Leather is commonly used for chafe protection for sails & mooring lines, turnbuckle and spreader boots, oar leathers, boom gallows padding, tiller wraps, wheel wraps, grab bars on bimini tops & dodgers, companionway ladders and more. Choose from the classic Sailmaker's Leather (soft, sueded finish), or any of our traditional Oil-tanned leathers, which are heavily waxed to withstand exposure to salt and sun.
QUESTION: Is it true that I should soak the leather in water a while so that when I stitch it closed and it dries it wraps around the SS tubing tighter? Do I need to install any backing like they do when they install leather on the wheels?
Here at the shop we prefer to work it dry, but we do cut it slightly ‘short’ on the edges so that we are firmly tensioning and stretching the leather into place as we stitch. It is the same effect, except we find that that when a piece of leather is soaking wet, it does not handle as well or stitch as neatly and professionally. Also, working with a dry piece facilitates a cleaner, more consistent “butted edge” with fewer scallops and irregularities in the finished product.
Regarding the use of foam backers (or not), wheel wraps and straight runs are handled differently from each other. The continuous, circular shape of a wheel lends itself well to padding, and the cutouts at the wheel spokes help prevent slippage. Whereas for straight grips & covers on stainless tubing, which is slippery, we recommend waterproof friction tape on the tubing to prevent the leather from shifting, sliding or twisting after it has been installed. Wrap it in a spiral, leaving it a bit short of the ends. Friction tape is made of cloth, impregnated with rubber… generally available in the electrical department of a good hardware store.
Hope that helps… please do keep us posted and let me know if you have other questions. And again, thank you; we appreciate your inquiry and will be right here if there’s anything else we can do.
M&B SHIPCANVAS CO.
3512 E Silver Springs Blvd #85
Ocala, Florida 34470 USA
Toll Free 1-800-758-6979