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Old 30-08-2010, 14:36   #1
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Marking Chain Length

What is a good way of marking chain length. I never have any idea on how much chain I am letting out on my girlfriends yacht. Apparently it had strings on it that fell off, and paint on it which flaked off. It has an electric windlass.

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Old 30-08-2010, 14:41   #2
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I use plastic cable ties...1 at 25, 2 at 50, 3at 75 and 4 at 100...then start over. I have used color ties as well. you have to replace every yr or two but cheap and no big deal. I do same system with the rode at end of 150' of chain.
This method has never been an issue with my electric windlass gypsy.
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Old 30-08-2010, 14:49   #3
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I paint it every fifty feet. It's easy to redo when it comes off, just a spray can and a rag on deck under the chain. I do it as I'm letting out chain. Paint about a foot of the chain, easy to see.
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Old 30-08-2010, 14:49   #4
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I like the Red White Blue and Yellow format. One stripe every twenty five fieet. When you get to one hundred then it is two stripes when you get to 200 it is three stripes. Works well. I have to repaint about every year.
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Old 30-08-2010, 14:52   #5
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I use small colored cable ties. Having a technical background I chose to use the color code used in marking electronic components such as resistors. I put 2 on in case one breaks but so far no problems. I replace them about every 3 years. My chain goes through my windlass with no problems.
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Old 30-08-2010, 15:05   #6
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I painted a stripe on the gypsy and count the number of turns it makes. Each turn is about 18" and I jsut round that off to 1 foot. Sure, my count is conservative but it works for me. Couple the counting method with the GPS I can measure the swing of hte boat over time.

I find this a lot easier than painting chain or wire ties.

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Old 30-08-2010, 21:00   #7
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Counting chain (Rocna Knowledge Base)
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Old 30-08-2010, 22:21   #8
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I've tried painting chain and I've tried nylon cable ties but neither seemed to last too long. Somewhere I heard of someone who wove a small-diameter strand of polypropylene line through the chain at the appropriate intervals. I used yellow pieces about 6' long as it's easier to see. In the last two years, my anchor has probably been deployed and retrieved over 200 times and I'm still confident that I know how much chain I'm putting out.

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Old 31-08-2010, 00:44   #9
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Or you could buy somrthing like these

Osculati ANCHOR CHAIN MARKERS - Only 3.95 - Piplers of Poole
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Old 31-08-2010, 03:13   #10
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Yup, that is what I have on mine, one every 10 feet.

I deploy the self launching anchor chain from the helm which is some 30 feet away from the windlass, with this, I can just count the markers and add a 0.

Works well for me.
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Old 31-08-2010, 15:19   #11
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G'day, mates. Ditto on the colored cable ties. They last about eight months living on the hook. The polypropylene line is a nice trick. Might have to give it a try. Cheers.
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Old 31-08-2010, 15:24   #12
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+1 on the colored cable ties. I had found that I kept losing them as they passed through the windlass until a friendly salt at the marina told me to affix them to two links. Kinda hard to describe, but if you picture dangling the chain from your hand, the tie goes through two links as though holding them together, and runs vertically (versus simply around a single link, which would be horizontal). I wish I could draw... Anyway, works a treat and havn't lost one since (over a year now).
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Old 31-08-2010, 15:34   #13
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I'm also a fan of the cable ties. They tend to break off over time so I'm calibrating by color and not the number of ties. I use 50' intervals because I never anchor with less than 50' of chain out and I can easily estimate half way between the fifties. Use what works for you, but I go with the nanometer wavelengths of the light spectrum ROYBGIV= red-orange-yellow-blue-green........etc. Whatever works for you. I have broken nubs of reds and orange...etc, but I just tie a couple more on and I can keep my memory of the rainbow. Take care and joy, Aythya crew
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Old 31-08-2010, 18:18   #14
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I use bright neon orange parachute cord (~$2/25'), marking the chain every 25' with several wraps and knots. The colored cable ties were far more expensive than the nylon cord and lasted longer.

If you use chain and nylon rode, this technique will work with that as well.
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Old 31-08-2010, 18:44   #15
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I'm also a fan of the cable ties. They tend to break off over time so I'm calibrating by color and not the number of ties. I use 50' intervals because I never anchor with less than 50' of chain out and I can easily estimate half way between the fifties. Use what works for you, but I go with the nanometer wavelengths of the light spectrum ROYBGIV= red-orange-yellow-blue-green........etc. Whatever works for you. I have broken nubs of reds and orange...etc, but I just tie a couple more on and I can keep my memory of the rainbow. Take care and joy, Aythya crew

Err, thats ROY G. BIV (Red Orange Yellow Green Blue Indigo Violet).
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