Progress Report on the Line Grabber:
As shown in the pictures, I reduced the size of device, glued it up, plugged the ends of the "T" with foam to make it float, tested it for strength by leaning back hard against a test line, took it out and launched my 17M using a 5th. line, and liked the way it worked so much, I painted it. I think it will be a "keeper".
I am not about to put up the big "MISSION ACOMPLISHED" sign, but will continue to experiment. From the limited testing so far, I found out the following:
(1) It is very important that the device not break when in use. When using it on a 5th. line, the kite flys 20 to 40 feet above the water, so if the device pulled apart or broke, you would loose control of the kite, with the 4 lines not yet deployed. I will probably thread a rope through the inside of the pipe and tension and tie it so that the pieces can not separate, incase of a crack forming. CPVC cement is stong and CPVC is quite strong, but not meant for structural use. It seems to be plenty strong for the expected forces of a kite on a 5th. line. Painting it is important to prevent UV damage over time. A properly engineered device should have a metal core covered with plastic.
(2) The device works way better than I expected, but then again, I think I would have been impressed with how good a driftwood stick would have worked, if I had dared to use it.
(3) It took only seconds to get use to the way the line could be fed out and then securely held tight. Even with a 17M kite in normally powered wind conditions, the forces were moderate. Even reeling in the line was possible when I took advantage of a lull in the wind.
I will do more testing and if things pan out, then I will write up a full description of the method I find usefull for dispensing out the lines, and the necessary board modifications.
The biggest surprize I recieved so far in my experimentation is the following: The kite being in the air throughout the whole reeling out procedure solved a lot of problems rather than caused problems, as I had imagined it would. Here is a list:
1. Allows the lines to jiggle free of each other better than being in the water.
2. Allows you to see all the lines, all the time during the procedure.
3. Keeps seaweed and debris from tangling on the lines.
4. Because of its weirdness, warns other boaters and kiters to stay away.
Another thing that surprized me was that it was so much fun.......just like feeding out an old fashioned toy kite, only so huge you can't help but be impressed!
Here are 2 pictures. One shows an easy way to velcrox it to the board handle, and take it with you.
- DSCF0004.JPG (120.52 KiB) Viewed 2498 times
- DSCF0003.JPG (120.56 KiB) Viewed 2498 times