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Old 17-10-2017, 13:53   #16
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Re: What's your system for marking anchor chain depths?

eyeballing length of remaining chain on my deck. i have xxx ft i lay down xxx ft.... i have xx ft remaining. donot forget to add the freeboard plus sprit/anchor roller plus depth of water to the amount of chain required to hold you.
if you in 50 ft water and let out 50 ft you yain't hooked.
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Old 17-10-2017, 14:03   #17
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Re: What's your system for marking anchor chain depths?

Short bits of string. 1 knot- 5m, 5 knots 25m, 2 bits string 30m etc. can be determined by feel in the dark.
Works for me anyway..
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Old 17-10-2017, 15:59   #18
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Re: What's your system for marking anchor chain depths?

We use webbing pieces and it goes through the windlass easily. They are inexpensive, easy/quick to attach with a sewing awl and they last for years.

We start marking at 50' (as that's the minimum we put out with our draft), then mark every 25'. We found too many marks in between were not that helpful for us and a waste to put them on the chain.

Here's our simple marking:
50' = 1 white
75' = 2 white
100' = 1 blue
125' = 1 blue, 1 white
150' = 1 blue, 2 white
175' = 1 blue, 3 white
200' = 2 blue
225' = 1 red (marks 5' to end of chain before spliced line comes up)

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Old 17-10-2017, 16:49   #19
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Re: What's your system for marking anchor chain depths?

Upthread is a mention of weaving a length of light line through the links as a marker. We've been doing this for some years now, and find it more durable than any other method we've encountered. We use 1-2mm polypropylene twine, available in many colours. About a one meter length is woven through the links, leaving maybe 150 mm hanging out at each end, making it more visible. As it happens, we use exactly the same colour scheme as Steve mentioned above: red, white, blue, yellow at 25 foot intervals, repeating after the hundred and two hundred foot marks. Like Steve, we can keep track of which "hundred" we are on.

Only failure mode noted so far is that when anchoring in sticky mud, the colours are hard to determine if you don't wash down the chain when retrieving.

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Old 17-10-2017, 16:56   #20
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Re: What's your system for marking anchor chain depths?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Suijin View Post
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.
This is how our boat was when we bought it. Previous owners circumnavigated, so I figured they must know what they were doing! The rope has held up and stayed in place pretty well, which I did not expect!
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Old 17-10-2017, 16:56   #21
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Re: What's your system for marking anchor chain depths?

Quote:
Originally Posted by OrangeCrush View Post
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?
For starters, you don't need to mark every 25 feet. 50 feet is plenty.

For 200 feet I use only one color.
* 50' is one band.
* 100' is two bands.
* 150' is three bands.
* 190' is one wide band, warning me that the rope starts in 10 feet.

The same pattern continues on the rope, starting with one band at 50 feet.
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Old 17-10-2017, 17:35   #22
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Re: What's your system for marking anchor chain depths?

I use my Vesper AIS Watchmate. My depth gage is set for feet and the watchmate is set for meters. If I anchored in 20' of water, I need to be a minimum of 20 meters away from the set point. But other than that, what does it matter. Like 20' is going to make a difference? If it does, either you have too small an anchor or are too close to other boats.
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Old 17-10-2017, 17:56   #23
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Re: What's your system for marking anchor chain depths?

Cheap brightly coloured 6mm poly rope woven through the chain.
Goes through chain wheel fine and has lasted over a year anchoring full time.

1st metre as warning anchor approaching
25 metre intervals from then on.
More woven in as it approaches chain end.

I can count to 4 so no need for colour coding or differing amounts.
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Old 17-10-2017, 18:57   #24
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Re: What's your system for marking anchor chain depths?

I also just use one color--about 2 feet of red paint on the chain every 25 feet. I can see them easily from either the fly bridge or the lower helm, and I just have to count the big red marks as they go over the windlass. The first few marks are ready to be repainted after about a year, but that's no big deal.

NOTE: an easy way to paint the chain is to use Rustolem Red spray paint, Take a big cardboard box, cut 2 big Vs in opposite sides, and just hang the chain inside the box to paint it. EZ!

NOTE 2: I painted a 2 foot white mark just about 4 feet behind the anchor. When the chain is coming in, the white mark warns me to slow down, not bang the bow of the boat, and ease the last few feet over the roller as the anchor comes aboard. EZ.

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Old 17-10-2017, 19:13   #25
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Re: What's your system for marking anchor chain depths?

Spinnaker cloth

Cut up some ribbons about 9" long and tie one to a link every XX feet as you see fit. Use a bright color and count the ribbons as they go over the bow roller.
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Old 17-10-2017, 19:21   #26
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Re: What's your system for marking anchor chain depths?

The P.O. marked the chain and it works for me. Wire ties. Red white blue. Every ten meters.
With a yellow warning tie about two meters before the color.
Red ten
White twenty
Blue thirty
Double Red forty
Double whit fifty
Etc.

Ps P.O. is UK. I’m usa. Metres meters yards schmards. Whatever. Close enough.
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Old 17-10-2017, 21:45   #27
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Re: What's your system for marking anchor chain depths?

Parachute cord every 50 ft. Way better than zip ties. We use white for the first 150 ft (1-2-3 ties), then orange.
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Old 18-10-2017, 01:12   #28
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Re: What's your system for marking anchor chain depths?

I am like the friend of Suijen. I weave polypropylene rope through about 10 links every 25 feet. Choose whatever color system works for you. Was very doubtful when another sailor showed this to me ten years ago. Especially that he used 1/4 top 3/8 inch rope. Tried it and been using ever since.
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Old 18-10-2017, 02:54   #29
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Re: What's your system for marking anchor chain depths?

I use nothing--I just look at the angle of the rode when it pulls tight. If in warm waters I dive the anchor if I can. If in cold, not. But the angle tells me more than anything what I want to know.
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Old 18-10-2017, 08:21   #30
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Re: What's your system for marking anchor chain depths?

In my experience, many anchorages aren't spacious enough to err on the side of caution when it comes to extra scope. And I have sometimes found myself to be way way off when I try to estimate....

I was all set to use paint but I like the sound of the bright rope woven through the links. I'm gonna give this a try.

Thanks all!
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