Replacement Bailer Balls

Thread starter #1
I've had my '74 Sunfish for 7 years and all this time I've never had a bailer ball for the old De Persia bailer. Always just drained the cockpit at the beach. This past Summer, we gave my daughter her own Sunfish from 1968. It was also missing a bailer ball as well.

Of course we can buy the official bailer balls sold, but I had the game Aggravation laying around that just happened to have plastic marbles/balls. Took a couple and popped them into the bailers and yesterday they worked great during our sail to keep the cockpit drained while moving. We had waves crashing over the boat. They don't quite seal up the cockpit when the boat is slowly moving around so the bailer does seep. I'm not sure if perhaps the old bailer plugs are not smooth enough or more probably the official ball has some secrete sauce to it? I've never seen an official setup so not sure how well the system works in general.

The best part? You can color coordinate your bailer ball with your boat color! 30 balls for $15 and a bonus game to play when there's no wind!

Aggravation.png

I'm not sure, but the balls in Hungry Hungry Hippos might work as well.
 
Thread starter #3
To stop that "seep", there should be a round ring, resembling a garden hose seal, in the De Persia base. (In fact, a garden hose seal—with its outer edge sanded slightly—will work). :)
That's interesting. I just figured the bailer ball sealed against the plug opening itself.
 

Dave O

New Member
#5
I tried to find the serial no. of my Sunfish, but there is none on the stern. I have to replace the existing bailer (which is metal) with a new one, but I need to know the year the boat was manufactured. Here are a few photos, perhaps someone can give me a ball park estimate of the manufacture date. Also, the daggerboard rises several inches when in water. There is a copper strap/spring (?) that runs vertically, near the top of the dagger board that (I believe) is supposed to prevent this, but it has probably seen its day. Any suggestions?
 

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#6
You can use a bungee strap from the daggerboard to the mast with a little tension on it to keep the daggerboard in position.
 
#7
My best guess on the year is 1973~74, but a serial number would narrow things down a bit. I've done a bailer on those and you want the long thread if you can find one. The short thread works , but it only catches about 4~5 threads. Hand tighten only or it will break.
 
#8
Nice boat, looks like a 1971. First year of the cockpit cubby, no stripe on the rear deck. Should be old style rudder. The plastic bailer started in ‘72, I think. So to replace the DePersia I think you want the ‘long’ bailer, which is 1 and 5/16ths. Not sure if the 13/16ths fits. Love the blue cockpit.
 
#10
My best guess on the year is 1973~74, but a serial number would narrow things down a bit. I've done a bailer on those and you want the long thread if you can find one. The short thread works , but it only catches about 4~5 threads. Hand tighten only or it will break.
Thank you. I will make another attempt to find the serial number.
 
#11
Nice boat, looks like a 1971. First year of the cockpit cubby, no stripe on the rear deck. Should be old style rudder. The plastic bailer started in ‘72, I think. So to replace the DePersia I think you want the ‘long’ bailer, which is 1 and 5/16ths. Not sure if the 13/16ths fits. Love the blue cockpit.
Thank you. As I said in my reply to Eddie_E I will make another attempt to find the serial number. If that fails I will order with the 'long'bailer.
 
#12
You won’t find a HIN (hull ID number) on the stern of a ‘71 as they weren’t yet required on boats. Your boat would have had a small aluminum plate behind the splash guard, but many have fallen off over the years. No doubt in my mind it’s a 71, though, based on the characteristics I mentioned above.
 
#13
You won’t find a HIN (hull ID number) on the stern of a ‘71 as they weren’t yet required on boats. Your boat would have had a small aluminum plate behind the splash guard, but many have fallen off over the years. No doubt in my mind it’s a 71, though, based on the characteristics I mentioned above.
Thank you. I am learning so much about my sunfish. Sunfish Forum is a treasure trove of information.
 
#14
"Old Style" plastic bailer - pre 1973
Part# 91025 (complete) - thread cap is 1-5/16" deep
"New Style" plastic bailer - post 1973
Part# 91026 (complete) - thread cap is 1-3/16" deep
Replacement bailer balls
Part# 91031 (for 5 pack) - balls are 5/8" diameter
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
#15
Nice boat, looks like a 1971. First year of the cockpit cubby, no stripe on the rear deck. Should be old style rudder. The plastic bailer started in ‘72, I think. So to replace the DePersia I think you want the ‘long’ bailer, which is 1 and 5/16ths. Not sure if the 13/16ths fits. Love the blue cockpit.
Agree on the year. I don't see the bronze rudder fixture, but maybe it's been replaced, or the transitional changes included the (great) stainless gudgeon. :)

The De Persia looks kind of corroded. :(Hope it can be removed for service or sale. Even De Persia parts are "gold". :cool:
 
#16
I think Alan Glos is looking for DePersia bailers if you can manage to remove it without having to cut it out, but that might be tough. New caps (only) are on eBay for $60
 

Dave O

New Member
#17
It turns out, there is no serial number on this Sunfish. I ordered the long plastic bailer 1-5/16ths, and it was too long by 1/2" which is the difference in length between the 1-5/16" and 13/16" bailers (the only available sizes). I tried various ways to hold the upper section in place so that I could cut a 1/2" off, but to no avail. I really didn't want to hack it up, so I went to a local machine shop and he cut to the exact length at no charge (I was willing to pay him). And as Eddie_E suggested, I hand tightened it. Getting the old metal bailer off was another story. After trying every tool that I have, I finally borrowed a Hilti Hammer Drill, which was up to the job. I had been spraying the nut for a day with WD 40 before I attempted removal. I also added a ratchet block, using flat washer, lock washer and nut. (On my Cape Dory Typhoon, I had bronze backing plates made for all my deck fittings as part of my restoration.) The deck on the Sunfish, at this location, is only 1/4" thick and I'm considering adding a backing plate (what is the communities thoughts on this?). Here is a photo of the installed bailer & ratchet block.
 

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norcalsail

Active Member
#18
Another great thread on rehab for older Sunfish. If I heard him correctly over a bad connection, I think my Dad "officially" gave me the old Fish and Laser in Wisconsin so the more knowledge I have before my return the better. Wish I had known back in July what I know now! I think it is very much like Dave O's boat- it came with a plastic bailer and, I believe, the newer style rudder when we bought it back in 1977. It may be '72-'75. Love that clean deck and blue cockpit....
 
#20
I guess the 1974 was a good guess after all. My Sunfish is the exact same color scheme with the new style rudder and a cubby and it does need the long bailer. Mine originally had the corroded metal bailer that I removed using the 4 1/2" abrasive cutoff wheel and wet sponge method.
 

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