Traditional Seabags & Ditty Bags
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Materials

"Each bag is constructed with the finest and most seaworthy materials, including real duck canvas, oil-tanned leather and genuine New England Rope..."

 

WE"RE ON A MISSION to build the finest seabags in the world. A bag you can be proud to carry... A bag that will earn its own keep, and faithfully accompany you throughout all the travels and adventures of your life.

In other words, our mission is help you succeed in your mission, which makes us your partner so to speak. Much like a custom boatbuilder, we want you to have as much information as you would like regarding how your bag will be built... precisely what materials will be used in its construction... and why these materials have been selected.

You will probably also discover that as you carry your seabag around the world, it will generate lots of interest and admiration from fellow travelers. It is our wish that the attention you receive will lead to many great new friendships and opportunities, everywhere you go.

Fair Winds and Following Seas!

Ed Morris ("M")
Steve Barth ("B")
M&B SHIPCANVAS CO.

 

Real Duck Canvas... "the original sailcloth!"

Duck canvas is the original canvas, made from the tightly woven fibers of spun cotton. In the old days, this rugged material was used for almost everything aboard the ship including sails, cargo covers, sun shades, hammocks, slings, water buckets, pipe berths, and even foul weather gear.

With modern advancements beginning around the 1940's, various types of synthetic materials became available to the mariner... most notably Dacron for sails, and blended acrylics for lightweight covers and awnings (i.e. Sunbrella, Acrylan, etc.). By the 1960's, these petroleum-based alternatives had all but replaced the use of duck canvas aboard recreational craft, mainly due to their weight savings.

However this was never true for the commercial shipping and fishing industries, or even aboard military vessels, where heavyweight duck canvas is still the preferred material for heavy-duty applications. That's because real duck canvas offers a unique combination of certain properties that are still unmatched by the best synthetics - even to this day -

Real Duck Canvas Is:

  • Breathable when dry. Prevents condensation and moisture buildup. No "greenhouse" effect. No coatings or laminates to peel or wear off.
  • Naturally waterproof as it becomes wet, as the soaked fibers swell to form a 100% watertight seal, just like a canvas water bucket.
  • Extremely rugged. Abrasion resistant; doesn't scratch or tear easily. Firmer and stronger than acrylics, but never "crackly" or stiff like modern sailcloth.
  • Natural, non-toxic composition, not "sticky" in hot weather... doesn't irritate skin or emit gasses when exposed to tropical UV light or heat.
  • Virtually maintenance free. Accepts but doesn't require chemical treatments like silicone or scotchguard
  • Can be waxed, if the 'antique' look is desired

M&B SHIPCANVAS stocks only the best quality Duck Canvas, which is sometimes known as Double-Filled (a.k.a. "Plied Yarn" Duck). It has a tighter weave construction with a smoother texture than single fill cotton ducks.

 

Update 3/2017: We've recently added many new colors of 18 oz. Duck canvas to our stock, which can be substituted on any Rum Runner, Windjammer or Elite Seabag. These new colors are not displayed on our website yet but we've got Pacific Blue, Forest Green, Black, Red, Brown, International Orange, Canary Yellow, and even Confederate Gray. So if you'd like to match colors with your boat canvas, chances are we can help. Don't be shy... Drop us a line!

 

Leather Hides: We stock several types of leather, which are carefully selected according to what's best for the item and the application:

  • Our Oil-tanned, American cowhides are thick and durable, with a medium-soft temper. Their smooth finish is minimally processed, showing some natural variations of the cow. These hides offer slight 'pull-up' characteristics which means the surface lightens up when creased and darkens again when rubbed. Our standard color is "British Tan" which is a deep caramel with golden hues that closely resemble teak lumber used in traditional yacht and shipbuilding. It makes beautiful bags and accessories.

  • Our Latigo leather hides come from the famous Horween Leather Co. in Chicago, Illinois; one of America's oldest tanners. This is a vegetable-tanned, firm-temper leather when we receive it, but then we re-tan it to our own specifications, right here at the M&B shop. The result is a slightly denser body yielding a high tensile strength, soft handling and rich, golden-tan hues.

  • We also stock some of the world's finest Sailmaker's Leather from the Napa Valley, CA... beautiful, clean hides in classic Pearl Gray for chafe patches on sails, spreader boots, turnbuckle boots, wheel and tiller wraps, etc.

 

Threads: All M&B SHIPCANVAS bags are constructed with waxed polyester sailmakers thread, size 138 (Mil Spec FF). This thread is much stronger than its nylon counterpart, and doesn't break down under exposure to harsh (UV) sunlight. All zig-zag stitches are hand tied, never backstitched, which means no unnecessary holes or weakening of the materials.

 

Spur Grommets: We use marine grade, rolled-rim type "spur" grommets which are common to sailmaking. The inner ferrules are extra thick with smooth, round radii to prevent damage to the canvas. The outer bezels have 'teeth' to prevent slippage. They are constructed of rust-proof, non-magnetic solid brass, available with or without bright nickel plating.

 

Copper Sliders: Our bag lanyards (ropes) are fitted with a copper slider, which can be used to keep the bag securely closed in every position (even upside down). Nobody "makes" sliders like this, especially in such a large size. So we make them ourselves, right here in the shop, and we custom fit them to each lanyard. They are 100% pure solid copper; which is rustproof and non-magnetic.

 

Ropes: We carry several types of rope, which are normally selected depending on what's best for the item and the application. However by special request, any rope can be substituted on any of our bags. There's no charge - just send us a note with your order.

  • Vintage New England Rope is a premium, 3-strand yacht rigging rope with a traditional hemp color. It has a 2000# average tensile strength, yet it's very soft to the touch. Because of it's consistency, this rope interacts well with our copper sliders and runs through grommets smoothly. It is standard on most of our bags.

  • Natural Hemp: Our hemp rope is 100% pure, manufactured by Langman Ropes in Holland (est. 1638). Genuine hemp rope is very soft - not scratchy like sisal rope or manilla. Hemp has a fuzzy texture that tends to shed fibers during the 'break-in' phase when new, but it is the oldest and most traditional type of rope available.

  • M&B SHIPCANVAS is also an authorized New England Ropes dealer, stocking a selection of New England spun dacron, premium nylon and other 3-strand ropes, which are generally used for our Heaving Lines and other rigging projects.

Shackles & Hardware: All snap shackles, anchor (bow) shackles, split rings, pull tabs and hardware are Marine Grade #316 Stainless Steel, which is non-magnetic. So they won't affect the ship's compass if used near the helm.

 Quality & Satisfaction Guaranteed.

M&B SHIPCANVAS CO.
3512 E Silver Springs Blvd. #85
Ocala, FL 34470 USA
+1 (352) 289-3026
toll free +1 (800) 758-6979
editor@shipcanvas.com
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