Latest News: Forums Technical Mk IV Self Bailers

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  • #21605

    Please excuse my ignorance as a novice to sailing, but we have recently acquired a Mk IV which has self-bailers. We have only just been shown how to use them (open and close them). However after our instructor had gone, we wondered, as when open they let water out from the cockpit, where that water goes and how it is then ejected from the hull below the cockpit floor? Will this happen when the boat is still in the water or only when taken out of the water?


    Hello Paul,

    The self-bailers are retractable shutes that face aft, sort of the opposite of scoops, so that when you are travelling fast enough, suction from the water passing beneath your hull draws out any water standing above the bailer (i.e. in the cockpit). They work very well but if you are moving too slow (you will find out how fast too slow is), there is insufficient flow to create that suction and then they just become two holes in your boat and let water in, so only open them when you are sure you are going fast enough that they will work and remember to close them when the wind drops off.

    Be sure to close them as part of your coming ashore routine as the action of putting the boat on its trolley could damage the bailers if they are left down.  Don’t ask how I know.


    Dave Bevan

    Take a look under the boat when it’s ashore – you’ll see they open through the outer hull, so the water goes straight back into the lake/sea/river.

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