Sunfish bailer removal

Thread starter #1
I have a pair of older (pre 1970 maybe) Sunfish. The aluminum bailers are corroded solid. I plan to replace them. How do I get the old ones out?
Is there anything better than the plastic replacement ones available to replace them?
Any advice is appreciated.

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Howdy Juehey

We love the older Sunfish. Start off by squirting some penetrating oil on the bailer nut for a few days. Gather up a long screwdriver and a pair of channel lock pliers. Have someone hold the nut on the inside of the cockpit, put the screwdriver in the bailer under the hull and turn it. If it doesn't turn, squirt some more oil and try it again a day later.

If that doesn't work, you'll be drilling or cutting it out. More on that if needed.

Don't bang on it with a hammer with hopes of loosening it, that will damage the cockpit/hull seam. Ask me how I know!

The plastic bailer is the best replacement, unless you want to chisel out more metal bailers down the road.

Kent and Audrey

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
What I did was drill a bunch or holes in the top going down into the treads, being careful not drill into the hull. Once I removed enough material with a drill I could break pieces off. A grinder would work, but keep a damp cloth handy to cool off the metal periodically, the resin in the fiberglass can melt.


Well-Known Member
Hey Jude, ;)

Try a chisel and a "tack" hammer to loosen the bailer's large interior nut. Try a search under "De Persia"

I've collected a couple of those De Persia bailers, with the intention to replace broken plastic bailers. But to no avail, as I'm not going to remove the $5 automotive "freeze plug" that is keeping my Sunfish afloat. (You did ask for an alternative). :cool:

I added only a nylon wing nut to quickly drain rainwater out. (Each of my Sunfish is stored on a wooden ramp).