Forums > Kitesurfing Foiling

Foil Maintenance

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Created by Smithy 8 months ago, 13 Jan 2018
Smithy
VIC, 813 posts
13 Jan 2018 11:11AM
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What maintenance are people doing to stop galvanic corrosion on their foils (dissimilar metals, stainless and aluminium)? I was advised, when I purchased, to disassemble mine, Cabrinha Double agent, after every session or at least every couple of days when in use and to use an anti-seize paste, a real PITA... Even doing this I find some of the screws have already become difficult to undo even when making sure not to excessively tighten when assembling.

I was using Permatex anti-seize and have just changed to Tef-Gel which is 5 times the price.

I am interested to know what others are doing or recommending.

Gorgo
VIC, 4003 posts
13 Jan 2018 12:17PM
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I have always done a full disassemble after every session. The main reason is that it all fits very neatly inside my car. Everything is in its bag and nothing gets damaged.

I have a T-handle hex wrench that spins the screws in and out pretty quickly. Once you embrace the process it doesn't take long at all. I started on a Liquid Force and that had 13 screws do do. It really only takes 5-6 minutes.

I did lots of stuffing around with paint and stuff to reduce the risk of corrosion. It was a never ending battle, My mate has a Zeeko and uses Tef Gel. He says corrosion has not been a problem. I think Zeeko is power coat over the top of an anodised finish.

My ultimate solution is to switch to a full carbon kit. Only 4 screws for full assembly. No corrosion. The only maintenance is for normal dings, chips and scratches. All that is dead easy to fix.

Macster
VIC, 209 posts
13 Jan 2018 12:41PM
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I had the double agent, used it 2-3 times per week and only disassembled every 2-3 months. Maintenance = tefgel and squirting the board and foil with the hose after each use.

No probs at all. Maybe you are being too stingy with the tefgel?

Macster
VIC, 209 posts
13 Jan 2018 12:47PM
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I now have a Moses and Im still using the tegfel. I keep the foil assembled and dismantle the wings and fuselage about once a month and have to undo the 4x board screws every session.

Again i squirt with those hose and no dramas even after using it every second day.

I bought a ozito cordless to do up thr screws and bolts. Its low torque and cant overtighten. This probably halves my setup time.

snalberski
WA, 567 posts
13 Jan 2018 11:48AM
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Buying a full carbon fibre.

Smithy
VIC, 813 posts
13 Jan 2018 4:38PM
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Select to expand quote
Macster said..
I had the double agent, used it 2-3 times per week and only disassembled every 2-3 months. Maintenance = tefgel and squirting the board and foil with the hose after each use.

No probs at all. Maybe you are being too stingy with the tefgel?


Only just changed to the Tef-Gel and haven't disassembled since the first application a week ago, hopefully it will be better than the Permatex. Live 50 meters from the water so was hoping to be able to leave board and foil assembled ready to go but you can't have everything.

I wonder how many aluminium foils out there are now permanently corroded together... suggest anyone buying second hand asks to see it stripped down as well as assembled.

dafish
NSW, 1210 posts
13 Jan 2018 5:26PM
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I have a Stringfellow that I have had for three seasons now, (currently I am riding the Spitfire). I only pull mine apart once a year and clean all the bolts and reattach with Tef Gel. This stuff just plain works. Never had a screw or bolt seize and I am getting out most days. I made sure when I bought a new suv that my foil (with full 1 mt mast) fit without having to take it apart. I keep two surfboards and my foil along with three kites and gear. I think if you have to reassemble every day you might run the risk of stripping a thread from over tightening but I understand that might be necessary.

bigtone667
NSW, 923 posts
13 Jan 2018 6:52PM
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I bought a sprinter so I never have to disassemble the beast.

I also use lots of tefgel.

RAL INN
VIC, 2530 posts
13 Jan 2018 7:11PM
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I strip my Spitfire down about every 3 weeks clean of old Tefgel and reapply a very thin smear.
then reassemble.
1 Yr old and still perfect.

Plummet
4219 posts
14 Jan 2018 1:31AM
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I have my own build carbon/bamboo. 304 nutcerts 316 bolts.

Foil is always assembled unless I make a change go away with a fully packed car.

I use Castrol bmx2 grease on the bolts and hose down with water after every session. 14 months on and no corrosion.

PS buying a carbon foil with stainless bolts won't preclude you from corrosion. The hotter the climate the greater the corrosion potentially. To the easy answer those is to use grease/thread lube to keep the salt water away from the threads and crevices. Then wash down with water.

horey69
QLD, 230 posts
14 Jan 2018 8:03AM
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I hose mine down thoroughly after session then once a week strip clean and reapply top quality marine grease. You need to be kind to the Allen heads on the foils bad technique will burr or round them quickly.
Getting out around 3 days a week, my hoverglide is still sweet.

djdojo
VIC, 1463 posts
15 Jan 2018 9:50PM
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I'm on a Zeeko carbon with Carver wing, so zero maintenance for corrosion. However, I had an intermittent (speed-dependent) low-pitched and fairly quiet whistle until recently. I used 600 wet and dry in its wet mode, on a wooden block to do 3 or 4 passes only up and down the trailing edge of the mast at an estimated 30 degrees per side (60 degrees included angle) and the whilstle is now gone - pristine silence. Amazing as the amount of material removed must have been infinitesimally small.

dafish
NSW, 1210 posts
16 Jan 2018 7:39AM
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Select to expand quote
djdojo said..
I'm on a Zeeko carbon with Carver wing, so zero maintenance for corrosion. However, I had an intermittent (speed-dependent) low-pitched and fairly quiet whistle until recently. I used 600 wet and dry in its wet mode, on a wooden block to do 3 or 4 passes only up and down the trailing edge of the mast at an estimated 30 degrees per side (60 degrees included angle) and the whilstle is now gone - pristine silence. Amazing as the amount of material removed must have been infinitesimally small.


I had some whistling when I first jumped on the Spitfire, but mine was due more to the balance of my stance and how it effected the turbulence coming off the front wing. Two sessions in and it's church mouse quiet. I was prepared to do a little sanding but it wasn't necessary in the end. I will put up a review on Spitfire soon, knee surgery in a few days will leave me stranded for a bit and give me a bit of time to do write it up. Off topic question, did you get the Cloud D models, and were they strutless or single strut?

djdojo
VIC, 1463 posts
16 Jan 2018 10:27AM
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Hi Marco, I ended up balking at the postage, duties and taxes, and some C.5s came up locally in the meantime. For now I have 3.5, 5.5 and 8.5 and they cover me from 8-28knots. The Ds are still on the wish-list and I'll see how my budget goes through the year, but the urgency has dropped off as the C.5s are great. I'll definitely go strutless. Relaunch on the clouds is ridiculously easy in far far less wind than any other kite I've ever used. The idea that a strut will help is, I think, only relevant to beginners who are prone to oversheeting or perhaps if you're in breaking waves the strut will clear water a bit quicker from the canopy.

dafish
NSW, 1210 posts
17 Jan 2018 8:20AM
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If you do decide to get one let me know, I head to the states often and have things shipped to my bro's house in Cali. They pack so small I can always bring one back if your are keen.

Gorgo
VIC, 4003 posts
17 Jan 2018 11:00AM
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I have two foils. One whistles a lot. The other whistles a little.

The little whistling seems to be more to do with conditions and how I'm riding. Sometimes it happens and sometimes not.

The lot whistling seems to be from microscopic imperfections in the edges of the foil. You can't see them but they are visible when viewed through an ultra close up macro photo. I smeared some paint over the edges and gave it a light sand and it has greatly reduced the whistling. I can see some of the imperfections still so will repeat the process after identifying the areas that need attention.

I am a big fan of painted foils. You can sand and tune and repair and adjust all you want without sanding away the carbon. I use Dulux Duramax spray paint. It's cheap, goes on well, and the can lasts on the shelf.

airsail
QLD, 282 posts
17 Jan 2018 9:46PM
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Select to expand quote
Gorgo said..
I have two foils. One whistles a lot. The other whistles a little.

The little whistling seems to be more to do with conditions and how I'm riding. Sometimes it happens and sometimes not.

The lot whistling seems to be from microscopic imperfections in the edges of the foil. You can't see them but they are visible when viewed through an ultra close up macro photo. I smeared some paint over the edges and gave it a light sand and it has greatly reduced the whistling. I can see some of the imperfections still so will repeat the process after identifying the areas that need attention.

I am a big fan of painted foils. You can sand and tune and repair and adjust all you want without sanding away the carbon. I use Dulux Duramax spray paint. It's cheap, goes on well, and the can lasts on the shelf.


Grogo,
Just for interest, do your foils have sharp trailing edges on either the mast or wings? None of my home builds have whistled, I'm just not good at building a sharp edge but a production foil did until I ran a file along the trailing edge to provide a better flow release.

Gorgo
VIC, 4003 posts
18 Jan 2018 7:31AM
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Not particularly sharp. There's no way they would cut you. Theoretically you could get a nasty chop if it hit you hard enough but it's so light it has just bounced off the few times I've been bumped by it.

I have run the wet and dry over all the edges at various times. So far the only persistent whistling comes from the surf foil which has the voids around the edges.

I quite like a little bit of a whistle. When I go for a jump the sound builds up then goes "wheeeep" as I carve and take off. It makes me smile.

charlieuk
355 posts
22 Jan 2018 5:54PM
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Just one thing to add to the bolt problem and that is don't forget to put grease or tef-gel or whatever on the head or taper of the bolts, it's normaly the taper that freezes up from my experience. I have had to drill out a number of bolts for people and normally once the head pops of you can get the rest out by hand.

RAL INN
VIC, 2530 posts
23 Jan 2018 6:57AM
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The taper seize is a problem for uncoated or anodised Aluminium.
the anodising layer is only a few microns thick so is usually gone after a few assemblies.
those foils that also are powdercoated will be fine but only until the powder coat layer is worn off, so keep an eye on that.

Smithy
VIC, 813 posts
23 Jan 2018 9:02PM
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Yep Tef-gel seems to be the bees knees and has been a significant improvement from the Permatex I was previously using. No signs of corrosion or seizing after a couple of weeks. As mentioned by Charlieuk it important to coat all points of contact. The video below from Tel-gel is a good guide, sorry a bit long but the first 3 minutes covers it.

Duff15
VIC, 171 posts
31 Jan 2018 9:00PM
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Saw this topic a few days ago and thought i would stip apart my foil and give it a clean. Well i found 3 seized hex bolts (had to use easy outs to remove) the foil is about 6 months old and haven't pulled it apart since purchasing.

Got all new bolts and teflon.

How often should i dismantle and re-teflon?

RAL INN
VIC, 2530 posts
1 Feb 2018 10:16AM
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As. Reminder to Zeeko Alloy foil owners.
mast to mount plate bolts are thread locked at factory so do not attempt to remove them.
the bolts through fuselage into mast have plastic washers. So you only need Tefgel on threads. Applying one bead for about 25mm of the thread is
fine.
the front wing bolts contact to G10 on the wing so no Tefgel there, just a single bead on thread.
rear wings bolt through to G10 fin so the only area of concern is the thread through fuselage area where some Tefgel can offer piece of mind.

Also if you disassembled your foil and the thread area is blackish then remember to clean old Tefgel off before reapplying.

Spitfires have 2 front wings in reference to the above.

Smithy
VIC, 813 posts
3 Feb 2018 8:50AM
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Since changing to Tef-Gel I am currently only doing a partial strip down of my foil every 10 days to 2 weeks. By that I mean removing and reinstalling one bolt at a time, (sometimes not even fully removed) checking if each still has a good coating of Tef-Gel and making sure non threaded surfaces are also coated. Only takes about 5-10 minutes and my foil is ready to go at a moments notice. (Why does the 10 minute assembly time seem such a pain if you have to do it when you want to use the foil?)

I have not had any more signs of seizing or corrosion. (Cabrinha foil)



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"Foil Maintenance" started by Smithy