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Oar Leather Kits

Blackburn (vegetable tanned) - $65  
Merrimac (chrome tanned) - $60  
Islander (chrome tanned) - $40* 


Blackburn Oar Leather Kit

Blackburn Kit: with Pete Culler-style "Old School Long Oar Leathers" this kit is an ideal choice for oars rowed off standard oarlocks and oars rowed off thole pins. Top grain vegetable tanned** 5 - 6 oz. beef hide Vegetable or oak-tanned leather was the original material preferred for leathering oars. Marine tallow was a "given" as the medium for seasoning and maintaining the leathers. The combination was superior then and it's superior now!

Merrimac Kit: Same contents as Premium Kit except includes top grain chrome tanned 6 - 7 oz. beef hide. Perfectly adequate, just lacks the "extra edge" the vegetable tanning process provides.

Islander Kit: intended primarily for shorter dinghy/small workboat oars. Does not include Oarsman tallow & Topcoat Packet. Does include top grain chrome tanned 6 - 7 oz. beef hide pre-punched on one side.

Kits include:

  • two leathers
    • Blackburn & Merrimac are 7" x 14"
    • Islander leathers are 6-1/2" x 9"
  • thread
  • needles
  • thonging punch
  • complete instructions
  • straps for buttons
  • Oarsman Marine Tallow & Topcoat Basic Packet (not included in Islander Kit)


Islander Oar Leathers installed on a pair
of Shaw & Tenney 7' flat blade oars.

* Note: Islander kit does not include Oarsman Marine Tallow & Topcoat Basic Packet

**Yes, we know, this kit "costs more" than other oar leather kits--that's because you're getting more for your money. Properly installed and seasoned vegetable-tanned leather has about double the life span of chrome tanned leather and latigo. Rather than "wearing" with usage (as is the case for chrome tanned and latigo-type leather), oak and vegetable-tanned leather "burnishes" with use. This reduces friction between the leather and the oarlock. Lubricate the oarlock sockets with tallow, and you will experience a smoother sustained stroke pace with less effort--plus you will triple the life of your expensive bronze hardware. For the serious oarsman.