Latest News: Forums Technical Mark 4 bailers

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  • #4531

    Hi Wayfarer sailers.

    I have finally weaken and bought a Mark 4 to add to my +S and Mark 1 woody.

    One thing that baffles me is the black plastic bailers!

    Perhaps one of you technically minded Mark 4 owners can sort me out (the redoubtable CP maybe)?

    The boat is two years old and has had little use. Thus I expected the black plastic bailers to be in A1 condition.

    But one opens so that the front of the flap goes down and water flows in quickly. Presumably the front should be hinged and the bailer is broken. So my question is can this be mended? Can some form of hinge or pivot be fitted?

    The other one lowers at the back as expected but still doesn’t bail. Investigation shows that the hinged flap across the back of the lowered chute doesn’t actually flap open and closed as the equivalent flap on a stainless steel bailer does. Have other owners successfully tweaked this flap to work as expected?

    Or have other Mark 4 owners changed the black plastic bailers for the traditional stainless steel (Andersen/Elvstrom) ones?

    Only a small detail but one that is irritating me as I don’t like having a wet working platform!

    Peter Dearnley.


    Have you asked anyone at Hartley?

    Colin Parkstone

    Welcome Peter, Good to see your still sailing your boats.
    With regards to the black bailers, all I will say is they are c..p! I have told Richard to his face so no need to think im telling tails!
    They just are not good for the job and i did not have them fitted to my new boat when I ordered it.
    I have been told that the plastic ones are safe on the hands if you have to handle them when under the boat but we used the others for years.
    Also that a customer wanted to sue a builder who fitted the stainless ones and so they are fitted just in case. So the story I was told went.
    Only problem is they are bigger than the stainless ones and so you would have to come up with a way to fill the gap around them if you want to fit stainless.
    I think that not many of the new Mk4boats at my club of which we have sixteen have not had a problem with them in one form or another.
    See you on the water Peter and i hope you find a way around this problem.



    Thanks for the story so far on Black Bailers.
    You say that you did not have them fitted on your new boat.
    Does this mean that you do not have self bailers at all, or, that you fitted stainless steel ones yourself?
    Also what do the sixteen or so owners at Parkstone do with them?

    Peter D.

    Colin Parkstone

    Sorry, Not clear was I!
    I had stainless fitted when the boat was ordered, I was not going to have a boat with the black ones in it as I have come across them before and was not impressed.
    Bailers are needed still, even if we our now a selfbailing boat as water gets into the crew areas and its wet to the bum when you sit on the floor!
    Parkstone boats and others have to mess around with them with sandpaper on the flap so that it opens without sticking and some have even changed them for new ones.
    How you stop the front edge falling out I not sure.
    Its no like they cost less by much!
    Some of our boats were fitted out by Porters and so had stainless fitted from the start.
    I have an idea for a moulding to fit to the hull to take the stainless ones and then fill in the gap around it, Iv yet to sort it!


    Thanks for added clarity.
    Peter D.


    My Parkstone based MkIV was fitted by Ian Porter and he persuaded me to stick with the black plastic bailers with scare stories about crew being cut when falling past the stainless variety. Colin will confirm I like falling out of the boat or resting it on its side for a breather quite frequently.
    They are a little reluctant to open on dry land when hosing out the boat but have survived a season without major issues (I have a spare in the tool kit as I was expecting trouble as CP told me they were c..p.)
    When new the flap was very sticky and I spent 5 mins or so waggling it back and forth each side to cure. We occasionally squirt the hinge with McLube (twice all year)They open easily enough when sailing though.
    No idea about the front opening issue.
    I am told that the plastic bailers are fine so long as you are very strict about bailers being up when placing on/off the trolley.

    Colin Parkstone

    I could see the point of plastic from a builders point of view, who wants to have an armless owner on your doorstep!!!

    I just find that the stainless ones work so much better and last longer for my pounds.

    I also told Richard that if i cut my arm off with them id not be in a good position to drive up to Derby and wag a finger at him anyway!!!!!



    Just to share my experience of the plastic bailers. I’ve had a Mk 4 since 2007. Replaced both bailers in about 2010 with identical plastic ones because the ‘flaps’ failed on both. Easy to replace but not cheap. One of the replacements has subsequently failed when the hinge at the front gave up, thus letting water flow in rather than out. This was despite being careful about ensuring the self bailers were closed when on the trolley. I’ve now replaced that one with a stainless steel one. There was a fair amount of effort and ‘formwork’ and epoxy and gel coat and sanding required to make the aperture in the hull 2mm or so smaller and also to fill the bolt holes ready for drilling new ones in marginally different places. The boat is at Notts County Sailing Club so available for inspection at the UKWA cruising conference in March if you want a closer look, not that there is really anything much to see!

    In relation to sticking flaps, prior to the plastic ones breaking I experienced the flaps sticking frequently. My solution was to permanently remove the grill, and one could then gently poke the flap open from within the boat if ever it stuck.



    I have the same problem as it seems everyone else regarding the plastic bailers.

    I get round the problem by rotating them. I have one spare,when one on my boat fails I take it off and clean it off strip it down,clean it up with ipa, then superglue the broken hinge. I then keep it as the spare and wait until the next break on the boat. They last a long time sometimes all season but if knocked during a capsize, that tends to turn them into whale spouts and the boat floods.

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