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Old 17-10-2017, 10:07   #1
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What's your system for marking anchor chain depths?

I know that there are a variety out there. The previous owner of my boat used zip ties, but after a season of replacing broken ones and getting confused when one is missing, I think I need a better system. I know some people use different colors of paint for every marking, but this seems potentially confusing (especially for newer crew) and expensive. 300 feet of chain marked every 25 feet means a lot of different cans or repeating colors.

I was thinking about using only one color, and carefully painting a specific number of links in the chain. For example, one red link is 25 feet, 2 is 50... 5 links painted is 125 feet. But as the paint scrapes off a bit this could also become confusing or hard to count with certainty.

Anyone out there think they have the perfect system that they could share?
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Old 17-10-2017, 10:14   #2
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Re: What's your system for marking anchor chain depths?

Defender.com Search Results: chain markers

I use the chain markers above. They come in different colors. I follow a pattern of colors similar to the order we learn them as children.

Red -> Yellow -> Green -> Blue

1 red = 10 ft
1 yellow = 20 ft
1 green = 30 ft
1 blue = 40 ft

2 red = 50 ft
2 yellow = 60 ft
2 green = 70 ft
1 blue = 80 ft

3 red = 90 ft
3 yellow = 100 ft
3 green = 110 ft
3 blue = 120 ft

Anchor Line = 130 ft.
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Old 17-10-2017, 11:24   #3
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Re: What's your system for marking anchor chain depths?

We stopped trying to get an exact count for our anchor rode using different numbers of multi-colored markings. We have settled on just yellow. The chain is marked every 25ft with a section of yellow paint and a series of yellow zip ties. The bow person just needs to count the number of times a colored section goes by and multiply that by 25. We estimate for lengths of rode in between each marked section.

This has worked well for us this summer and fall in BC and Alaska where we anchor over rocky substrate about half the time and the markings get abused. It makes for easier counting without trying to see different colors or counting zip ties in a certain order, and allows for easier touch up/remarking whenever necessary. Easy to count back as well to see when the anchor will come off the bottom.

230 ft of chain and 120 ft of rope rode. The rope rode is marked at 25 ft intervals also, but only with yellow surveyors tape sections woven into the braid of the rope - so same system for the bow person.
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Old 17-10-2017, 11:30   #4
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Re: What's your system for marking anchor chain depths?

I have always painted: white every 10’ (I know… kinda ridiculous, but there you go) and red every fifty. The Fifties are marked off with one big red for 50', two for 100’, three for 150’ etc…

I have to re-paint every two to four years, depending on usage. I use cheap car paint in a spray can. I just stretch out the chain, and spray along. I check the chain at the same time, so doubly useful.

This isn’t necessarily the best solution, but it works for me.
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Old 17-10-2017, 11:35   #5
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Re: What's your system for marking anchor chain depths?

One caveat to using paint which I just encountered. If you ever want to regalvanize the chain you will have to remove every spec of the paint which I can promise, is a bit of a pain.
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Old 17-10-2017, 11:42   #6
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Re: What's your system for marking anchor chain depths?

I've tried ty wraps, flourescent yarn and painting. I prefer the painting. Red, white and Blue is easy to remember.
5 fathoms= red
10 fathoms=white
15 fathoms = Blue
Then I just start over as I know the second red is 20 fathoms.
or use any "feet' style of increments you like.
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Old 17-10-2017, 11:43   #7
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Re: What's your system for marking anchor chain depths?

I use self fusing silicone tape, every ten feet. It comes in different colors if a fancier (more confusing) system is required.
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Old 17-10-2017, 11:45   #8
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Re: What's your system for marking anchor chain depths?

Quote:
Originally Posted by skipmac View Post
One caveat to using paint which I just encountered. If you ever want to regalvanize the chain you will have to remove every spec of the paint which I can promise, is a bit of a pain.
I thought they hot chemical clean before galvanizing? and galvanizing itself is what... 800 degrees or something?
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Old 17-10-2017, 12:18   #9
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Re: What's your system for marking anchor chain depths?

I just paint every 50’ with a spray can, adding another stripe every 50’. I honestly don’t need better precision than that as I usually have 75’-150’ out and usually err on the side of greater scope if conditions permit.

I have an old salt friend who swears by weaving a strand of polypropylene rope through a few links at intervals. He says it never comes out but is easily replaced and runs fine through his gypsy. Struck me as a cool idea but have not tried it.
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Old 17-10-2017, 12:22   #10
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Re: What's your system for marking anchor chain depths?

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I use self fusing silicone tape, every ten feet. It comes in different colors if a fancier (more confusing) system is required.
Is this durable enough Drew? How long does it last for you. I kinda like this idea if it’s durable enough.

Interesting note about regalvanize Skip. I do plan to do this eventually. If I wait another season I probably won’t have to worry about scraping any paint off — it will mostly be gone .
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Old 17-10-2017, 12:37   #11
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Re: What's your system for marking anchor chain depths?

I use bright orange spray paint every 20 feet.
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Old 17-10-2017, 12:46   #12
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Re: What's your system for marking anchor chain depths?

Paint 100 ft is green, 200 yellow, 300 red and near the limit of 380 is green, yellow, red.

We also use the osculati plastic inserts at 50 ft marks. 50 ft is gree, 150 yellow etc. Simple traffic light model.
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Old 17-10-2017, 13:36   #13
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Re: What's your system for marking anchor chain depths?

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Is this durable enough Drew? How long does it last for you. I kinda like this idea if it’s durable enough.
I'm in my first year with it. So far, so good. Keep in mind I'm only wet on
weekends. It's a cheap experiment, though.
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Old 17-10-2017, 14:04   #14
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Re: What's your system for marking anchor chain depths?

We mark every 25 feet, Red, White, Blue, and Yellow with paint, then start repeating at 125 feet. Usually you know to the nearest hundred feet how much chain you have out, so it doesn't bother me that I have the same marking for 25, 125, and 225 feet. Then lots of fluorescent paint about 10 feet before the chain to rode splice at 280 feet.

Cheers!

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Old 17-10-2017, 14:37   #15
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Re: What's your system for marking anchor chain depths?

We use paint and zip ties. The paint is in place so that I know where to replace zip ties when they come off. The paint is useful for maybe two seasons. Wire ties last a more random amount of time, with a few being replaced each season.
We mark every 25 ft. I use whatever paint we have and try to match up with a similar zip tie color. The marking is currently:
At 25ft, 75ft,125ft... a single yellow
At 50ft,150ft,250ft...a single blue
At 100ft a single orange
At 200ft double orange
At 300ft triple orange
So to keep track you need to remember what 100 you in.
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