Saturday, May 21, 2011

Repairing a Delaminated Mako Kite Board

Scoopers Home for Wayward and Delaminated Boards- I took Jean's broken foam core Mako into the shop to give it some TLC and to save it from the trash can. I know this old board has some stories to tell. I'm hoping it will whisper them to me the next time I take it out in some wind. Here's how I tried to bring it back to health- Click on pics to see large.

Prep- I cut the ragged edge of the old foam to make a clean edge, and removed a few small pieces of foam that were left around the fin holes. I sanded the fur left from the foam on the top and bottom sheet but it was coming off slowly so I mostly left it.

Making Parts, Edging- I glued up Versatex PVC board to make a blank for the new edgeing. Traced the shape from the board and cut it out, sanded it by eye to get the taper on the edgeing.

Foam- I used Last-A-Foam, from Fiberglass Supply, to make a new foam core section. I traced the PVC edge onto the Foam, cut it out, sanded the foam to the thickness and concave by eye. Used a knife to cut out the hole for the old fin hole reinforcement block, (which looked like solid thickened epoxy).

Glue Up- I glued the whole mess together, old top and bottom sheet, new foam, new PVC edging, old fin hole block, with lots of West epoxy. It was more floppy than I expected so I put small clamping blocks on the place where new edge meets old edge to get rid of sag there while it dried.

Fiberglass Reinforcment- I have low confidence in the strength of the repair. After all, the original construction wasn't strong enough and the repaired board will always be less strong than the original. So I sanded the bottom, put 1 layer of cloth over the bottom of the board, 3 coats of epoxy. I tried to wrap the cloth around the edges but it didn't work, should have used thinner cloth. You can see the texture of the cloth if you click on the picture to see large.

The Result? It looks almost as good as new, feels a little heavier. I know it will work but not sure for how long. One session? Stay tuned.