Latest News: Forums Technical Sail Bailers – are good are they?

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  • #31568


    I have noted that the self-bailers on my Mk2 don’t really work to windward and you have to been going pretty fast downwind for them to really start sucking. When they are not working (but open) when feel the “gate” it seems to stay shut. I am wondering if might be something wrong with mine or whether this is perhaps just how they are. So for instance if I come to my boat off a mooring where it has filled up a bit due to rain, and there isn’t much wind, it is impossible to empty using the S/Bs and have to resort to pumping,

    Best wishes


    WF Mk2 9002

    Bob Harland

    Hi Tevor, going to windward boat speed is often insufficient for the bailers to work. But if you have a “fast” boat then it is certainly possible to get them to work. Try sailing the boat flat and a bit further off the wind than normal. It may be that you have to put the boat onto a fine reach and they should suck the water out pretty quickly – just for a short time to clear the water. You need a reasonable breeze – top of F3 or bottom F4, the boat does not need to be planing as such for them to work but the boat has to moving at a decent speed.
    As a general rule if spray or solid water is coming into the boat over the foredeck then there should be enough wind for the bailers to work.

    hope that helps


    Hi, Trevor.

    I also have a MKII.  I found that sometimes the self-bailers wouldn’t work in any direction. If your bailer is like mine, when you open the bailer, you will find a small hinged door hanging down at the rear of the bailer

    The problem seems to be that, after deploying the self-bailer,  the small hinged door seems to stick in position.  The solution seems to be to poke your finger out through the open bailer, pushing the hinged door out into the flow.  The little door then stays open and the bailer works fine.

    This seems to work even going upwind.  If the hinged door has stuck in the shut position, it doesn’t seem to bail in any direction or speed, but annoyingly still lets in more water when you slow down.

    Hope this helps



    Hi Guys

    Sorry for delay and THANKS for bothering to respond. Appreciated. Looks like it isn’t great system in that it needs a fair bit of speed and/or finger holding open the flap (I had noticed exact same trick!). When it works it works great but there seems to be threshold of speed to make it work (maybe the point at which that flap opens with the finger-treatment). BTW I have recently installed a WHALE pump in the floor and have been very pleased with the results.




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