Kiteboard Repair

On Saturday I managed to split a fin and the corner of my CrazyFly kiteboard after getting a little too close to the shoreline and running out of water.

The front screw split the fin but caused no board damage but sadly the rear screw held on more, pulling almost all the way through, and splitting the carbon back away from the ply core.

The split in the board held open with two finish nails.

Fortunately, I was at Chew Valley Sailing Club on Sunday and able to meet up with Andy Hewitt (of Rondar Boat fame) and, more importantly, owner and chief wotsit at Wessex Sailboats. Andy was kind enough to impart some of his excellent knowledge and provide some advice on how I should proceed with a repair.  Andy explained that the repairing the fin and board required the same approach:

  1. clamp the split together and see how well the parts go back together.
  2. clear out any bits that prevent the two parts going back together correctly.
  3. mix up some muck and fill the gaps.
  4. clamp everything together and let the muck go off.
  5. use wet/dry paper to clean up everything.
  6. recreate the holes and counter sinks as required.
  7. put it all back together and clean/polish as required.

So here is how it all went!

Here is the fin clamped together with two pairs of mole grips. I had previously mixed up some epoxy resin with a colloidal silica to give it bonding strength. In the left of the image you can see the half junior hacksaw blade wrapped in insulating tape that I used to clean out the gap in the board itself.

Unfortunately the split in the board wasn’t as clean and didn’t want to pop back together. I therefore set about digging out all the offending muck and with it cam most of the countersunk screw hole!

With the cleaning up done I was able to apply liberal amounts of muck and clamp it all together with the two G-clamps and the single spring clamp I own.  In hindsight I wish I had used something more substantial on the back than hardboard as I’m actually left with a small 20mm long 1mm wide section where the board hasn’t gone completely back together.

When I removed all the clamps etc I removed what epoxy I could with a stanley life blade used flat – a trick I learnt from the guy who fitted our oak kitchen tops and then sanded it back with 1200 wet dry.  I decided while not perfect the finish was good for me and in keeping with the rest of the board.

The following day I was able to redrill the hole and countersink it for the fin screw

And that it, board fixed and just the fin to be re-drilled and threaded.

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