on EBay and
such. Just taking about the check ball and gasket. I got a few lying around
in my odds-and-ends box like most people. Try this- cut a milk jug in half
and mount a bailer on the bottom then immerse in water. Then we can
see how well the check valve works. I haven't tried the garden hose washer,
just the NOS sleeve gasket.


Active Member
Nothing bad about the De Persia bailers, I'll find them used on EBay and
Bah! They're horrible unless my particular lake water defies the venturi effect. And yes.... some eBay sellers think they're worth more because they're not in production anymore. Hhhmm wonder why they stopped making them? I'm tempted to stick in an Anderson since I don't race but cockpit water usually isn't an issue