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post #1 of 16 Old 11-02-2007 Thread Starter
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Marking Anchor Chain

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Last edited by RickBowman; 01-03-2008 at 07:44 AM.
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post #2 of 16 Old 11-02-2007
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On the ships the anchor chain comes in 15 fathom shots. the first detachable link between the first and second shot is painted red with the 1st neighboring links white. The color coding for those detachable links are Red, White, Blue. the neighboring links are white according to the number of shots that are out.
Now on a smaller vessel you could do something similar at the convenient lengths that you want to mark. Like every 10 or 20 yards or meters. Using paint and nylon ties. Being sure to write down the coding that you are using.
Plus there are numbered plastic flags you can insert into your anchor rode to market the length out also. It is whatever you care to do or use.
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post #3 of 16 Old 11-02-2007
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We find nylon parachute cord lasts longer than paint or wire ties. We use one cord at 50 ft, 2 at 100, etc.
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post #4 of 16 Old 11-02-2007
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The problem with using cable ties is that the chain gypsy will eat them. I'd second using parachute cord or some other fairly thin, tough line to mark the chain.

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post #5 of 16 Old 11-02-2007
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We have thses plastic inserts you put in the chain with different colours..can't find the link, but its nice

Here found one link and detail here

Last edited by Giulietta; 11-02-2007 at 01:34 PM.
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post #6 of 16 Old 11-02-2007
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I lay out 10 feet of chain on the dock....then I do the same 10 ft. length with the rest of the rode on the dock. Then I spray paint both ends of this with Krylon paint which gives me a mark every 10 feet. You have to roll the chan around a bit for good coverage. I then also paint in different colors every 60 feet (10 fathoms). Most often I anchor in 10 feet of water and 60 feet gives me 6:1 rode...20 fathoms is 6:1 for 20 feet deep, 30 fathoms is 6:1 for 30 ft. deep etc.

I find the paint needs refreshing every 18-24 months on the "shallow" marks and no worries about the windlass. No matter what...it is easy to stand on deck and wait for the "BLUE" to appear and I know I have 60 feet down. I can add in 10 ft increments pretty easily from there.

PS...lay something on the dock before you lay down the chain and spray paint...dockmasters don't like it too much otherwise!! (g)
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post #7 of 16 Old 11-02-2007
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I use the little plastic colored inserts and they hold up well. They are small and sometimes can be overlooked while quickly paying out chain so I've used 2 next to each other and that works well.


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post #8 of 16 Old 11-02-2007
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You don't really need to mark your chain every ten feet. I paint mine at the 50 foot and 100 foot mark and 150 foot mark. I have 200 ft of chain and 150 ft of nylon on my primary anchor. Paint about a two foot length of the chain. Invariably I put out about 100 feet except in very crowded spots. I always try to anchor in 10 - 15 ft if at all possible.

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post #9 of 16 Old 11-02-2007
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After many years of painting and frequent repainting (as we spend most of our nights at anchor when away) marks I changed to the plastic Oscaluti markers that Giulietta provided the link to. Was a bit sceptical at first but were recommended to me by another using them - so far no regrets and would do the same again, but are a bit hard to see if the chain goes out too fast. Also epoxied them into the links rather than just rely on the push fit but that probably an overkill.

There is no way that cable ties or other similar will work on our vertical windlass cos apart from anything else they won't go reliably down the tight fitting chain pipe common on those without causing a jamb up. Might be something to watch for.

Regarding paint - I paint the last couple of meters of the chain white with epoxy primer so I can see that the anchor is about to appear at the roller. That seems to wear very well and is something I always have on hand.

Last edited by MidLandOne; 11-02-2007 at 07:49 PM.
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post #10 of 16 Old 11-02-2007
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I find the repainting fairly easy. The only mark I usually have to repaint is the fifty foot one. When anchoring if it needs repainting I keep the 50 ft mark just forward of the windlass and spray paint it with a can I have handy. I just put a rag under it so it doesn't get on the deck. Let it dry for a couple of minutes and then continue anchoring.

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