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Circoflex Plan

Materials list:
3 yards of 41" ¾ ounce ripstop nylon. (1/2 yard per panel)
Five 48-inch pieces of 1/8" pultruded Fiberglass rod. (or 1/8" carbon rod)
Five 1/8" i.d. ferrules.
71 feet of 50 pound dacron line.
30 pennies. Nylon scraps to make penny weights.

Why a 20 foot Circoflex? It makes the best use of the cheapest (by the yard) fabric. It can be framed with either 6 pieces of 40" carbon, or 5 pieces of 48" fiberglass. Can be made from a single piece of 54 inch fabric, 6'9" long, cut into 3 pieces 18" wide.

Sewing: Match up the ends of two panels, good sides together. Sew using a straight stitch ½” in from the edge. Fold down flap and top stitch it. Fold all seams in the same direction. Sew all 6 panels together, making one long panel 18" wide and 20 feet, 1 inch long. On the good (finished) side, draw lines for the sleeves 1" in from both edges and the entire length of the panel. Crease along these lines. After the lines are marked and creased, sew the ends of the panel together, the same as all the others. Open out the folded sleeves, do not sew them closed. After the ends are joined, fold on the line, and sew the sleeves closed. The front sleeve for the sticks should have a 2” part left un-sewn at 6 o’clock. The rear sleeve for the tension line is sewn all the way around, completely closed.

Fold the sail to find the 12 & 6 o'clock points. For the kite in the picture, the top, black panel was folded so its ends matched and pinched on the fold to mark the 12 o'clock point. The sail was then stretched out to find the exact opposite point of the sail for the 6 o'clock point. Measure to find the bridle points in between, Punch or burn a hole in the sleeve 3/8” back from the edge at every "hour" on the kite. Cut one slit in the rear sleeve at 6 o'clock.

Sticks: Glue a ferrule halfway on each stick (push the stick into the ferrule so that the ferrule is half on, half off) and put aside to dry while you make the weights.

Weights: The Circoflex needs weights in the bottom to help it know up from down. Over the years people have found that the best and cheapest weights are pennies sewn in to nylon sleeves.Start with a piece of nylon material 6" by 4". Fold it in half length-wise so it becomes 2" x 6." Sew a line ½” in from the fold. Starting ½” in from one end, sew 6 straight lines, 7/8” apart. The goal is to sew 5 sleeves for 5 pennies. Insert the pennies, and sew a line as close to them as possible. DO NOT BREAK THE NEEDLE TRYING TO SEW OVER THE PENNIES. Trim to ½” all around. Make 6 weights, each with 5 pennies. Sew the penny weights evenly spaced between 5 & 7 o'clock, about 2" towards the back of the kite from the leading edge sleeve. (Hint: 6 weights = 5 spaces = 8 inches on center, for a 20 foot sail.)

Bridle: Install the frame in the leading edge of the kite. Start with the 12 o’clock bridle. Pass an end thru the hole in the sail, pinch at the mark in the line, tie in an Overhand Loop. Then tie an Overhand Loop in the other end. Do the same thing all the way around the kite.

Bridle Table

Finished length


12 o’clock



1 & 11 o’clock



2 & 10 o’clock



3 & 9 o’clock



4 & 8 o’clock



5 & 7 o’clock



6 o’clock






Rear tension



Take the Secondary Bridle, which is a string 16" long and marked 5" in from each end. Thread one end thru the 6 o'clock, then the 5 & 7 o'clock, then the 4 & 8 o'clock bridle legs. Adjust so the mark on the Secondary Bridle is just showing away from the loops, and tie closed with several half hitches.

Take the other end of the Secondary Bridle and thread it thru first the 12 o'clock bridle leg, then the 1 & 11 o'clock, then the 2 & 10 o'clock, then the 3 & 9 o'clock. Adjust so the mark on the Secondary Bridle is just showing away from the loops, and tie closed with several half hitches.

Last bridle thing: Make a knotted loop by taking 12" of string and tying it closed with an Overhand Knot. Lark's Head (actually, a Prussik Knot is better to use if you know how to tie it) it to the Secondary Bridle. I fly mine close to the bottom.

Identify the rear tension line. On one of the marks, pinch the mark and tie an Overhand Loop. Lark’s Head the Loop to a dowel fid and thread it thru the rear sleeve. Pull out the loose end, thread it thru the loop, pull to mark, and tie off. Pull all excess back into sleeve.

Note: The relationship of bridle to kite is linear. These values are scalable. For a kite twice the size, double these values. This factor should be applied to the bridle, the circumference, the depth, the amount of weight, and the thickness of the leading edge spar.

Note: The Bridle Table does not allow for Lark's Heads around the leading edge spar. If Lark's Head knots are to be used, add 3/4" to the Finished Length dimensions. No change in bridle length needs to be made if using the 'extra' sleeve and tabs.

Gary Engvall (401) 942-3606

E-mail: gengvall@cox.net