View Full Version : Mertailor torn fluke

Kaila Mermaid
01-23-2015, 12:39 PM
Hello everyone. I have one of Eric's partial silicone/neoprin tails in russet red. After about 8 months of delicate use, my fluke tore and now the yellow inner bits are exposed. In not even sure how this happened, since it's in a spot that doesn't even really make contact with anything and appears more to have torn itself from the inside out. Can I repair this with silicone caulking? Should I (dare I attempt) email him with my concerns? Can I even paint over this? I'll post pictures of the damage later. If I hadn't been desperate for a performance level tail at the time, I don't think I would have gone with Mertailor in the first place. Might have to use a good portion of my tax return towards a higher quality tail by a different tail maker. *le sigh*

01-23-2015, 02:11 PM
You can try emailing him but he'll charge you for repairs and was super nasty to me because the fluke of my tail was slightly misshapen due to him not properly turning out the seam for the middle scallop before sealing the fluke. -____-

Honestly I'd try pushing the monofin back in and/or sanding any pointy edges sticking out, and then seal it with caulking/repaint with silicone as needed.

Mermaid Wesley
01-23-2015, 03:10 PM
Agreed. Perhaps you want to stitch it together too.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

01-23-2015, 04:10 PM
I've come across this problem before. My solution: You cant even tell there was ever any damage and its stronger than before! get a small piece of power mesh (I cut mine out of a pair of old swim trunks) get a sample sized thing of dragon skin (regular caulking wont form a true bond; it has to be the same silicone!) and sandwich the mesh between the two sides of the fluke where the tear is. gob some silicone all up in there, close the tear so that it forces the extra silicone out, put something there to KEEP it closed, and wipe the excess off (make sure to keep a thin layer of silicone on top of the cut while you're wiping it off though, it'll keep it all nice and sealed). Works like a charm!

01-23-2015, 04:23 PM
Before sealing anything to anything else, wash it first with a little Dawn (the blue one) and water, rinse well and let it dry. Then wipe it all down with rubbing alcohol and let it dry. (I prefer 91% isopropyl alcohol, it dries faster.)

Then the surface of the silicone will be cleaned and ready to accept more silicone and make for excellent adhesion. Then follow MermaidMechanic's instructions!

01-23-2015, 04:26 PM
Gah! I forgot to mention the cleaning part. XD Thanks for catching that Pearly. (Also, I've never used alcohol to clean silicone before. Thats an awesome idea!)

01-23-2015, 04:31 PM
Smooth-On told me that one!

Kaila Mermaid
01-23-2015, 05:30 PM
Sweet!!! Thank you all for the tips ^_^ where do I find the proper paint?

01-23-2015, 05:35 PM
can you post photos of it?

Mermaid Wesley
01-23-2015, 06:59 PM
Silicone is clear, and doesn't accept paint. You may have to just leave it clear unless you can find a pigment in the right color.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Prairie Mermaid Jamie
01-23-2015, 08:55 PM
:hug:Try Pearl ex. They make the colors that match my pink mertailor pretty well. You can mix it into the silicone and use the above mentioned method. Mine is a pink and purple silicone "neoprene" about the same age as yours.

I feel your pain. Mine is that way but I opened it before it went all the way though. He didnt sand the ridges when he cut my monofin and they were sharp corners sawing it from the inside out. I would hazzard a guess as that being your issue as well. The fabric he uses is somewhat hollow in the middle and easy to cut and sew, so easy to stretch and tear.

It happened to the front and back half of my fluke. Sand the edge as much as you can and check the other ridges on both sides. Eric told me to add more silicone to the ridge area, it may help beef up the other areas if need be.

best of luck!!!!!!

Kaila Mermaid
01-25-2015, 01:07 PM
26911this is the main offender, but there are three more spots like this.

Prairie Mermaid Jamie
01-25-2015, 03:30 PM
Mermaidmechanics method will definantly work for that.
You can try contacting eric, you may have better luck with him then I did. His idea of beefing up the outside is only a bandaid.

heres my thread on my monofin, it may give you an idea of what your working with since our tails are the same age. I opened my fluke tho and im glad I did but that method may not be for everybody. My husband is pretty sure the silicone inside the tail is caulking and not dragonskin because it stinks really bad even after 8 months and quite a few baths now. He works construction and uses the stuff quite often, I trust his judgement over erics anyday.

eric will not deal with the tail if you do open it. And he can be a jerk because he considers it destroying his work. (Its not, its fixing his mistake but whatever).

its the only way I can see fixing them all without having them tear through the front first. Im planning my rebuild for the next two days and will post here as I do.

I hate to say it but try eric first. You might get somewhere because yours is actually torn outside too.

01-25-2015, 04:29 PM
U can fix that with the silicone caulking that smooth on sells. Mix it with either pearl ex pigment or an eye shadow that matches it and apply it. Good luck.

Kaila Mermaid
01-27-2015, 12:08 AM
Thank you everyone!! ^_^

02-24-2015, 06:33 PM
I know this post was last month, but is this the two piece partial silicone tail? That's the one I have and I reinforced the middle of the fluke with sugru (this clay-like material that hardens into a silicone, but you can mix the colors to make it match nicely) to keep it from ripping since I read that some people's flukes started to rip a little bit with lots of use. So far, so good!

Kaila Mermaid
02-24-2015, 07:42 PM
No, this is the one piece partial. Did you have to cut open your fluke to do so?

02-24-2015, 10:31 PM
My fluke is solid silicone so there isn't a plastic/fiberglass monofin inside of it. I just patched over the middle part between the two fluke fins on the surface to guard against any potential ripping from the pull of the tail. My tail is attached with a band that hooks around the middle of the fluke, if that makes sense. The sugru is holding up great after a number of swims in the pool, so I know that it will adhere nicely to silicone. You might be able to do a surface patch with it, though I'm not sure how easily it will blend. I got the tip from the Dive Bar mermaids out in Sacramento, CA. Good luck!

02-25-2015, 02:23 AM
I just saw this thread and started from the top and once I read the first post I was wondering how long it would take for Prairie Mermaid Jamie to respond as I know what happened with her tail.

02-25-2015, 06:11 AM
Just a quick note, you can make your own Sugru using silicone caulk and cornstarch. :)

Dancing Fish
03-03-2015, 04:35 PM
Just a quick note, you can make your own Sugru using silicone caulk and cornstarch. :)

No kidding? Wow, I'll have to try that. I was enchanted by their website and thought about placing an order!

03-03-2015, 04:44 PM
I think there's an in-depth version on instructables.com

Prairie Mermaid Jamie
03-03-2015, 06:58 PM
I just saw this thread and started from the top and once I read the first post I was wondering how long it would take for Prairie Mermaid Jamie to respond as I know what happened with her tail.

Yeah you seen the epic fail that are his neoprin tails. I posted my repair method in my thread.

The only way to truly fix it is to sand the ridges and beef it up from the inside out. Everything else is just a bandaid. Its like having tiny razors attached to the monofin ridges.