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Self bailing device

Framing, planking and fairing. Repair, or reconstruction. If it's hull related, you'll find it here.

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thaeni
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Self bailing device

Post by thaeni » Thu Apr 12, 2007 4:18 pm

Does any one have a picture or description
of the self bailing device Chris Craft
used on runabouts in the '50's?.
Thanks
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Happy Boater
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self bailer

Post by Happy Boater » Thu Apr 12, 2007 9:38 pm

I have a picture of one... If I can have your email address I can scan it and send it to you... Doug
1950 18' Riveria
Hull# R-18-256
"Rumble B"

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Al Benton
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Post by Al Benton » Fri Apr 13, 2007 12:23 am

If you don't mind, Doug, could you post that pic here? I can't recall seeing one and others may be as curios as I am.

Thanks,
Al

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parroteyes
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Self Bailer

Post by parroteyes » Fri Apr 13, 2007 4:56 am

The only picture that I could find. It has been dismounted but I am sure it is original to the boat
Image
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thaeni
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Self Bailer

Post by thaeni » Fri Apr 13, 2007 9:53 am

Thanks..But I was hoping for a photo
of the device installed so I could fabricate one for my 1963 20' Caravelle.
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Bill Basler
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Post by Bill Basler » Fri Apr 13, 2007 11:52 am

Here's a couple of pics from my prewar barrel.

A copper pipe (photo 2) with squared off end would be place in the other end of the upper elbow in the first photo. The squared off end of this copper tube would be what sits down in the low spot in the bilge

Image

Image
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Bill Basler
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Post by Bill Basler » Fri Apr 13, 2007 11:54 am

Another better view, but different style of bailer.

Image
Bill Basler

Happy Boater
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self bailer

Post by Happy Boater » Fri Apr 13, 2007 1:00 pm

Al, I scanned the picture out of my manual but it is in a PFD format and this site does not except PDF files. I have no way of converting it into a JPEG etc.
Any ideas?
Douglas
1950 18' Riveria
Hull# R-18-256
"Rumble B"

thaeni
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Self bailer

Post by thaeni » Fri Apr 13, 2007 4:16 pm

Thanks..One last question..Is the outlet
in the transom below the water line?
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Wood Commander
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Post by Wood Commander » Fri Apr 13, 2007 6:52 pm

Everyone probably knows that I'm a cruiser guy, but-
Don't most people keep those runabout auto bailers in order to be shown and judged as original, but have them blocked off internally? I'd always heard that a lot of Chris Craft Runabouts were sunk by the auto bailers. The way I heard it was that the proud owner would back his (possibly newly- restored) beauty and trailer down the launch ramp putting the top loop of the bailer temporarily lower than the level of the water's surface, helped along by the backward motion against the siphon outlet fitting in the bottom of the boat as it's being backed down the ramp, thus starting a backwards siphon that continued flowing as the boat floated off the trailer and gained it's normal position in the water. So as the owner parked his rig and walked back to the launch ramp, his boat is steadily filling with water and sometimes even sinking. And could that even happen with an agressive backing of the boat during "normal" operation?
Bret

1953 35' Commander "Adonis III"

1970 23' lancer project

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Al Benton
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Post by Al Benton » Fri Apr 13, 2007 9:14 pm

Tom,

The automatic bailer outlet is in the hull. It works as a capillary, similar to blowing air across the end of a straw in a glass of water. As you blow, the water starts coming up the straw due to pressure in the straw being reduced compared to pressure outside of the straw (or something like that). The auto-bailer is an up-side-down, bent straw. As water passes by the opening in the hull it causes the same low pressure in the tube and water in the bilge is sucked out.

As Bret pointed out it can also backfire and become a siphon in some situations, flooding the bilge in lieu of pumping it out.

Thanks for the photos, Bill and John.

Doug, I'm no gooroo on this photo stuff. My scanner can save the pics in JPEG or PFD on my computer but don't know much about changing one format to another. Thanks for the effort.

Al

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Self bailers

Post by farupp » Tue Apr 17, 2007 10:27 pm

I had a 1950 17 foot Special Runabout with a self bailer that worked great. If I recall, the boat had to be moving along quickly for it to work; it didn't do anything at idle speeds.

I also recall that there was a very small air hole at the top of the loop which was to keep water from siphoning back into the boat as described above. It was very important to keep this hole clean and open to break any vacuum when the stern was low in the water. It was small enough, however, that when the boat was planing, it did not affect the sucking of water out of the bilge.
Frank Rupp
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Pete DeVito
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Post by Pete DeVito » Tue Apr 24, 2007 7:22 pm

this is a picture of the self bailer out of my 1948 runabout 17 foot.
Pete
Image

thaeni
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Self Bailer

Post by thaeni » Tue Apr 24, 2007 8:05 pm

Does it exit through the hull or transom?
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Bill Basler
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Post by Bill Basler » Wed Apr 25, 2007 2:07 pm

The fitting mounts through the hull bottom. Look closely at the photo in knotty48s post. The squared off edge of the though hull fitting goes to the stern. The opening on that fitting has a little flapper/gate on it that allows water to exit, but theoretically not come back in.

The reason for the rubber tube and the top loop, and then the return back down to the inside hull bottom is that the through hull obviously lies below the waterline. The vertical leg and top loop lie above the waterline. Since water seeks its own level, the water ouside your hull can never climb high enough to travel though the loop (the wrong direction) and backwards into your bilge. The one-way flapper valve is further protection—while backing down, the water will sure try to come in rather than out. If the flapper get fouled by paint, or organisms, it is very possible.

The self bailer works while at cruise speed. The water passing over the"wedge" through hull, creates a suction. It is not much, but it is enough to pull bilge water uphill, over the top loop and back down.

So, keep the fitting clean, inspect it every once in awhile, and it will work for you—not against you.
Bill Basler

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Pete DeVito
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Post by Pete DeVito » Wed Apr 25, 2007 9:19 pm

I have heard many horror stories about the self bailers so take Al's advice because they will siphon back if not right and sink your boat.

I remember when I was a kid I would get the boat up on plane and unscrew the drain plug in the back until all the water went out and then hurry and screw it back in. This worked all but one time when I dropped the plug overboard and had to beach the boat. My dad called it a learning experience along with buying a new plug.
Pete

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Al Benton
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Post by Al Benton » Wed Apr 25, 2007 11:07 pm

The air hole that Frank mentioned would slow down the siphon but once it starts there's no good way to stop it except to pull it apart and plug it with something. The air hole may keep siphoning from starting but it would also slow down the self bailing action.

Pete, I was going to mention that transom plug method as well but was afraid someone may try it and sink their boat too. My brother used to do that years ago until he lost his rig in deep water. He was heading for shore but ran out of gas and wasn't willing to sacrifice his swim suit for a temporary plug.

Did CC actually deliver boats with factory installed self bailers? I can't imagine that would go over too big. "Here's your bran new boat, fully equipped with a self-bailer... cause, well... she's gon'a leak".

Al

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Post by Wood Commander » Thu Apr 26, 2007 12:08 am

Maybe the factory was thinking more along the lines of rainwater or spray from above getting down in the bilge and needing to be bailed out.

In an earlier part of this thread, I had talked about how I had heard that many old Chris Craft were sunk by the self bailer. I would imagine that the launch ramp scenario that I described earlier that might get the reverse siphon started if the bailer is not in perfect order was probably not nearly as much of an issue when these old boats were built. I don't know when trailered boats pulled behind cars and launched on sloped ramps started getting popular, but when a lot of the old ones were built the factory probably anticipated them being launched with the lifting eyes in a level condition either from a boathouse or from a larger yacht (as in a yacht tender). But nowadays they are usually launched from trailers on ramps at a stern down angle. So I would guess that this is where the problem comes in. As others have stated, if all of the parts and features of the unit are in perfect working order this may not be as much of a problem. You can bet that it was my runabout with a bailer, I'd be keeping a close eye on it!
Bret

1953 35' Commander "Adonis III"

1970 23' lancer project

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Mark Campbell
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Post by Mark Campbell » Fri Jul 22, 2011 8:41 am

Just a thought. Ifs are always possible. So...if you were to hit a floating object in the water while boating that breaches the hull and you are un aware water is filling the bilge, the siphon is your friend do the water flowing to the stern.

"If" you have two electrical pumps , one in bow , one in stern then you are covered ...until you run out of battery. The siphon works until you run out of gas.

I like the idea of two electric pumps...BUT, I do have the original siphon as my stern bilge pump.

NOTE: if you do have a hull breach that is severe remember that a life preserver can be placed over the hole to slow the fill while you limp to the nearest shore. I always thought an emergency stick or two of JB weld Wood is a good idea to have aboard.
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Mark Campbell
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Post by Mark Campbell » Fri Jul 22, 2011 8:51 am

The hull card for my 56 Utility has a check off regarding "scoop headed right?" and "is bailer cleaned ?"
Apprentice too Dale Tassell from 1985 till current. Too listen is to learn.

1933 CC Split 15.5 Model 300
1942 CC Special 17
1946 CC Deluxe 17 (2)
1949 CC Deluxe 17
1956 CC Cavalier 15

farupp
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Post by farupp » Fri Jul 22, 2011 9:08 am

I had a 1949 17-foot Special Runabout with the self-bailer and it worked great. The self bailer has a very small air bleed at the top of the loop. Its purpose is to prevent siphoning of water into the boat from the outside (lake, river, etc.), and if it is clogged it doesn't work and reverse-siphoning can occur. So it is important to keep this air bleed open and clean. It is very small so it is easy to clog.

The self-bailer doesn't begin to work until the boat has enough speed to create a vacuum at the self-bailer thru-hull outlet on the bottom of the hull. This has to be kept open and clean as well. The opening of this thru-hull must face the stern or water will be forced into the boat. When the boat has enough speed it will start siphoning water out of the interior of the hull at the stern.
Frank Rupp
1959 22-foot Sea Skiff Ranger
283 Flywheel Forward engine

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Pete DeVito
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Post by Pete DeVito » Wed Sep 21, 2011 6:57 pm

This is the self bailer in my 1957 19' Capri
Pete
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Al Benton
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Post by Al Benton » Thu Sep 22, 2011 7:46 am

Pete, do you suppose that wiring it to the tank strap is original? It appears that it could be. Did your '48 Deluxe have a bailer?

Al

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57 chris
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Post by 57 chris » Sun Sep 25, 2011 6:53 am

The subject of the bleed hole at the top of the siphon loop came up recently in another thread and as Frank says is so very important. As long as the bleed hole is kept clear and the rubber hose that connects the scoop to the siphon tube is in good condition these self bailers work great.

Hey Bill, none of the bailer scoops I've seen have had a flapper in them, could there have been different styles depending on the year? could it be that they had been removed? can you post a picture of one with the flapper?

Craig
1957 18' SeaSkiff #SK 18675 "Knot Sure!"
1958 18' SeaSkiff #SK18722 "Wreckreation"

Past projects: 1972 19' Lancer with 307 Volvo drive-Great Blue, 1968 23' Lancer Offshore with 283 Volvo drive-Narwahl
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dcrochet
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self bailing

Post by dcrochet » Sun Sep 25, 2011 6:13 pm

this is on my 1956 sportsman works perfect. notice the breather knob 9 ( hole) at the top of the loop.
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Pete DeVito
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Post by Pete DeVito » Sun Sep 25, 2011 7:15 pm

Al,
I do think that the copper wire on the self bailer is original. the way it was tied and the bilge had not been painted in the area around the tank.

Yes my 48 had a self bailer and guess what I have it... :D :D If you go up in this thread a few photo's you will see it. At the time I just could not put a hole in the new bottom and had intentions of putting it in for show but never did. I will reinstall the one in my 57 Capri.

Pete
Past Project 1948 17' Deluxe
Past Project 1957 19' Capri
Future Project 1955 17' Special Sportsman

solopar
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Re: Self bailing device

Post by solopar » Tue Aug 13, 2013 4:14 pm

I have a 1957 Capri, and the insurance company said that they would not insure the boat unless I installed a sea cock on the bailer. I was thinking of just removing the automatic bailer all together and sealing it permanently with a plug/butt block. I guess to keep the original concept intact maybe I should go ahead and install the sea cock and leave the automatic bailer in place even though I have no intentions of ever using it. My boat is missing the copper tubing shown in the previous pictures. What would you do?

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Re: Self bailing device

Post by Bob B » Tue Aug 13, 2013 8:52 pm

Re: Insurance company wants a sea-cock; get opinion from Hagerty.

Our 1948 17' CC Deluxe has self bailer and it works perfectly when needed to drain splash and rain water and really worked well years ago when the previous bottom did indeed leak.

Oberon01
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Re: Self bailing device

Post by Oberon01 » Tue Aug 13, 2013 10:39 pm

Given my unfortunate experience with the auto bailer, I would block if off entirely and make sure you have a good bilge pump in place. If you do, there will be no need for the self bailer and consequently no risk of this well intentioned by flawed device contibuting to the uncontrolled ingress of water, under any circumstance. Step one of course is a good automatic bilge pump, and also a decent bottom. With either one of these things, you will not need a self bailer. They are really an anachronism these days, since good automatic bilge pumps have been available for many decades. My 1948 Sportsman still has the ORIGINAL bilge pump (noted on hull card) and it works fine, so really, these things are a throwback to a time when bilge pumps were not common or easily available. They are now blocked on all my boats, but remain in place for judging. If you don't care about judging, then it is even less important.
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1946 16' Peterbrough Falcon
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1947 Chris Craft 22' Sportsman
1948 CC 25' Sportsman Sedan
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Don Vogt
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Re: Self bailing device

Post by Don Vogt » Wed Aug 14, 2013 8:26 am

Paul, you are absolutely correct. Auto bailers are a time bomb waiting to go off. They can be installed for show but blocked off. Anything else is asking for big trouble, IMHO.
1938 Chris Craft 17' Deluxe Runabout "Jennifer II"

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