I have an early 1970's Sunfish with the old style DePersia Bailer Ad from 1957

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The plug is missing

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I have searched and it appears the old style old style DePersia Bailer is no longer made, the only source for replacement parts are salvage if you can find them. Several options exist for entire replacement bailers made of plastic. It appears (not conclusive) parts from the new style plastic one WILL NOT work in the old metal ones.

I sailed sunfish all summer, without using the self bailer feature once. I am looking for plug that I can use in the place of the bailer plug. I measured the plug hole, it seems to be about 1 inch or 7/8 of inch. I tried using a 1 inch snap lock drain plug, it is slightly to big. The only other size of this I found was 1/2 inch. I am not sure nor do I have the tools to measure the exact size of the opening nor thread count.

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Have also tried the 7/8 inch rubber bailer plug and it will not fit in the threaded opening.

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Looking for a solutions to plug the existing drain hole without replacing the entire bailer unit. Preference is an easily removable plug but would consider one that requires tools to screw in and out.

Size info I found this post about the DePersia Bailer Trouble is most of today’s plumbing fittings have tapered thread (NPT - \ / ) and the bailer is a straight thread 1-5/16 long, 7/8x14tpi ( | | ) – not a match.

  • 1
    Duct tape. (offered only for the sake of humor)
    – cobaltduck
    Oct 20, 2016 at 13:49

3 Answers 3


This is the plan B answer. It works but uses ferrous (will rust) parts.

I found a source for Hex bolts, Zinc plated grade 8 steel yellow, 7/8"-14 x 2" I ordered it (Just under $10 with shipping.)

When it arrived, I ran right out and screwed it into the drain. Perfect fit!

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It screwed in about 5 turns by hand before getting hand snug. I unscrewed it and verified the threads go down and there is room in the drain for the bolt to go in about 1 3/4 inches.

I re-inserted the bolt and used a wrench to tighten it. It became tight much sooner that I expected. I suspect there is damaged thread so I didn't try to screw it all the way in for this first test. I stopped at wrench snuggly tight.

I filled the cockpit with water to the bottom of the storage drain and left it alone for an hour. When I came back the water had not noticably changed level (happy dance!) I used the wrench to lossen the bolt and was able to unscrew it by hand. The water drained out, the bolt came in the house to dry and the boat got turned upside down.

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The best solution would be brass, or another non-ferrous metal about an inch or 1 1/2 inches long 7/8"-14 TPI. If someone has a source or application please post an answer.

  • Have you tried drilling a bolt so that the self bailer effect works or are you just plugging the hole?
    – Separatrix
    Nov 29, 2018 at 10:52
  • @Separatrix I have not drilled the bolt, I am just plugging the hole. The self bailer includes float that needs to seal against the plug, That part is missing as well. Nov 29, 2018 at 11:01
  • I've been nosing around and it seems this is a common problem, you may be able to rebuild it using modern parts. These bailers went out of use in 1971 so it's no surprise parts are hard to find.
    – Separatrix
    Nov 29, 2018 at 11:11

I know this thread is old, but American Sail in Charleston, SC has them. I just bought one for my sunfish and it looks exactly the same and fits perfectly. They have either the screw in option or the pop-up option. My bailer had threads all the way down, so I got the screw-in one. I think it was $8. I picked up locally, but I believe the owner said that it is $4 to ship.


You may want to Google sunfish direct, vela sailing, West cost Sailing, buy the original equipment. Answered 8 years to late

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