Surface To Central Keel
A Lower Surface panel taped to the Central Keel
Referring to the photo on the left,
position a Lower Surface shape along the black line on the keel.
Face the shape's tape edging towards the floor as you line
- You know the drill. Hold in place with small
bits of tape first, then run one long length of packing tape.
As illustrated by the yellow rectangle.
- Now flip the Lower Surface plastic over,
flatten the join and run packing tape down the whole length. See the
photo on the right.
Divider To Upper Surface
Note that the Divider is part of the plastic panel
already attached to the Central Keel...
Divider taped to Upper Surface
Look carefully at the photo. See how the
Lower Surface plastic is drawn across and attached with packing
tape – on one side only – to the nearest black line on the
Upper Surface plastic. The yellow rectangles show where each edge of
the Divider is taped, with small overlaps. One cell down, 3 to go!
Attaching Lower Surface Rectangle a)
Lower Surface rectangle taped to Divider
With the edging tape facing the floor, line
up the right-hand side of a Lower Surface Rectangle with the guide
line on the Lower Surface plastic already in place.
- Tape the join with packing tape over
the full length. See the yellow rectangle in the photo on the
- Flip the rectangle over to the right, flatten
the join and tape it along the whole length. Again using packing
tape. See the photo on the right.
Surface Rectangle b)
Lower Surface rectangle taped to Side Keel
Line up the free edge of the Lower Surface
rectangle with the guide line on the Side Keel of the Upper Surface
- Lay down packing tape along the full length,
as indicated by the yellow rectangle. As usual, you can make that
easier by using a few short bits of sticky tape first. Half the sail
is starting to look like a Parafoil, up the top there!
The entire Lower Surface attached
- Starting from the page titled Attaching
Lower Surface To Central Keel, work through all those steps
again. This time on the other side of the kite.
- When you are finished, all the plastic shapes
should be used up and the result should look like the photo above.
It's really starting to look like a Parafoil now!
Lay the kite down with the lower surface plastic
against the floor.
View the kite from the front while lifting the
upper surface plastic away from the floor a little.
Notice how there are 8 T-shapes in the air intake,
including where the side keels meet the lower surface plastic. See
below for a close-up of one such T-shape...
Where to tape air intake
- Find the top-center T-shape illustrated in
- Using 5cm (2”) strips of sticky tape, wrap
one strip around each of the 3 leading edges. The yellow lines in
the photo should give you the right idea.
- Repeat this process for all the other
T-shapes. All this taping will help extend the life of the kite –
especially in fresh winds!
Trimming and closing the rear end of the kite
- At this point the rear end of the kite will
be somewhat untidy – as in the first photo.
- Draw a straight
line across the trailing edge, skipping the Central Keel, as in the
- Following the line, snip across both layers
of plastic with scissors, as in the third photo. Again,skipping the Central Keel.
- Finally, fold packing tape around the
edge, on either side of the Central Keel. As in the fourth photo.
Snip off any excess tape with scissors..
The pictures show the tail end of the Central
Reinforcing and hole punched for drogue line
- Place a short strip of sticky tape across the
corner at an angle as shown in the photo on the left. Wrap any
overhang around to the other side. There is already another strip of
sticky tape running along the bottom edge of the keel.
- Flip the keel over and do the same on the
- Punch a hole through the plastic in an area
not covered by sticky tape. The drogue line will be tied on here
Bridle Attachment Points
Attachment point tapes stuck on
Place a 5cm (2") length of sticky tape
over the free corner of the Central Keel as illustrated by the
yellow rectangle in the top photo. Try not to let the tape
stick to the floor or table-top.
- Flip the keel over and stick another
similar piece of tape right over the first one, pressing them
together. See the more close-up bottom photo.
- You know what's
coming... Do exactly the same for the extreme left and right
portions of the Upper Surface plastic, which in fact are the Side
Tying The Attachment Points
Attachment point tape crushed and tied
Cut off a piece of the flying line, 4.6m
- Tie one end of the line to a pair of towing
point tapes on one Side Keel, as in the photo. Use any knot you know
but make it tight, to crush the tape. A reliable method I
prefer is to use a Double
Wrap Slip knot. It helps to fold the tape in half before winding
the line around and tightening the knot.
- Tie the other end of the line to the
other Side Keel attachment point, in the same way. This line
is called the Bridle Loop.
- Cut off another piece of flying line, this
time 2.5m (8ft) long.
- Tie one end of this line to the Central Keel
attachment point, just like the others.
The Bridle So
The Bridle Loop and Central Bridle Line attached to the sail
The above front-on photo just makes it clear
where you should be up to. A long Bridle Loop connects the two side
keels, while the Central Bridle Line is attached to the orange
Central Keel. All 3 keels are folded in the photo.
- With the kite suspended from the loop, the
central line should be somewhat longer than the two side ones.
Tying The Central Bridle Line
Central Bridle Line tied to Bridle Loop
sliding knot such as the Prusik,
tie the Central Bridle Line to the middle
of the Bridle Loop. The photo shows the keels partly suspended by
all three bridle lines.
Consider using my e-book Making Soft Kites to try any of the 5 spar-less designs in there. Hi-res, close-up photos help you through.
Return to page 1
Continue to page 3