Setting up a Leather Camp
This is one of the most needed and useful setups in the game, although a little complicated to start up, it does provide a nice amount of doubloons for you if you build up a steady chain.
You can have a total of 10 lots in this game to erect structures (buildings) on, and you can have an unlimited amount of Warehouses. If you do the economy tutorial, you get the first one for free, the ones afterwards however are not. A second Warehouse will cost you 3200 dubloons, the third one 16200 and so on (i.e. (([Number of warehouses you own] + 1)^4) * 200). Place your Warehouses wisely.
If you do the economy tutorial and finish that mission arc, you can get the deeds for a Woodcutter's Camp, Gravel Pit and Draughtsman's Office. It will also give you a few resources to play around with.
To start this production line you will need a few resources to build the structures. Chances are you will need to either attack trade ships or hope someone has some Livestock to sell you, as you will need 10 Livestock to start off your first Pasture. As you will be building two Pastures, if you can obtain 20 Livestock, this will allow you to build the second one straight away, otherwise you will need to wait 10 hours for your first Pasture to make the 10 Livestock needed to build your second. You will also need 20 Granite, 3 Ingot, Iron, 29 Gravel and 60 Common Wood, but these last two you can make with your economy tutorial structures.
To begin with, build your draughtsman, create 2 Pasture deeds, one Slaughterhouse deed and at least 3 Tanner deeds. After you're done with that, demolish all your structures from the tutorial, including the Warehouse - unless of course the warehouse happens to be in the port you want to make leather or you want keep a warehouse in that port. I recommend you make at least 100 Common Wood and 100 Gravel before you demolish your tutorial structures, saves you buying them later. You can also seed a few structure deeds into the market from your Draughtsman's Office - take a look at past auction house sales to see which deeds might sell and what would be a good selling price.
Next - choose the port that fits your needs best. You can see which resources a port has by opening the map and moving the mouse over the port you want to view. A tool tip will appear listing more information on that port. Fortunately, for this production line you will only need Fertile Soil for the Pasture; the other structures don't have any resource requirements. It is best if you pick a port near where leather is likely to be needed. Leather has two principle uses: making hull patches and making rigging. Hull patches can be made in any port with oak. Rigging is by far a bigger user of leather and will mostly be made in shipyard ports, in other words those with a Natural Harbor or a Deep Natural Harbor. It is important that the port you choose is owned by your nation as it will save you paying exorbitant foreign taxes, but it does not matter whether it near any of your playing areas as you can simply keep a ship in dry dock there and transfer to that ship when you want to run some recipes. Apart from maybe transporting your building materials, leather does not require any hauling in its manufacture. For this example, as a Pirate I picked Matthew Town. I chose this mainly due to its central location, and the fact it has one of the most used Pirate Auction Houses.
After gathering 20 Granite, 29 Gravel, 3 Ingot, Iron, 10 or 20 Livestock and 60 Common Wood, create your first structure by going to the port you selected as your base of operation. Open the economy screen, build a Warehouse and then your first Pasture. If you had 20 Livestock to start with, you can build all the other structures straight away, otherwise, you should wait for 10 hours' labour to build in your first Pasture when you can run the recipe Breed Cattle five times. Thereafter, build a second Pasture, a Slaughterhouse and three Tanners.
After you have these, you will be able to start producing Leather. Every 2 hours you can run the recipe Breed Cattle in your Pastures. The recipe Butcher Beef in your slaughterhouse will exactly keep up with the two pastures and will produce very slghtly more Crates of Hides than your three Tanners can use. Of course, you don't have to run the recipes every two hours. You can actually let them all build up for 3 days and run the recipes one after the other in all six structures. Be warned though, this will dent your wallet!
Leather making uses 6 structure lots, leaving you 4 for other things. I recommend you just make leather to start with, giving yourself some time to decide what to build next and to let you funds replenish from sales. Structures that go well with Leather are a Logging Camp (Oak) and a Lumber Mill as with these you can make hull patches and the Oak Blocks which are also needed for Rigging. You cannot quite make the rigging all by yourself as, although you can use the remaining lots to build a Plantation (General) and Textile Mill, you will need Wood Tar for the Hemp Rope
There is not much use for the Beef you make as a by-product. The best way to get rid of it is either to give it to a colleague that makes Ship Provisioning or sell it for 2 doubloons each to the Junk Merchant.