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Kite repairing


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Well that didn't take long... my 16ft delta already wore through where it pushes against the horizontal support.  Its only been flown about 6 times.  I'm guessing it was the couple times I foolishly flew it in fairly high winds that was enough to bend up my reel.  I guess I shouldn't be surprised the kite took some damage.  I have a 12ft version of the same that I flew several dozen times and its still in pretty good shape except for some fraying on the trailing edges from extreme flapping I guess.

Anyway,  I bought some ripstop tape.  I read somewhere that Tedlar tape is better but the cheapest I could find was $88 a roll.  But I was curious if stitching was a better option for anything other than repairing the thick velcro fixtures.  I would think putting more holes into the nylon would never be a better option, but I'm not sure.  But it might be a better option to fix fraying on the trailing edge of the sail vs folding a piece of tape along its length.

Does anyone have any experience with this?

Thanks in advance

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Tape on the trailing edge is a bandaid and you need a surgeon, tape will vibrate at a slightly different rate, the fabric " next to " the tape will stress crack, fail and separate itself

taping the taped area will buy you so more time, but eventually all must be removed and panels replaced

the trailing edge is the first thing worn out on my quads too!

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I've made and flown others' efforts as well,..... kites made entirely as "no-sew projects" with 9640 VHB bonding tape by 3M.  You tape and heat seal the bond (or weight it down overnight) with a crafting iron. The adhesive is made to adhere two pieces of metal together, or holding the windows in for a high rise office tower.  The fabric will fail before that bond!

Super light weight quads were developed back in 1999 by KiteSquid/Harold Ames as a cooperative project, to fly in no wind but to still incorporate the SLE tubes.  He made stacks of baby Ryvs too (42 inch leading edge?avia spine single pieced). All this time and they still work perfectly.

When failure happens, it will be that trailing edge though, ('cause just about everything else was reinforced for brutal throw and catch poundings)  Again the vibration rate is different at that doubled-up fold over edge, seamed in tape.

It comes in a 1/4 inch width, so patches will need multiple stripes laid down next to each other, where to place kevlar buttons or chevrons? Only a folded-over leading edge sleeve. 

You could make a patch of fabric (adhered with 9460) and reinforce the entire Trailing edge, but if I were doing it, it would a scalloped edge with deep curves of several inches coming to a point far away from that edge and then repeating along the line, big U shaped abutting, thereby spreading the stress crack vibration over a larger surface area and lessening the impact. Time is the great equalizer, this too shall fail eventually.

It's the point at which it is time to consider a new acquisition, after the trailing edge has been surgically repaired several times that is!

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Yeah, I probably won't worry about the trailing edges too much.  The tear right in the middle against the spar and the end where the spar is partially wearing through the velcro closure makes sense to repair.

To be honest I'm kind of surprised to even be in this boat.  As a kid I lost every kite I ever had and I didn't expect anything to be much different now.  It turns out having a reel that winds in 3ft at a time makes all the difference in the world.

  • Haha 1
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