How To Make A Dopero Kite

Step-by-Step - Page 3 of 4

The MBK 1-Skewer Dopero

How To Make A Dopero Kite

The 1-Skewer Dopero - making the keels
  • Mark out a keel shape on some spare plastic, as per the dimensions on the template. For all the steps below, refer to the above photo if anything is unclear. A keel in black garbage bag plastic looks good with a lighter colored sail! If you lay black plastic against a window on a sunny day, even black marker lines show up easily, I've found. Rule the lines with the plastic flat against the window glass. You can also hold the plastic up to the light while cutting along the lines with scissors.
  • Cut out the keel and tape down 2 lengths of flying line onto one side, using clear sticky tape. One goes from the bridle attachment point to the upper attachment point, and the other goes from the bridle attachment point to the lower attachment point. The pieces of line hanging free should be at least as long as your finger.
  • Now flip the plastic over and tape down another 2 lengths of flying line, directly over the first 2.

The 1-Skewer Dopero - a completed keel
  • Where 2 pieces of line come together, tie a Multi-Strand Simple Knot close to the plastic. These 2 knots will sit against a vertical spar.
  • Where the 4 pieces of line come together, tie them into another Multi-Strand Simple Knot close to the plastic, then tie another one further out. The photo shows all the knots.

All done? Now do it all again to make the other keel!

How To Make A Dopero Kite
Attach The Keels

The 1-Skewer Dopero - attaching the keels 1.
  • Poke a hole in the lower sail, just below where the lower horizontal spar crosses one of the vertical spars.
  • Take a keel, poke the upper 2 lines through the hole and pull tight against the knot, then tie them off around the bamboo with a Granny knot.
  • Use the keel itself to find the exact spot to poke the lower 2 lines through, near the bottom tip of the vertical spar. Poke a hole in the plastic there, thread the lines through and tie them off around the bamboo. As in the photo.

The 1-Skewer Dopero - attaching the keels 2.
  • Flip the kite over, lay the keel down flat, and lay a length of sticky tape all along the base of the keel. Half the width on the keel, the other half on the lower sail plastic. See the photo. Because of the dihedral, you might need to use something brick-shaped to support the kite while you do this.
  • Now flip the keel over, so it lies flat again. Stick down the base with sticky tape. Now the keel is attached along its full length, on both sides.

All done? Now do it all again to attach the other keel!

How To Make A Dopero Kite
Attach The Bridle

The 1-Skewer Dopero - attaching the bridle 1.
  • Lay the kite down with the keels on top, then cut off a length of flying line about 2 skewers long.
  • Tie a small Loop Knot into each end.
  • Poke holes in the upper sail, and hence attach the line to the vertical spars as indicated in the photo. Use a Double Wrap Slip Knot in each case. This is the upper bridle loop.

The 1-Skewer Dopero - attaching the bridle 2
  • Now make another bridle loop line. Again, about 2 skewer lengths long, with a Loop Knot in each end. Make these Loop knots much bigger, because...
  • Now attach each end of this line to a keel, using a Larks Head knot. This is the lower bridle loop. See the photo.

The 1-Skewer Dopero - bridle knots.
  • Take another length of flying line about 2 skewers long, and attach one end to the middle of the upper bridle loop and the other end to the middle of the lower bridle loop, using a Prusik knot at each end. Let's call this the bridle line.
  • Now take a length of flying line about 1 skewer long, and tie one end to the bridle line with a Prusik knot. Tie a small Loop knot into the other end. There's the whole bridle, in the photo.
  • Secure every knot on the vertical spars with a tiny blob of wood glue. 6 in all!

How To Make A Dopero Kite

The 1-Skewer Dopero - attaching the tail
  • Cut out a long thin rectangle of colored plastic for the tail. Mine is black, to contrast with the orange sail. Make it 10.0SL (290cm, 115") long and 0.2SL (5.8cm, 2 1/4") wide. Knot pieces together if necessary, to get the full length. Avoid taping, because it adds weight!
  • Tie one end around one vertical spar, and the other end around the other vertical spar. Slip the plastic under the bamboo and between the keel knots, but as close as possible to the lower knot. A single Half Hitch will do, since there are very low forces on the tail in flight. Pull it fairly tight and trim off any excess plastic. See the photo for the final result.

At this point, you've finished making the 1-Skewer Dopero!

To attach the flying line, just Lark's Head the flying line to the short bridle line.

Continue to page 4

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Wind Speeds

Light Air
1-5 km/h
1-3 mph
1-3 knots
Beaufort 1

Light breeze
6–11 km/h
4–7 mph
4–6 knots
Beaufort 2

Gentle ...
12–19 km/h
8–12 mph
7–10 knots
Beaufort 3

Moderate ...
20–28 km/h
13–18 mph
11–16 knots
Beaufort 4

Fresh ...
29–38 km/h
19–24 mph
17–21 knots
Beaufort 5

Strong ...
39–49 km/h
25–31 mph
22–27 knots
Beaufort 6

High Wind
50-61 km/h
32-38 mph
28-33 knots
Beaufort 7

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