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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I have used little colored plastic chain inserts in the past and am not entirely happy with them - they tend to fall out and are hard to see when they age (or my aging eyes don't see them) or when the light is bad.

I am getting 360 feet of new chain in a couple of days and have spray paint in RED, GREEN and BLUE.

I'm open to suggestions for a color scheme. I used to have markings every 10 feet but that was, I think, overkill. Although I live and breathe metric units, I'm used to feet for altitude and depth and have my depth sounder set to feet; so I don't think I'll change to meters right now and will stick to feet. Is 25 feet a good increment? 50 feet? Which color progression makes sense and should I used different markings for different depths - i.e. one blue stripe of 5 links for one depth, two blue stripes of 5 blue links - 2 uncolored - 5 blue links for another?

I know there is going to be a lot of contention in this thread but I am looking forward to hearing what combinations are in use out there. I could also buy more spray paint (no I.D. needed here and it isn't under lock-and-key like in the USA) in different colors....
 

bell ringer
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I mark mine every 25'. I apply neon yellow colored spray paint and attach standard 6"long plastic colored zip ties. I use 1 tie for every 25', i.e. there are 3 ties at 75'. and at 100' there are 3 of 1 color and 1 of a new color. Then at 125' there is 1 of the that new color. I leave the ends of the ties just sticking out and they go through the windlass just fine. The first tie has the biggest wear, but is easy to replace when needed during pulling the anchor up.
 

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I have used little colored plastic chain inserts in the past and am not entirely happy with them - they tend to fall out and are hard to see when they age (or my aging eyes don't see them) or when the light is bad.

I am getting 360 feet of new chain in a couple of days and have spray paint in RED, GREEN and BLUE.

I'm open to suggestions for a color scheme. I used to have markings every 10 feet but that was, I think, overkill. Although I live and breathe metric units, I'm used to feet for altitude and depth and have my depth sounder set to feet; so I don't think I'll change to meters right now and will stick to feet. Is 25 feet a good increment? 50 feet? Which color progression makes sense and should I used different markings for different depths - i.e. one blue stripe of 5 links for one depth, two blue stripes of 5 blue links - 2 uncolored - 5 blue links for another?

I know there is going to be a lot of contention in this thread but I am looking forward to hearing what combinations are in use out there. I could also buy more spray paint (no I.D. needed here and it isn't under lock-and-key like in the USA here) in different colors....
I carry 200' and typically lay down 100... usually anchor in 20' or less.
I use a system with colored line... 3mm which is about 3-4' long... doubled... the loop pulled through a link leaving 2 bitter ends of 18" - 24". They pass through the windlass and do not snag.

The system is as follows... You can adopt this to longer chain with a 3 line system.

Rectangle Slope Font Plot Parallel

green is for shallow water
yellow is for typical depths
red for deeper anchorages

I use one or two markers... one for very shallow and very deep... and two markers for the mid range. Line markers are pretty easy to spot and hard to miss as I lay the chain down.
 

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I鈥榤 currently marked every ten meters, but used to be every 50ft. I preferred the longer increment. I鈥檇 usually just round up the needed scope, but it certainly wasn鈥檛 hard to estimate a mid-range, if necessary.
 

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With reference to my diagram.. I do not use 25 or even 50' of chain... because I don't/can't anchor in water that shallow!
 

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With reference to my diagram.. I do not use 25 or even 50' of chain... because I don't/can't anchor in water that shallow!
Right, but it鈥檚 still helpful to know when the shorter increments are off the bow, for setting purposes. I usually wait to get my initial set with 2x-ish. Then deploy the rest, attach the snubber and back down on it.
 
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Whatever you decide, I've found there is no purpose in marking the first bit of chain shorter than 50' because that much should always be out in any and all anchoring. We have never had paint last more than 20 or so anchorings. We use zip ties similar to Don L, only at slightly different lengths because our first mark starts at 50'. The trick with zip ties is to connect them (somewhat loosely) around joining links instead of around a single link. This keeps them out of the gypsy and undamaged. Space multiple ties in a group far enough that you can feel them pass by your hand in the dark.

Mark
 

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there plenty of ways, just keep in mind that if you are deck at night with a red light. some colors may show differently.

https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-OPraEcAeig8/WMg9MUp5VEI/AAAAAAAANb8/99LvWO4nytcXBBoQblJvBpcrdajnUgqewCLcB/s640/marking+chain+navy+color+code.jpg

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-utQTrEajc0s/UCDmcepzXMI/AAAAAAAAAPU/8GGdyzCD9LQ/s1600/anchor.jpg

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DcVGCS4UwAAJUdu.jpg

heavy duty zipties are common as well. but i would imagine that they would not last and get broken by the gypsy
Zip ties do work well and the price is right too! I got the idea to use them from Fatty Goodlanders anchoring book. He used a system similar to Dons. If you鈥檙e worried about them breaking off in the gypsy you can put 2 on each chain link, so for example at 75鈥 you鈥檇 have 2 zip ties on each of 3 consecutive links and if a zip tie breaks you still can tell where you are. I mark a link just before my anchor breaks the surface that is useful when anchoring in muddy conditions for washing the anchor, then at 25, 50, 75, 100, 150, 200, 250, and then finally a bunch of them when there鈥檚 about 5鈥 of chain left to go. I鈥檝e found that they rarely break off but if they do I always have more onboard and they鈥檙e easy to replace. Almost as easy to 鈥渞ead鈥 in the dark as in daylight.
 

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Whatever you decide, I've found there is no purpose in marking the first bit of chain shorter than 50' because that much should always be out in any and all anchoring. We have never had paint last more than 20 or so anchorings. We use zip ties similar to Don L, only at slightly different lengths because our first mark starts at 50'.

Mark
Yeah, I always put out more than 50鈥 too but I find the 25鈥 mark useful because I frequently anchor in 20鈥-25鈥 of water and when I see that mark by comparing with the depth I know just when I鈥檓 going to break out the anchor even if the chain isn鈥檛 quite vertical yet. Certainly not necessary but nice to know sometimes. And I like to have a 鈥渉eads up鈥 just before the anchor breaks the surface.
 

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I'm open to suggestions for a color scheme.
WHAAAAAAAAAAAA?

NO! You are not open to a color scheme!

Are you a sailor or a landlubber?!!

This have been done in a certain way for centuries for very, very good reasons. Vikings! Ask the Vikings!

Rub 鈥 Red

Your 鈥 Yellow

Balls 鈥 Blue

With 鈥 White

Grease 鈥 Green



Definitely no Pink, Magenta and Duck Egg Green

I do them at 10 meter intervals.
 

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WHAAAAAAAAAAAA?

NO! You are not open to a color scheme!

Are you a sailor of a landlubber?!!

This have been done in a certain way for centuries for very, very good reasons. Vikings! Ask the Vikings!

Rub 鈥 Red

Your 鈥 Yellow

Balls 鈥 Blue

With 鈥 White

Grease 鈥 Green



Definitely no Pink, Magenta and Duck Egg Green

I do them at 10 meter intervals.
Is your chart plotter set to meters, feet or fathoms?
 

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Pretty easy to put the color decoding chart, under the anchor locker door. When we had a remote, I printed a p-touch label decoder to stick to its side. R50,Y100........
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I have a labelling machine, and plan on putting the decoding instructions on the anchor locker door. Mark's suggestion is an interesting one with an easy mnemonic to remember. I'm getting new chain and have to lay it out and have access to paint so I am not going to use zip ties or my old colored link inserts. Some of the suggestions so far are not intuitive and need printed instructions to decode but the green, green-green, green-yellow, yellow-yellow, yellow-red, red-red one is easy to remember and if I use it at 50 feet intervals then that takes me to 300 feet, and if I don't mark the first 50 and start at 100 then that will cover all my chain (360 feet)! My chartplotter is in feet, and I have a chain remote with counter as well which is quite accurate so the chain color scheme is just my backup if I can't see the exact amount from the comfort of the cockpit and lets me gauge how much is left to pull up when weighing anchor since I do that from up forward.
 

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To be perfectly honest... I forgot to write the White, but its there.
White plastic links get dirty so we cable tie it too.

Yes, I know there's dirt. We're not a Superyacht and we actually use the damn thing!

The 10 meter mark is used for pulling up the anchor. at 10m I know when its going to breakout.

Our minimum drop is 20 meters.

Font Headstone Handwriting Gas Grave
 

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@MarkofSeaLife

One additional question for marking the chain with paint - how many links should be marked?
Lots. When the chain is running out fast, at night, its damn hard to see a 6 inch splatter. I think 1 meter/yard would be good. Its more important than the actual measurement colours because most of us can count to 4 or 5... but you need to see them before you can count them.
 

Old soul
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I used to paint. Got tired of doing it every couple of seasons.

Most recently I've gone to zip ties, marking at increments of 25' and 50'. I use a different colour for each increment, with more ties as we go up. I use multiple ties for each mark because they inevitably come off. I simply stash a bundle of the various colours near the windlass, and when I notice one has come off, I simply replace it on the fly.
 
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