View Full Version : Leather
David W Pratt
03-06-2009, 10:31 AM
I need some to cover the gaff jaws. Any ideas?
Thanks in advance.
03-06-2009, 10:43 AM
The leather you want, greased and oil tanned latigo red, can be purchased from the Ships Store at The Wooden Boat Foundation in Port Townsend. They have this leather custom tanned for them. As far as I know they are the only supplier, of this much needed marine grade leather, left in the country. The leather should be stretched over the area to be covered and held in place with copper tacks.
Brass escutcheon pins should not be used as they will quickly corrode away.
Are there different kinds of latigo leather?
Tandy Leather also sells latigo, in which way is it different?
03-06-2009, 11:20 AM
Yes, there are different kinds of latigo red. The stuff sold by Tandy is not oil tanned. Nor is it greased. Therefore it is not suitable for marine use as it will soon dry out and crack due to salt water absorbtion and drying.
03-06-2009, 11:44 AM
What Jay said, but, actually, I've had satisfactory results with ordinary latigo. I get it from a local wholesale leather outfit. They subcontract cut leather for various producers and have a gold mine of a dumpster. I went in to ask if they had any latigo. The guy said, "If you know what it's called, I guess you know what it looks like. Take what you want out of the dumpster out back." I collected a "farmer's bundle" of latigo that has met my needs for several years now. I took standard latigo and then I oil it myself. I have to reapply oil periodically because it does weather, but it looks fine so far after several years.
03-06-2009, 12:13 PM
What kind of oil and grease would be used? And how about traditionally?
03-06-2009, 12:37 PM
The trick is to obtain the correct leather to begin with. I use tallow on oar leathers if more grease is needed. Neets foot oil will also soften hard leather.
03-06-2009, 01:36 PM
lots of choice - full and half skins....
03-06-2009, 01:51 PM
lots of choice - full and half skins....
Ooops. Missing an "L". Try this:
ADDED: I'm not seeing any "marine grade leather" though. Am I missing it somewhere?
03-06-2009, 02:15 PM
Sorry about the typo-
Here is my gaff jaw... used their leather and have not had any problems.
03-06-2009, 02:56 PM
I leathered the gaff jaws on my Herreshoff 12 years ago because I did not like the jaws chewing on the mast. The boats originally had a copper tube tacked to the mast to prevent chafe (and to invite rot). The leather squeeked so much that it drove me and everyone else aboard nuts. I resorted to tallow...it worked for a while but not before smearing the mast and getting the sail ....greasy. In despiration, I put a fiberglass ring on the mast and that worked pretty well.
03-06-2009, 03:24 PM
How large is the vessel, should determine what weight leather to use. Tried to get to the photo URL but had no luck. Good leather from the Bruttons shop will hold up just fine,maintenance of course is the key,again neats foot or tallow,as long as it is real tallow,should soak in well and work as long as you apply more than once a season.
I have a 32' Gaffer in Boothbay with store bought leather that wears well and with regular maint. doesn't squeal.
I render my own tallow from either deer or sheep. It doesn't get all over or grease up the mast. There is another thread just recently and a Scottish tall ship rigger had some excellent insight. I'll see if I can find it and post the info.
03-06-2009, 04:46 PM
You can also recycle fender material into jaw chafing gear, so if you have a popped fender and have trouble sourcing the leather, that'll work in the meantime. When SALT's boats go offshore, they pop it on over top of the the leather to save wear. The leather does look a lot better though.
03-06-2009, 06:25 PM
I know the traditional grease is tallow, or better yet, lanolin. Still, I have to confess that I've cheated and gotten away with it. Once upon a time, being without the "good stuff" and wanting to put SOMETHING on my gallows leathers until I could get some neats foot oil or whatever, I grabbed a jug of "Sea Lube" that I had around. http://www.wilcoxcrittenden.com/sanitation/accessories/Sea-Lube.asp?bid= This stuff is for pumping down your head to grease the pump leathers, which are probably latigo, so I figured "can't hurt." Well, it did a fantastic job on the gallows leather and I've stuck with it ever since. So, if you have some laying around, give it a try.
Did you see my reference below on your other post, David?
03-06-2009, 06:56 PM
You should try Ally's Tack Shop, Quaker Lane, N.Kingstown, across from Ally's Donuts!! teehee! If you ask to see the Saddle Maker upstairs, and be courteous he will give you and/or sell you exactly what you need, plus they have all the dressings too, like tallow, oil, and other garnishments for your boat.
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