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Removing a Metal Sunfish Bailer

Lost the plug for your old metal bailer?? Maybe your bailer corroded to the point of uselessness. This is a quickie. With the right tools it should take 15 or 20 minutes.

The right tools are important. You will need a grinder or Dremil tool to do this easily. You may want a saw if you need to remove a frozen bailer cap. You will notice that I have chosen grinders. The reason is simple. A slip with a grinder may scuff the gelcoat, but it is very easy to inadvertantly cut into a boat with a Sawzall or sabre saw. You will also need a hammer an old screw driver and a wet sponge.

In this case the bailer cap was frozen in place. A pipe wrench wouldn't even budge it so we went straight for the grinder.

Images 1 and 2 show me frinding the head off the bailer cap so I can get to the nut. This is the only point at which I might have used a saw to cut the head off the cap. As it was it only took a couple of minutes.


Image 3: shows me cooling off the bailer fitting with a wet sponge. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT!!!!!!! If you don't you are likely to find that you have melted the fiberglass. You will need to do this several times while you are grinding.

Image 4: The bailer with the head cut off. My next goal is to grind most of the way though the nut that secures the bailer. I do not need to grind all the way though. Just far enough to weaken the nut so it can be broken away from the male threads. With the big grinder, grinding on opposite sides is enough. With a Dremil you may need 3 cuts.

With the nut "cut" through most of the way on each side I break it off with a couple of taps of the hammer. Image 5 was taken right as the piece broke and slid away. It is visable on the near side of the picture. After the nut is removed the bailer should fall out with a couple of taps of the hammer.

Above is the picture of the pieces. Left is the bailer cap next to the opening in the hull. The nut is the 2 half circles in the middle and the bailer body is on the right. The new bailer will screw right into the old hole.


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