I recently blew a cell on my closed cell kite, right from the trailing edge to the leading edge. Happend during a full speed impact on the water. So I thought I would share with you the method I used to repair the kite (Peter Lynn 8m^2 Synergy). It's a bit scary the first time you do a repair, but take your time and with practice you will have your repairs done over night and you will be ready for kiting next day. No waiting for the repair man, no hassles with your finance minister.
1: The lower skin rip, from the trailing edge right through to the leading edge, stopping at the black LE nose.
2:Rip stop/start at the internal strap reinforcement.
3: Clean up the wound, remove sand from the repair zone.
4: Repair the rib, some local tearing along the seam line. Applied 50mm wide Vibac Stylus patch (sticky one one side) to both sides of the rib.
5: Apply a permanent single stitch.
6: Unpick the trailing edge on the side where the rib folds over.
7: The trailing edge unpicked. Remove gum from the seam, makes sewing later on that much easier. Open enough for sewing arm to get in.
8: Temporarily sticky tape the skins together on the inside (a flat board underneath helps), then apply the repair tape (sticky on one side) to the outside.
9: Repair tape applied. Smooth it out nicely. If you make a mistake it can easily be peeled off and try again.
10: Feed in the sewing arm into the trailing edge opening and start sewing on the repair strip.
11: Skin repair strip sewn on. Single pass stitch on the outside, tripple stitch on the inside (normal sewing thread used). Single stitch would suffice if a stronger thread was used.
12: Complete lower skin repaired.
13: Turn kite inside out through the trailing edge opening. Apply double sided tape to hold rib to skin. Spot Light has this tape. Also called basting tape.
14: Bring the skin and rib together using the double side tape. This temporarily holds them together while you scrunch up the kite under the sewing arm.
15: Start to feed in the kite under the sewing foot through the trailing edge opening.
16: After some more scrunching ...
17: ... pushing it all the way up to the leading edge.
18: Scrunch up the kite enough to give a free flat patch around the sewing foot and poke your finger inside through the trailing edge opening (shown below on the right) to make sure no extra bits are sewn together that you don't want to be sewn together.
19: Clear the foot every once in while to keep this area nice and flat. Make sure you only sew the skin to the rib --- nothing else.
20: Plenty of scrunching ....
21: Do the difficult stitch runs at the end by hand. This adjustable thimble does the trick and has a steel reinforcement.
22: Make one up your self or get one at Spot Light.
23: The rib now sewn onto the skin. Note the tight pitch zig zag stitch as a reinforcement where there is a stop/start in the seam line for the internal strap.
24: Turn kite right way around again (from inside out). Then all done ....
25: ... well almost ... sew up the trailing edge. Kite ready for action.
This is one of the more challenging repairs, hopefully you will not need to do this one too often.
First edition written by Norman Freund, 13 October 2009.