Here at Blackwater Leather we have a thing about doing things in a traditional way. We only use natural vegetable tanned leather for instance. On our own gaff cutter we use old fashioned Tung Oil based varnish, it looks and smells wonderful. For preserving wood we use our own mix of Kiln Burnt Stockholm Tar, Pine Turpentine and Linseed Oil. Another traditional but unbeatable product we use is traditional Tallow.
Our tallow is made by a local high street butcher in limited quantities. Essentially it is rendered sheep belly-fat. Sounds yucky but in fact it is a convenient and useful product that would otherwise be disposed of, possible in incinerators or landfill.
Tallow has lots of uses around the boat, mainly lubricating gaff-saddles, bowsprit traveler rings and helping lanyards pass smoothly through dead eyes. Tallow resists rain and spray and does not go rancid or smelly in use. Some traditional boat owners prefer to use modern silicone based sprays or grease, these work fine but are a real problem come varnishing time! Varnish and other wood treatments simply will not ‘take’ where silicone has been used. Tallow can be removed, and the surface prepared for varnishing/painting simply by washing off with hot water and washing-up liquid. The only downside we have come across is that our labrador licks it off the mast at every opportunity!
We can supply strictly limited quantities of genuine lamb tallow at around £5 per tub plus p&p, each weighing about 250gms, enough, on our boat, for several years use (unless the dog finds it).
Please email us for further information or to place an order.