Power Kite Forum

finally making progress on my project

markite - 5-28-2014 at 10:45 PM

I went with Fiona to pick up this kite cat back in April - I was to pick it up late fall but too many things interrupted and winter too soon delayed my pick up.
I acquired it from a long time friend and it's in very rough shape and needs a lot of TLC and refurbishing. If anyone happened to be in OBX when AJ was out sailing around on a cat, you'll recognize this as the same craft.
I hope to get the spirit of AJ out on the water again this summer in Ontario.
It's been totally disassembled and this last weekend I finished sanding the hulls. There are a number of old patches and cracks but with the help of a friend I'll do an overhaul repair job - still a lot of work to do.

pick up 1.jpg - 57kB pick up 2.jpg - 67kB Mark_sanding.jpg - 54kB one done.jpg - 70kB two done.jpg - 77kB

3shot - 5-29-2014 at 04:19 AM

Honestly Mark, half the fun is in restoring it. :thumbup:

PHREERIDER - 5-29-2014 at 05:22 AM

very nice mark, definitely fun in every direction.

RedSky - 5-29-2014 at 05:36 AM

That's a rare early kitecat and worth restoring. I have a later one. Look forward to seeing your progress and sailing video. ;)

markite - 5-29-2014 at 06:21 AM

The biggest battle so far was getting it on my car - the cross bars on my roof rack are fairly close so I needed to make wooden extensions that would fit on the roof and lots of straps running through the windows to hold all that down first. Then the hulls had water in them and trying to get it up high and work it onto the roof with Fiona was a comedy act - a little crying from someone when she kept hitting her head on the rudders. The seat was totally destroyed so I was lucky that Jenny still had one at PL. Just being able to transport it will be the biggest thing, I'm used to throwing all the gear in and boards on the roof and go - this will be a lot more work. Aaron Saude has a nice trailer for his and that may end being the way to go at some point. Eric Brackenbury in Ottawa also has one of the same generation so I'll have to start picking your brains about using it. I've seen your videos and have been skimming the old kite cat users forum - I'm sure i'll have a lot of questions. I'll send you an email RedSky but what were the biggest changes from early to later models; the frame folds. Did Dave Kay change the hull construction?

Coming back into Canada with it was the funniest - all the looks in line at the border and then it was like the customs agent never saw it as he asked "bringing anything back today?" and I just pointed upward and his face said it all "what the heck is that?"
He was funny and no problems but we had only driven a few blocks across the border to get it and once back over was when we started to pick up speed getting on the highway and I wasn't sure what would happen and eased it up like a test pilot to 85kmh, 88, 90, 92, 95, 98, 100kmh - we looked at each other with a sigh of relief and 5 seconds later "whap, whap, WHAP BANG!" and something flies off. I though the rack was coming apart and we pulled over. After inspection I'm sure it was some of the torn seat panels separating.

photo 2.JPG - 90kB

BeamerBob - 5-29-2014 at 07:06 AM

I met up with AJ at Kitty Hawk Kites while visiting my parents who were spending the fall there in their RV. One of the times I was there, we went back to where the Kite Kat was and I sat in it. Seat was ok then. It tugs at my heart to remember all that, but somehow there is a part of AJ in there so I can't wait to see you bring it back.

Bladerunner - 5-29-2014 at 07:31 AM

The Spirit of AJ. What an amazing thing to do !

I was going to say what an amazing thing to call her but this boat will have the spirit of a Good Man ! :thumbup:

ilivni - 5-29-2014 at 08:30 AM

Cannot wait to see/try it at JIBE next year. :P:D

Demoknight - 5-29-2014 at 08:38 AM

I would so love to try a kite kat on the lake! They look like a ton of fun.

rudeboysaude - 5-29-2014 at 08:58 AM

Congrats on the project! I'm glad to hear you got it. AJ was one who inspired me to get a kite cat and I remember chatting with him about it. Very cool to see it being restored and I look forward to seeing some photos of it in action.

The Yakima Rack and Roll is a nice trailer for the cat. You can walk it down to the water on the trailer and almost slide it in. I got mine all assembled and ready for water time just hoping to find time to actually use it.

3shot - 5-29-2014 at 01:12 PM

I never met AJ. Wish I did. Everyone speaks very highly of him and what a great kiter and person he was. That is an awesome gesture to carry on with that project Mark. Would love to see that in person. You might as well figure on a tow trailer for all the toys at JIBE next year. Lol

RedSky - 5-29-2014 at 09:46 PM

Quote: Originally posted by markite  
The biggest battle so far was getting it on my car - the cross bars on my roof rack are fairly close so I needed to make wooden extensions that would fit on the roof and lots of straps running through the windows to hold all that down first. Then the hulls had water in them and trying to get it up high and work it onto the roof with Fiona was a comedy act - a little crying from someone when she kept hitting her head on the rudders.


I'm no expert on the KiteCat but from looking at yours those rear rudders are of an older style. The later ones were directly underneath the hulls. That's about the extent of my knowledge I'm afraid.

I was given the original KiteCat roof bars with rollers which make placing the Cat onto the roof a quick an easy one man job. If you want to make your own then it shouldn't be too hard. Those rollers are only half the width of the hulls and are covered with a rubber hose material. The upright guides help keep the Cat secure when on the move using a ratchet strap.

[ pictured here are the front and rear roof bars, only the rear bars have rollers ]

Also here's the original KiteCat promo video showing how the Cat is loaded onto a car roof with rollers. ( Skip to 6:05 )

I'm not sure how far you need to walk with the KiteCat to the waters edge but I sometimes had to walk a two mile round trip, so I decided to use the buggy as a launching trolley. Yours may not fold but I'm sure it would be just as easy with a little imagination to modify any buggy to take it. I used just two unsecured planks of wood. Job done. :)

markite - 5-30-2014 at 12:40 PM

thanks Tom
This is an early one, it doesn't fold easily but there are a number of things I could unscrew to get it to fold a little but not as nice as the later versions. The rear rudders are different (this one has some good rock dents and bends that have been hammered back into rough shape) and there is the protective sheeting on top of the hulls in possible contact points for the steering linkage.
I though about trying to make simple rollers out of two sizes of abs plumbing tube that nest together nicely but it's still a lot of work mounting the wood on my car outside of the roof racks to get a good spacing and having the straps running across inside the car just to secure the wood - but I can work on that later and come up with a system that doesn't involve hurting Fiona in loading and unloading, but I'll probably give here a hand :)

A few of the beaches are a distance from the car and the first thing i thought of was bigfoot buggy trailer. I may even rig up some kind of cradle that I can take. I have lot's of questions but they will come in time - like how you get back on it when lifted off - no side skirts, I may need to make something here too. I've seen loading the kite a little to lift up and on from the back - there are also lots of small sharp bits at all blows and exposed bolts - I'll have to make small neoprene sock protectors.

Anyway I'm looking forward to it, I hope you can get out soon as well Aaron - I love your trailer and had a friend convinced to buy your cat when you were thinking of selling but he just didn't want to drive from here to get it.
Where Fiona lives in Scotland would be ideal to have it - she lives right on the beach at Broughty Ferry and walk out the front door and across to the Tay - mind you it is colder water with the North Sea right there and a fairly fast current at times.

I have to thank my long time friend Meg Albers for contacting me about the kite cat. She is the owner and had been in a relationship with AJ for a long time and AJ was the caretaker of the kite cat and she brought it back to Buffalo after his death. It has a lot of emotional attachment for her as well but it was sitting outside in Buffalo getting weathered so we have an agreement and although it's mine it'll always be shared in body and spirit by a few of us.

It would be fun at JIBE cruising the shore - I'm pretty loaded down already and a long drive so I'll have to see about it next year - al long way off.
But if anyone ever comes to Ontario for holidays or business let me know - I can always brings lots of kites, boards, buggies to meet up and hopefully the cat soon - you just bring lunch I'll supply the rest!

markite - 9-29-2014 at 10:15 AM

It's been a long slow go trying to get the kite cat fixed up this summer. It was looking like it might not get done until the snow starts to blow. There was a kiteboarding charity event planned on the weekend and it was nice and sunny and warm (with almost no wind in the forecast) so I took all the parts north with me to assemble it all and get it in the water to check a few things over. It needs some tweaks and still needs some artwork and final paint job which will likely happen now over the fall or winter but at least I dipped the cat in the water again.

cat in the water_small.jpg - 144kB

kiteballoon - 9-29-2014 at 02:03 PM

As a cat sailor, I would love to sail one of these. If you bring it to JIBE, I may have to make a fool of myself trying.

Boats belong in the water, and the kitecat looks much happier in the lake than on the roof of your car.

What are you thinking for a paintjob?

ssayre - 9-29-2014 at 06:45 PM

Can't wait to see some video of it in action. Looks like a base coat of silver metallic on it?

soliver - 9-29-2014 at 08:43 PM

VERY cool Mark... Knowing your talent, I'm excited to see how you adorn your cat!!

3shot - 9-30-2014 at 04:42 AM

Looking good my friend!

PHREERIDER - 9-30-2014 at 07:02 AM

man that is nice!