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Old 09-22-2013
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Install anchor chain markers

Is there a trick or an easier way than pulling out all the chain from the locker and laying that out on the dock? Say you have 300ft of 1/2 inch chain and you want to mark the whole chain. How about pulling the boat so the rollers are over the dock so you can use the windlass? I have never dealt with this much chain.
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Old 09-22-2013
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Re: Install anchor chain markers

Quote:
Originally Posted by saillessinseattle View Post
Is there a trick or an easier way than pulling out all the chain from the locker and laying that out on the dock? Say you have 300ft of 1/2 inch chain and you want to mark the whole chain. How about pulling the boat so the rollers are over the dock so you can use the windlass? I have never dealt with this much chain.
I have done just that on the pontoons of a dock.

I pulled the chain out to 12metre lengths (chart depths are usually in metres), bringing the next length alongside the previous length. It was easier to mark the chain in 3meter marks, so that when dropped, I would have a better idea of how much to let out with relation to the depth.

I marked the chain with dayglo paint at one link as the mark for the first 3metres, two links for the marks for the 2nd 3metres and so on. I only have 40metres of chain, so only marked up to 9 marks. 10metres was one mark, 11 was two.

i.e. if I anchored in a depth of 5 metres, I let out the chain to the 5th mark (15metres), being the minimum chain to depth for good weather. For any blow, I would let out more chain to be sure not to drag.

I was thinking of using cable ties, but worried that any sharp end would result in a cut on the hand.
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Old 09-22-2013
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Re: Install anchor chain markers

I'm in the paint school (my windlass has rejected all other markers). A cardboard box contains the paint over spray.

Sail Delmarva: Marking Chain

However, yes, I would park nose in and use the dock if I had a monohull. When replacing anchor and chain a few years ago that is exactly how I did it.

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Old 09-22-2013
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Re: Install anchor chain markers

I anchor almost every night of the year.

I use colored cable ties three at a time. Sure they need replacing every few months but it is rare for all three to go at once.

Paint does not last if anchored in sand.
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Old 09-22-2013
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Re: Install anchor chain markers

It's is exactly one meter from my windlass to the bow roller so its easy to measure while on the water.

I also use colored cable ties. They are very easy and I have about six or seven every ten meters. They last well and are quick to do
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Old 09-22-2013
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Re: Install anchor chain markers

I use 1/4" colered nylon three strand through the links lengthwise. 12" strands are easy to see, it will go through the windlass fine and lasts a very long time
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Old 09-22-2013
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Re: Install anchor chain markers

As mentioned, paint will have to be renewed routinely if cruising in a place with an abrasive bottom, such as the Bahamas... Colored cable ties are the cheapest and overall best solution, probably...

I'm using these "Chain Rainbow" markers from Osculati, they're pretty slick... Kind of pricey in the States, but down in the Caribbean they're pretty cheap at Budget Marine or Island Water World...


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Re: Install anchor chain markers

Another very effective method that is seldom mentioned but that works in the pitch dark and in the rain. Some will state that markers you can feel are good, but placing naked fingers on the chain between the rollers and the windless is unnecessarily dangerous. I think we've all heard of a few windlass injuries and had a few close calls.

For windlasses that power down, the simplest method of all is to count. If the rate is 8 ft/second and you need 100 feet, about 12 seconds. Very simple, will never get stuck, and will never wear off.
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Last edited by pdqaltair; 09-22-2013 at 05:49 PM.
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Old 09-22-2013
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Re: Install anchor chain markers

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Originally Posted by pdqaltair View Post
For windlasses that power down, the simplest method of all is to count. If the rate is 8 ft/second and you need 100 feet, about 12 seconds. Very simple, will never get stuck, and will never wear off.
Simple, never thought of that.

How do you get the initial rate though?
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Re: Install anchor chain markers

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Originally Posted by vtsailguy View Post
Simple, never thought of that.

How do you get the initial rate though?
Count the time it takes to reach the water from the bow roller.
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