We recommend Tedlar for tears as long as 10” in the middle of the sail. These can occur from any number of calamities including dogs, barnacles, and kite-eating trees. It is not usually cost effective to sew a new cloth panel into a sail.
1. Use a little rubbing alcohol to clean the back side of the sail in the repair area.
2. If available, use some masking tape on the FRONT of the sail to align the torn edges and close up the tear.
3. Cut a Tedlar patch that extends at least 1” around the perimeter of the tear. Round the corners to keep them from peeling up.
4. Apply the patch smoothly to the back side of the sail, then remove the masking tape from the front.
That’s it! Your patch will be noticeable as a shiny spot from the back side of the sail, but from the front it should be close to invisible.
This same method will work on Mylar as well
Leading Edge Sleeve Tears
Leading edge tears are purely cosmetic; they won’t affect the flight of your kite or cause other collateral failures. We recommend black, adhesive-backed reinforcement material so you can make an almost invisible repair without having to sew.
To patch a leading edge tear, simply cut an appropriately-sized patch from the black reinforcement material provided and stick it on after cleaning off any sand or dirt. To keep the corners from peeling up, round them slightly with scissors before you apply the patch.
Nose failures on kites are fairly rare as most kites are internally reinforce with Kevlar to prevent punch-through.. If you find a spine or leading edge rod poking through your nose, The best solution is to send it in to the manufacturer to have a new nose sewn on. But if you just need to keep it in the air, here are
a few temporary fixes than can work:
Add an end cap or two to the end of the rod to make it bigger so it can’t fit through the hole.
Use a needle and thread to sew the hole closed, then soak the reinforcement material in Cyanoacrylate glue.
Smear Shoe Goo from the hardware store on the nose and let it dry before re-inserting the rod. Not pretty, but it can work.
There are other options available as well. If you are contemplating a sail repair but not feeling certain about it, email me and we can set up a time that I can call and talk you through it.
Our thanks to Prism Designs, Inc. for permission to use this content