SailNet Community banner
21 - 40 of 52 Posts

bell ringer
Joined
5,423 Posts
Night and fast drops are why I still use yellow paint besides just the zip ties. The painted setions are around 3' and can see that go by normally with a flashlight.

Normally really works except a chain counter and I have considered installing one. But the "problem" has never seemed worth the cost.
 

Registered
Joined
24,508 Posts
I have a chain remote with counter as well which is quite accurate
That鈥檚 magical. I鈥檝e never seen an accurate chain counter. You鈥檙e golden.

One additional question for marking the chain with paint - how many links should be marked?
Not how many links, how many feet. I say 2-3.

If only it was expected we all kept our chain as pristine as teak side decks, you鈥檇 never be able to get the paint off.
 

Registered
Joined
2,166 Posts
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.

View attachment 140449
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 is pretty easy to spot and hard to miss.

As I lay the chain down
I'm gonna steal your graphics.

You have a real knack for drawing very clear and very useful diagrams. And I suppose, in addition to talent a lot of thinking and effort went into them.
 

Registered
Joined
6,617 Posts
I'm gonna steal your graphics.

You have a real knack for drawing very clear and very useful diagrams. And I suppose, in addition to talent a lot of thinking and effort went into them.
Thank you... You and anyone else is welcome to print and use anything I post on SN. We all want those anchored near by to be properly anchored.
 

Registered
Joined
2,709 Posts
Discussion Starter · #25 ·
That鈥檚 magical. I鈥檝e never seen an accurate chain counter. You鈥檙e golden...
Originally it was very bad, but the "Quick" type counter allows for calibration over arbitrary distances so I did a calibration on 100 feet way back when and it has remained correct to this day - unless clogged by iron filings as it was this last season with my rusty chain :) But chain doesn't need to be too accurate as I always let out an extra couple of feet (or more) as the "Angel's Portion" since chain in the locker isn't doing anyone any good. The worry is always that one lets out too little chain for the wind/holding/depth/tide conditions.
 

bell ringer
Joined
5,423 Posts
or that one lets out more chain just to find the boats around you are short scope during the wind shift
 

Dirt Free
Joined
2,933 Posts
For almost 30yrs we've been marking our chain by weaving in about 18" of yellow poly every 20'.
We've never lost a piece and replace it every 5 or 6 years just because we like the brighter yellow. We've never had an issue with it in our windlass either.

Wood Twig Gesture Grey Line
 

Administrator
Joined
7,948 Posts
That's the winner Boatpoker!
 
  • Like
Reactions: boatpoker

Registered
Joined
396 Posts
For almost 30yrs we've been marking our chain by weaving in about 18" of yellow poly every 20'.
We've never lost a piece and replace it every 5 or 6 years just because we like the brighter yellow. We've never had an issue with it in our windlass either.

View attachment 140458
I think I鈥檓 going to steal this idea but keep my zip ties at the 100鈥 and 200鈥 marks. Just in case I lose count (I can usually count to 4 without getting distracted but 8 or 9, maybe not.) or one sneaks by without me noticing, the zip ties will remind me of where I am.
 

Registered
Joined
2,709 Posts
Discussion Starter · #30 ·
@boatpoker - That is a very nice, simple and convenient method which I think I would have considered, but now I've got 3 cans of spray metal paint on the dock (courtesy of another boat, "Kokomo") and my plans for spray painting my chain are set. But I think your poly line solution is probably more resilient than wire ties.
 

Registered
Joined
6,617 Posts
@boatpoker - That is a very nice, simple and convenient method which I think I would have considered, but now I've got 3 cans of spray metal paint on the dock (courtesy of another boat, "Kokomo") and my plans for spray painting my chain are set. But I think your poly line solution is probably more resilient than wire ties.
You can ties lines to the chain... I have and don't bother with paint... and the lines are not woven into the chain but "float" away and are quite visible. I fear woven ones will get dirty and easier to miss.

No harm in using both systems... paint and lines!
 

Dirt Free
Joined
2,933 Posts
In my photo, The line in the chain is the new stuff. The piece in my hand is about six yrs. old and survived three round trips from Toronto to Bahamas. So yes it does get darker with use but not dramatically so.

Wood Twig Gesture Grey Line
 

Registered
Joined
6,617 Posts
In my photo, The line in the chain is the new stuff. The piece in my hand is about six yrs. old and survived three round trips from Toronto to Bahamas. So yes it does get darker with use but not dramatically so. View attachment 140462
Sure... but let the line get buried in mud and it will get hard to see. In the clear water of the tropics there is no mud! Not so in LIS.
 

Dirt Free
Joined
2,933 Posts
Sure... but let the line get buried in mud and it will get hard to see. In the clear water of the tropics there is no mud! Not so in LIS.
Lots of mud bewtween Superior and Bahamas :)
 

Registered
Joined
2,709 Posts
Discussion Starter · #36 ·
Sure... but let the line get buried in mud and it will get hard to see. In the clear water of the tropics there is no mud! Not so in LIS.
It is more important to see the marks when laying out the chain, and by then the mud should have been washed off. I just paid for my chain and have my spray paint ready and waiting.
I am going with the simplest of systems recommended here - like a traffic light progressing from green through yellow to red:

feetColor Scheme
50green
100green - space - green
150green - space - yellow
200yellow - space - yellow
250yellow - space - red
300red - space - red

The "space" will be 3 links painted white and I think I will also paint 3 links before and after color stripe with white. I haven't decided how many links the color stripes will be, I'll wait until I have the chain laid out on the docks to get a feel for what length will be appropriate. I have some blue paint as well which I am thinking of marking the last 10 feet next to the anchor so that I have a visual cue as to when the anchor might be about to break surface when weighing it.

Thanks for all the suggestions, there's a wealth of information in this thread (and no thread creep!) that will hopefully help future chain markers in their endeavors 馃彇鉀
 

Registered
Joined
2,709 Posts
Discussion Starter · #38 ·
@pdqaltair - what cruising sailing boat uses "shots", "fathoms" or detachable links in their anchor chain? And just like golf or the Imperial measurement system with its non-decimal based counting, who can remember multiples of 15 (and why should they)? There was only one other suggestion that was more complex and less intuitive and less applicable than what the U.S. Navy uses. And what sailboat is going to mark their chain every 90 feet or 27.5 meters (and set their depth sounder to fathoms so that they can compute the 15 fathoms to 1 shot conversion)? Just out of curiosity, do you use shots and fathoms aboard your sailboat?
 

Registered
Joined
90 Posts
We use fathoms because it translates well with meters and quickly figuring depth to scope ratios.

The chain is marked in five fathom increments. If depth is two meters below the keel, let out two marks, three meters let out three and so on. Double amounts for heavy wind or storm.
 
21 - 40 of 52 Posts
Top