Bosun School

The Sweet, Sweet Smell of Swedish Pine Tar

Today we’re wishing that smell-o-vision was a thing.  As I walked through the gate towards the warehouse, I could smell the most lovely, smoky aroma that could only be one thing – Swedish pine tar.  Pine tar is used liberally in Picton Castle’s rigging maintenance, it coats various parts of the standing rigging and helps protect the rope or wire from drying out in the UV rays of the sun. 

Bosun School students are working on overhauling parts of the yards that have already been sent down (the royal, t’gallant and course yards).  Specifically this afternoon, they were working on repairing and replacing servings on footropes.  The footropes are made of wire rope, which is covered by a serving, which means marline (a natural fibre line) very tightly wrapped around the wire rope, often using a serving mallet which is a tool to help with the tight winding.  There are a couple of layers under the serving (worming and parceling), but the focus this afternoon was on serving.  Once the marline is tightly wrapped around the wire rope, it gets slathered thoroughly in a generous coating of pine tar.  And smells sooooo good.