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Trying to get a very old flysurfer in shape

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Trying to get a very old flysurfer in shape

Postby twig » Fri Oct 06, 2023 6:14 pm

My old very well used speed4 lotus 12m has done its Job very well for around 10 years. Lots of repairs inside have been done and it looks fine on the inside. Theres no loose parts hanging inside.
Now it started to work way less good since half a year and it only pulls hard when the bar is sheeted out and depowered at the edge of the wind window. When pulling the bar, the kites power is gone even if its flying close to the power zone.
I did lengthen b+c and played a bit with z on a Ladder of knots. Now it is trimmed for more speed/less stability. It works better, pulls harder, but could start to fold wingtips if the wind is light and the pressure inside is less. In strong wind its still stable. But it still works best at the edge of the wind window depowered.

My conclusion is that its not as airtight anymore and that its maybe deforming when the bar is pulled in, so the airflow is not smooth around the kite. Could that be?

I’ve repaired the lotus cloth by glueing spare pieces of lotus cloth with silicone to the kite. The silicone is soft and bends when packing the kite, the repairs are still ok after many many hours.

Now i thought about making the kite more airtight again by glueing every seam between the cells with silicone. Only where there is a sewn seam. Could that work? The trick would be to use just as little silicone as possible to not make the kite heavy. But if airtight, then it would maybe work really good? And i only use this kite in around 13-20knots of wind. In light wind i have larger foilkites.
I know that sand can stick to silicone but maybe its worth it anyway.. anyone tried this?

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Re: Trying to get a very old flysurfer in shape

Postby evan » Fri Oct 06, 2023 6:21 pm

Try breathing through the cloth at various places. It should be as airtight as a plastic bag so if you can suck air through the cloth the kite is practically done. You can't compensate with the bridles for it if it's got worse enough.

You can try sealing the seams or even do a complete recoat to seal the surface if you have enough spare time but I didn't read super positive results here if I remember correctly.

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Re: Trying to get a very old flysurfer in shape

Postby edt » Fri Oct 06, 2023 8:18 pm

the best coating i have found so far is shoe goo, thin it with gasoline, apply with roller. dont worry about the bridles getting glued down, you can pull them off the kite later, about half way thru drying.

I'm sure eventually I will find something better but so far this is the best easiest and best way to freshen up a foil kite. Takes about 10 minutes to roll out a coat, let it dry to the touch flip the kite do the other side. done no more wing tip foldings.

I have tried everything. It will make the kite a little heavier but oh well. Better to not be leaky and add a bit of weight. At least you can use the kite again.

recoating the entire coat with a paint roller is a lot faster than just doing the seams so that's my preferred method right now. I've done the seams before only it took hours.

I didn't come up with these ideas they were from others in the forums, but I only got around to using shoe goo + gasoline after trying everything else.
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Re: Trying to get a very old flysurfer in shape

Postby sflinux » Sat Oct 07, 2023 5:45 am

When I tune foil kites, I measure each primary A bridle, each primary B bridle, each primary C bridle, and each primary Z bridle. You want to measure them under load. Record your measurments and compare them to the published lengths. Typically the B bridles shrink relative to the A bridles. You may have to add an extension to each B primary bridle at the LCL to get the ratio of A to B back to stock. Next compare the C primary bridles. And lastly compare the Z primary bridles.
I like to make an excel sheet with my measurements.
Next you want to compare the secondary A bridles, to the secondary B bridles, to the secondary C bridles, to the secondary Z bridles.
After making the adjustments to get the ratios back to stock, you should be able to move the mixer back to stock as well. Then adjust the mixer from there.
I would think that improper bridle lengths would cause the wingtips to collapse, rather than leaking in 13-20 k winds.
Also check the length of bridles that go through pulleys, they are notorious for shrinking. (i.e. B-pulleyline, C-pulleyline)

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Re: Trying to get a very old flysurfer in shape

Postby PugetSoundKiter » Sat Oct 07, 2023 2:28 pm

Marine goop thinned with xylene rolled on to reduce porosity, full bridle check/tweak, inspect for internal damage, patch any fabric holes, zipper/velcro openings sealed, tune mixer, test fly, re-check bridles & mixers, re-coat it a 2nd time, re-test fly, repeat till you’ve learned all you can, pack away that project, get another kite and start over.

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