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How big a tear before professional repair?

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Kiteus Maximus
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How big a tear before professional repair?

Postby Kiteus Maximus » Fri Dec 28, 2012 5:53 am

Over the years I have only had a small handful of tears in my kites. Usually no more than an inch or so. I was always able to repair them with sail tape and they performed as if new. Recently a buddy sustained a tear about 12" long and wanted to repair it with sail tape. I told him I thought the tear was too big for tape and considering his kite was was a 9M and he flies it in 20 + kt winds logic says the air pressure against the kite would be greater than if it were an 18M kite being flown in 10 kt winds.

What are the largest tears you have repaired and were still able to fly without having to get it professionally patched? Or do any of you have any suggestions for large tear repairs?

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Re: How big a tear before professional repair?

Postby Peter_Frank » Fri Dec 28, 2012 1:19 pm

Kiteus Maximus wrote:Over the years I have only had a small handful of tears in my kites. Usually no more than an inch or so. I was always able to repair them with sail tape and they performed as if new. Recently a buddy sustained a tear about 12" long and wanted to repair it with sail tape. I told him I thought the tear was too big for tape and considering his kite was was a 9M and he flies it in 20 + kt winds logic says the air pressure against the kite would be greater than if it were an 18M kite being flown in 10 kt winds.

What are the largest tears you have repaired and were still able to fly without having to get it professionally patched? Or do any of you have any suggestions for large tear repairs?


You ask "still able to fly" ?

That does not make sense - as you can repair a full panel tear with sail tape and be able to fly with that - no problem :thumb:
Risky maybe, but It'll work.

Generally, my own "thumb of rule" is that if the tear is longer than a couple of inches or 3, I would get it stitched one day, eventhough I would kite with sail tape if I have to ride before I can get it patched.

Otherwise, if shorter, just sail tape or the repair tape that typically follows your kite (MUCH better adhesion than sail tape)

:D Peter

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Re: How big a tear before professional repair?

Postby Erlend M B » Fri Dec 28, 2012 6:05 pm

Repairing a tare isn't exactly rocket science. As long as no strut or LE is involved, you can fix it yourself. Dr. tuba or kitefix will fix just about everything.

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Re: How big a tear before professional repair?

Postby Gigi;) » Fri Dec 28, 2012 8:08 pm

IMO there's no general rule, I'd say as long as you feel confident with your repair (you are sure that you did the repair right) or tear is not on heavy wear/load area. If on vacations try to make a quality self repair to not miss those beautiful windy days, since later on you can always give the kite to the pro repair If you/your buddy wants to be 100% on safe side.

Anyway, we did some crazy tests with our self repair products on totally wrecked gear like this one:

Pics also here...

Erlend M B wrote:Repairing a tare isn't exactly rocket science. As long as no strut or LE is involved, you can fix it yourself. Dr. tuba or kitefix will fix just about everything.

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Re: How big a tear before professional repair?

Postby jakemoore » Sat Dec 29, 2012 4:32 am

I've gone from the trailing edge all the way to the tube on my 9 with kite fix glue and the mesh patches. Holding strong after a 16 months. I've also done many sail tape repairs without a failure. Eventually the tape may peel and get some sand under it but its easy enough just to redo it.

The main question is do you have the skill to line it up?

Masking tape on one side lets you get it right, then patch the other side permanently. With sail tape I always do both sides, so remove the masking tape and do your permanent patch.

If your sail tape fails and its a 1/4 mile swim back to the car with the wind and current at your back who cares? Just patch it again. Broken kites, kite leashes, chicken loops, bar center lines, pullies and bridle tangles have all given me a swim. A failed repair never has.

If you have a more critical need for reliability, for example deep water and little support, offshore wind, long downwinders, competitions at a level where your results have consequences, or big jumps over land I would consider a pro repair no matter how insignificant the tear.

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Kiteus Maximus
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Re: How big a tear before professional repair?

Postby Kiteus Maximus » Sun Dec 30, 2012 5:58 am

Peter_Frank wrote:
You ask "still able to fly" ?

That does not make sense



Let me explain it for you. "Still able to fly"...meaning...you made a repair on a large length of tear using SAIL TAPE ONLY...put the kite up...and were able to fly it without the sail tape failing. At a certain length a tear in the main canopy is going to fail if you only use sail tape. I was curious how large a tear anyone has repaired just using sail tape and were "still able to fly" without the repair failing.

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Re: How big a tear before professional repair?

Postby edt » Sun Dec 30, 2012 6:14 am

sail tape will work for the lifetime of the kite. There's no magic involved, but of course you have to sew it. You need to sew anything over just a inch or two.

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Re: How big a tear before professional repair?

Postby Gigi;) » Mon Dec 31, 2012 8:30 am

Here's one pic of the kite which I made in 2006. Needed to pre-tension the kite's canopy with long folded triangles (those long black dacron tapes). It is done also in heavy load area as you can see. This kite is still operational today along with it's original fix.

Image
Image

Kiteus Maximus wrote:
Peter_Frank wrote:
You ask "still able to fly" ?

That does not make sense



Let me explain it for you. "Still able to fly"...meaning...you made a repair on a large length of tear using SAIL TAPE ONLY...put the kite up...and were able to fly it without the sail tape failing. At a certain length a tear in the main canopy is going to fail if you only use sail tape. I was curious how large a tear anyone has repaired just using sail tape and were "still able to fly" without the repair failing.

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Re: How big a tear before professional repair?

Postby windmaker » Tue Jan 01, 2013 6:25 pm

Kiteus Maximus wrote:Over the years I have only had a small handful of tears in my kites. Usually no more than an inch or so. I was always able to repair them with sail tape and they performed as if new. Recently a buddy sustained a tear about 12" long and wanted to repair it with sail tape. I told him I thought the tear was too big for tape and considering his kite was was a 9M and he flies it in 20 + kt winds logic says the air pressure against the kite would be greater than if it were an 18M kite being flown in 10 kt winds.

What are the largest tears you have repaired and were still able to fly without having to get it professionally patched? Or do any of you have any suggestions for large tear repairs?


The only real reason one would use tape for a permanent repair instead of having a professional repair is to save money. The stingier the person, the bigger the tear that can be repaired with glue :D

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flybykite
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Re: How big a tear before professional repair?

Postby flybykite » Thu Jan 03, 2013 2:25 am

Sheathing tape from the hardware store. (red tape known as "venturi tape" in USA and "Tuck Tape" in canada) This is the best tape you can use for a permanent tape repair without sewing. We've repaired fully demolished kites with this stuff and works wonders. Con... looks like crap since the tape is red and has writing on it but it will never let go.


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