Restoring Metal DePersia Bailer with Plastic Bailer Parts


Active Member
Thread starter #21
The nylon ball from my old plastic bailer is too large to escape or get jammed between 11 and 13. I'm wondering if you have significant corrosion or other damage on the lip of your metal bailer or if there were quality control issues such that the size of that opening varied. Perhaps the ball is worn down.
For what is worth, I have a few DePersia bailer assemblies (complete with rare screw-in caps) for sale. E-mail me at: for photos and prices if you are interested.

Alan Glos
Cazenovia, NY
When I aquired my 1968 Sunfish the DePersia bailer cap was missing. I went to WalMart and found a similar sized cap to plug the hole (which produced a leak because it was not an exact fit). Last sailing season, (my first season, thanks to all of you) I traveled around with a huge sponge in the cockpit, continously soaking up the volume of water that poured into the cockpit. I would undoubtedly lose that friggin' sponge every time I turtled the boat. (Three times, as I learned to sail).

After reading this thread, I decided that I would just replace the bailer with a plastic one. More research yielded the info that if you have a metal bailer, there are advantages in keeping it (strength of the bailor being one). The caps to the metal bailers are very hard to find, and I didnt want to go through the trouble of replacing a perfectly good bailer if I didn't have to. (Apparently, sometimes, the old metal bailors can be very stubborn at times to remove). So, I contacted Alan and bought a new bailor system. He was very friendly and professional in the transaction, gave me a fair price, and the bailor and cap, looked like new. I took my new cap (and new little ball) and placed them into my old bailor, and boom........ no more hassle.

If you dont want to work on fashioning a new bailor system to save your metal DePersia, Alan Glos was a good option for me. Spending the money, for me, was a valuable trade off for time saved.

Warm regards,
White cap

(Who is starting to prep his Sunfish for the season - will be almost 80 degrees in Fort Worth tomorrow).


Well-Known Member
:oops: I forgot to give a "thank you" for that very sharp picture.

Updating this thread with a quote regarding the DePersia bailer:

"The plastic Sunfish bailer replaced the metal DePersia bailer in 1971 (see the Appendix
for information about the De Persia Patents). In general this was probably a good thing.

The DePersia was expensive to manufacture and was prone to corrosion, with the vent
cap sometimes (perhaps inevitably) fusing immovably to the bailer body. But there are
issues with the plastic bailer as well. The main difficulty is that the plastic bailer is not as resistant to crush or grounding damage as the metal DePersia.

The same plastic bailer was used on the AMF/Alcort Minifish (and the O’Day Javelin and Daysailer II & III, but with a longer screw-in cap). Because of the bailer location on the Minifish the chance of damage is even greater than with the Sunfish."

More—many thanks to member Roller—including the restoration of a plastic bailer:
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Well-Known Member
At a different hardware store—having different rubber parts—I found an O-ring that's a good fit. It's not the ultimate seal for a De Persia, as it doesn't seat perfectly in the groove: but it's extremely close. Even the minimal upwards pressure from the floating ball may be enough to seal it perfectly. It was easy to push perfectly into place: just push it down with a penny, 'til it stops.

The size is 7/8" OD x 1/8th inch thickness.


Well-Known Member
Just for giggles, I tried installing a new factory ball in the above O-ring installation. While the old ball wouldn't pass through, the new ball did! :oops:

Undeterred, I took the factory-replacement rubber "valve" and found an O-ring (stock # 35675B) that fit in the valve's outer groove. I glued the two together with waterproof glue, and, using a thin plastic sleeve and dish detergent, slid it successfully into the De Persia bailer. I think this ultimate fix is going to work!

Fullscreen capture 642017 71003 PM.bmp.jpg


Active Member
Thread starter #26
Well done. I'm still waiting for the water in Buzzards Bay to warm up before trying my creation. The rainy season looks like its ending.