a) The question of Safety & Legality was raised and settled many years ago after a test at PYC where 14 men sat on a Hunter 19 with the bailers ‘open’. She remained afloat. It was also ruled that the fitting of the bailers did not fall under the heading of ‘alteration to the hull’, and so IS legal.
b) Self bailers do NOT work on flat water. The reason for fitting the bailers was for offshore sailing only, as a Hunter 19 has no built-in cockpit drains. When there is enough wind and waves to let water ‘into’ the cockpit, there is enough speed down the wave to remove it via the bailers. It is not considered safe to sail offshore without one fitted.
c) The position inside the recess in the cockpit floor; this also stops you standing on it.