Skirt Rib Material?

I got a new Harmony TTD spray skirt. When I received it, the plastic support rib that supports the front of the skirt was installed upside down. When I was re-installing it, the plastic cracked as I was flexing it in order to complete the installation. The plastic is a very rigid, brittle type which cracked with very little flexing, and I can see a new one breaking easily during a trip. I would like to make a new rib out of a better material. Have you guys got any suggestions?

fiberglass kite spars

I might look for a long reinforced
segment from something like a poly trash can. You’d have to cut it out and smooth the edges with heat or sanding, so that it doesn’t chafe the skirt.

What I mean by “reinforced” is a region that by thickening or cross sectional shape is meant to be stiffer.

Possibly you will have to make a little cut near one end of the implosion pocket to get the stiffener in. Then you can close the cut using neoprene cement. Don’t make such a cut where the end of the rib will bear directly on it. Instead make it a little “upstream”.

Great link!!
That’s a great sight you linked mintjulep. I cut down an old damaged fishing pole today, and it works pretty good. The arching of the rod is not centered due to the reducing diameter of the fishing rod, but the kite rods on the website are the same diameter for the full length. They have both hollow and solid, and a good range of different diameters. Thanks so much for the link. I’m now confident that my replacement will be better than the original.

I ended up spending about an hour looking at all the kite stuff as my son and I love to fly kites. I even keep a pocket kite in the glove box of my truck, just in case a good wind is blowing. Got a modified box kite for Christmas. Can’t wait to see how much line it will pull out.

I love to drink your name mj. And there is none finer than the ones they make at the Kentucky Derby. An iced over glass on a hot summer afternoon with the fragrance of mint at your nostril. Soothingly cool I must say.

Thanks again for the link. I would probably have never found it.

fiberglass battens
A small batten for a sailing dingy would be just right. Look for one that’s not tapered.

Looks like another good possibility
Thanks Nate. I googled untapered dinghy battens and boom. I like these because the skirt pockets that hold the rib are designed to hold something wide and flat like the battens, not tubular like the rods. Looks like I’ll have to now try several prototypes to see what works best. Thank goodness all this stuff is cheap!

Hobby shops
that sell materials for folks who build their own model planes, RC cars and other toys are good sources for various sizes and types of rod and flat stock.


– Last Updated: Dec-29-11 10:43 PM EST –

It's always nice to be able to hold something in your hand before you buy it. I'll be testing the fishing pole this Saturday on a 6 mile paddle. Then we'll go from there.

Another option might be to check out
a fabric store. Some will still carry “corset stays”. Though not used (corsets), I don’t think, by women anymore; there’s no reason they can’t have other uses. I saw some in a local fabric store a couple of weeks ago. It could be worth checking to see if these might fit your need.