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  • #4315

    Has anyone got any advice on whether they think it is possible for an average handyman to undertake the DIY installation of self-bailers in a Mk1 GRP. Any advice given would be greatly appreciated.


    I have done it several times but since I don’t know your “handyman” skill level it is hard to answer your question. Here are some things that spring to mind:

    – With the mast up and the floorboards removed put the boat on its side with the gunwale on something soft (lawn, blanket or fenders).
    – Use something heavy on the mast top to prevent the boat from rising unexpectedly (a case of beer will do nicely ;-).
    – Spent some time in getting the bailers flush with the bottom by adding rubber or you may even want to add a PVC spacer between the rubbers (use one of the rubber as stencil)
    – Use Sika (or the much cheaper ‘Bison MS-polymer’ from a builders store) to fill up the gaps between the bailer and the hull.
    – Also use some Sika on the counter sunk bolt heads to make them flush with the bottom.
    – Use white spirit or thinner and paper towels (kitchen paper, lots of it) to wipe excess sika off.
    – Wear latex gloves or accept your hands to be black for a week.
    – Use the rubbers as a template, or make a paper/cardboard template to mark the corners, taking in to account the diameter of the drill.
    – Drill the corners with a drill that matches the radius of the bailer’s corners.
    – Connect the corners with the blade of a fine tooth iron saw (wrap some paper around it to protect your hands.
    – Use a file to finish the hole after sawing.
    – Pick a spot next to the CB where the hull is deepest while sailing.
    – Stay an inch away from the CB to avoid compromising the strength of the CB case.

    And finally: Measure twice, cut once.

    – Power drill (battery driven)
    – File
    – Rats tail (round file)
    – Saw blade (fine, iron saw)
    – Screw driver and a wrench (or pliers) for the nut
    – Sika or MS polymer
    – Thinner or white spirit
    – Paper towels (lots of them)
    – Drill for the corners
    – 90-degrees countersink drill (for the bolt heads).

    Maybe I have forgotten something, so bring your toolbox, just in case.


    thanks for such a prompt and detailed answer.

    Without having a self-bailer in my hand the following question might seem a lame one! It reads as though you actually fit one half of the self-bailer to the hull BEFORE you do any drilling and cutting – is this the case?

    Everything else sounds very clear – the beer sounds useful to calm the nerves – hope it doesn’t take too long to fit as I have to drive home!!

    Thanks again


    Not sure if Swiebertje is on holiday, so to save you holding your breath any longer, the answer using the Super Shute is no, all of the bailer is inside the boat and the countersunk bolts are set into the GRP of the hull and clamp the bailer against the inside surface. S was suggesting using one of the rubbers as a template to mark out the hole on the outside of the hull.

    It is impossible to do this job on your own, you need someone on each side of the hull, one holding a screwdriver to the bolts whilst another uses a spanner to tighten down onto the Sikaflex. I used Nylock nuts (the type with a nylon insert so they won’t shake loose) but the Sikaflex probably would prevent ordinary nuts from moving.

    Wear gloves, Swiebertje is right, once it is in the pores of your skin and under your nails Sikaflex is there for ages.

    Make sure it is facing the right way!


    Colin Parkstone

    One thing also to do is to cut an access hole in the floorboards, handy to be able to get at your nice new bailer!!!!!!!!

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