Leaky self-bailer

My boat came to me with an ELVSTROM/ANDERSEN mini self-bailer which leaked water INTO the boat at all speeds rather than letting it out! It was very useful as an on-land self-bailer as I have yet to manage to completely rain-proof our Mirror. However, the leaking while sailing was such a nuisance that I removed it and temporarily sealed the hole. I checked the mechanism; the little metal flap moved freely and the neoprene seal appeared intact and not overly compressed. The fitting was well-sealed and did not leak (when closed the boat would gradually fill up with rain water).

Does anyone have any advice please on
a) how to prevent backflow of water into the boat through one of these devices (new neoprene seal, vaseline?)
b) how to prevent rain water flowing down shrouds and forestay and past the otherwise sound boat cover?

Any advice gratefully received.

Sail# 68430

Our is practically useless too.  As you say, it's letting water in at all speeds (maybe not all !).

We're looking to do some live-aboard cruising with our Mirror …so… I'm thinking I need to fill it up with silicone!

PuffinInTegel's picture

Hi Chris,
Happy New Year to begin with!
There is practically no way to prevent this. The worst is that water inevitably penetrates into the plywood core at these points, even on a relatively well-maintained boat. I gave up the over-boom cover after my mast fell overboard in a light breeze one day. The rot was not visible under the brightwork because the top layers of wood must have been well-soaked in resin. After repairing the damage (which included the replacement of an entire outer gunwale and part of the inner one, I resorted to a flat cover. The advantage, I discovered, was that I can drop the mast, boom and gaff into the boat without taking the sails down. I just loosen the lacing of the mainsail to the mast. Now it takes me far less time to get the boat in the water.
Gernot H.

curlew's picture

I think it is best to get rid of self bailers and have a good pump, like a Whale Urchin.
I drop my mast and put a tarpaulin cover right over, I need to slope the boat to stop water collecting, and the the horizontal mast acts as a ridge support.