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On a charter boat with a windlass, if the anchor rode is not marked, how do you measure how much has been let out?

One idea I've heard of, and even read on the forums here, is to count the number of seconds. You also need to know how much is let out per second. But this seems like it would be too easy to get it wrong, especially since windlasses often are variable speed depending on how far/hard you press the button...
 

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Warm Weather Sailor
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Take some cable ties with you. Go to a quiet anchorage like behind Sandy Cay in the BVI and get in 10 feet of water where you can see the bottom, let the chain out till it hits the bottom put on a cable tie, if you have to, go ahead a bit to stay over the anchor, let out until the cable tie is on the bottom,put on another tie, repeat until you've got the whole lot measured. Or you could do the same thing on the dock if you're bow in and have a tape measure. I would only put a tie on every twenty feet then.
 

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Anchor Rode

Agree with Crusingdad, normally pull out what I need meauring distance with arm span, which I count as five feet (conservative). Has alway worked out well.
 

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Warm Weather Sailor
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Most of the charter boats now have all chain. It is difficult and sometimes dangerous to try and pull it through the spurling pipe and onto the deck. Not to mention trying to make the chain fast by hand rather than keeping it on the windlass when anchoring. The most common injury on charter boats is from improper anchoring with all chain. Can you imagine 60 feet of chain laying on the deck just waiting to run out!! Keep clear!
 

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Most of the charter boats now have all chain. It is difficult and sometimes dangerous to try and pull it through the spurling pipe and onto the deck. Not to mention trying to make the chain fast by hand rather than keeping it on the windlass when anchoring. The most common injury on charter boats is from improper anchoring with all chain. Can you imagine 60 feet of chain laying on the deck just waiting to run out!! Keep clear!
Vasco has much more experience with the charter boats down there than I do. If he said it would be dangerous, I would go with his judgement. I have no problem saying so - though my first inclination would still be to pull it on deck unless it was impractical as he suggests.

On our boat, it is marked. We marked it by pulling it out on deck. For our line rhode anchor, we often pulled it out on deck until I quit finding other chores and marked it.

Hope that helps.

- CD
 

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Warm Weather Sailor
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On my own boat I run the chain out onto the dock to mark it. I have 200 ft of chain and mark it at 15 feet, 50 feet, and 150 ft. I just put in one cable tie at each mark and also paint the chain white for a couple of feet. The 15 ft mark tells me I'm close to the anchor when weighing also when anchoring (usually in about 10 feet) I put the first mark in the water and then let the boat drift back a bit. Unless it's very crowded I usually put 100 ft in the water. I like to sleep at night. :)
 

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On my own boat I run the chain out onto the dock to mark it. I have 200 ft of chain and mark it at 15 feet, 50 feet, and 150 ft. I just put in one cable tie at each mark and also paint the chain white for a couple of feet. The 15 ft mark tells me I'm close to the anchor when weighing also when anchoring (usually in about 10 feet) I put the first mark in the water and then let the boat drift back a bit. Unless it's very crowded I usually put 100 ft in the water. I like to sleep at night. :)
I actually painted mine with colorcodes. The paint does wear off, so it does require some maintenance, but we found the painting easier to identify especially at night.

We used to tie the zip ties and things, but always seemed to miss them - especially if pulling into an anchorage at night.

Just a different approach.

- CD
 

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Warm Weather Sailor
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Vasco,

How deep of water when you put out 100ft.?
Usually under 10 feet as I mostly anchor in the Bahamas. Sometimes it's only 7 feet deep but if there's room I put out 100 feet. Like I said I like to sleep at night and if you do this you don't have to get up in the middle of the night to let out a bit more if a squall goes through . I've found 100 feet to hold in nearly anything but if I'm on the west side of a cay and a front's coming through I might even put out 120 feet. It might bounce a bit but if you've got lots of swinging room and nobody on top of you it'll hold.
 

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The reason I ask is that I do the same. Many times in 7 ft. myself with just under 100ft. I took a real ass chewing over at CF for that..lolololol. They claimed I was trying to run people off, and keep the anchorage to myself. I explained I like to sleep, or leave the boat for the day, and return at night. With severe squalls passing through I want to wake up in the same spot, or return to the boat sitting in the same spot.:D ;) ........i2f
 

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As a person who is pretty firmly planted in the northeast US, I'm a big envious of all this clear water/Bahamas talk.

The anchor is 15 feet over bricks and gravel right now, at least for another week until we splash. I recon it's a perfect time to get out the tape measure and paint, and start marking out lengths. I might even measure the whole chain, so if we flip the chain the markings will be at similar lengths, even if the colors are different. (Like a palendrome with different color letters.)

Thanks for bringing this thread up again. Anyone have a favorite paint that they use?
 

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Tartan 37
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You can count the links and of course multiply by the length of each link, but you really have to pay attention, beverage of choice can help with accuracy. :)
 

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On a charter boat with a windlass, if the anchor rode is not marked, how do you measure how much has been let out?

One idea I've heard of, and even read on the forums here, is to count the number of seconds. You also need to know how much is let out per second. But this seems like it would be too easy to get it wrong, especially since windlasses often are variable speed depending on how far/hard you press the button...
While it is certainly handy to know your depth and rode length, I would not get too wrapped up in exact measurements.

You can achieve approximately 7:1 scope by paying out enough rode to the point where the angle formed between the horizontal and the rode is less than 10 degrees (8.2 degrees is exactly 7:1). With experience, you can back down on the rode, and when it's taut, eyeball it.

Incidentally, if you think that angle is overkill: A rode payed out to 45 degrees off the horizontal yields a scope of only 1.4:1.
 

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Don Radcliffe
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Paint and zip ties don't last--I tie pieces of parachute cord, one for 50 ft, 2 for 100ft, etc., then a red ribbon 10 ft before the end of the chain.
 

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Paint and zip ties don't last--I tie pieces of parachute cord, one for 50 ft, 2 for 100ft, etc., then a red ribbon 10 ft before the end of the chain.
We use paint because it is easier to spot, especially at night. I have not tried parachute chord per se, but have tried the ribbons and zip ties and was never blown away by any of them. It did just not work well for us... not to say it does not work well for others.

BTW, we don't just paint a single link - we have about a dozen or more colored with each 25.

- CD
 
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