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Old 06-03-2019, 12:03 PM   #1
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Chain counter

When I first heard about a chain counter for my rode, it sounded like a great idea but my refit guy, who stands to make money from me if he installs it, doesn't recommend one.

My boat has been gutted and I noticed in an electrical schematic that it has been included, he doesn't always remember the discussions we've had, which is understandable as there has been many.

What is your experience with a chain counter, especially when my braided nylon line kicks in after 150 feet of chain. The is a gross generalization but the average anchor depth in Coastal BC waters is 40 feet.
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Old 06-03-2019, 12:45 PM   #2
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I had one installed on my all-chain anchor setup. It does simplify single handed anchoring, IMHO.
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Old 06-03-2019, 02:22 PM   #3
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As simple as it gets, rarely do we need to count higher than 2
We have a couple of feet of yellow fed through the chain at 5 ft as a warning anchor is nearly up and then every 70ft or so after that.

Last a couple of years of daily anchoring, no problems going through the chainwheel

We have a maxwell chain counter still sitting in its box in the spares locker, couldn't be bothered installing it, one more thing to fail.




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Old 06-03-2019, 02:26 PM   #4
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Our chain counter works like a champ... on our leading chain.

When our mixed rode switches to rope, not so much... but we have that marked in 25' increments, so it's easily solved.

If we move somewhere and go back to an all-chain rode, the counter will be even more useful.

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Old 06-03-2019, 03:11 PM   #5
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I have a chain counter and love it. I have an all chain rode so it is fairly accurate. Control from the fly bridge is great. I anchor in depths between 35 feet to well over 100. We have about 500 feet of chain in the locker. I'm so glad I have it.
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Old 06-03-2019, 05:12 PM   #6
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I generally favor technological solutions to problems, as evidenced by a more than normal compliment of gizmos and gadgets on my boat. But, a chain counter is not something I have ever wished for. My chain is marked and that works just fine.
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Old 06-03-2019, 05:50 PM   #7
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Last two boat with all chain ride had chain counters, they are great and easy to know exactly how much rode you have out. AFAIK they all work on a magnet attached to the chain wheel, if you have the correct diameter it’s foolproof even for an idiot like me.
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Old 06-03-2019, 08:27 PM   #8
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We had one on our last boat and I really liked it. You can program in how much ride you want to deploy, then push a button and out it goes while you maneuver the boat. Without that feature, you need to have one hand on the control to pay out chain. The auto feature frees up you other hand. I just set mine to a large value rather than adjusting it each time, and Id just keep an eye on it and stop it 10-20 short of the bottom. Then Id manually deploy until touch down, at which points Id mark the spot on my anchor watches. Then Id auto pay out however much scope I wanted. On retrieval, you can again auto retrieve and it will stop when the anchor is 6 away. All of it just makes the process easier. Its not necessary by any means, but definitely makes life easier
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Old 06-03-2019, 08:32 PM   #9
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TT

It’s not necessary until you use it a lot.
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Old 06-03-2019, 08:51 PM   #10
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I use the most simple cheapest way. Using Florescent spray paint:

1. Every 20 feet I paint the chain white.
2. Every 100 feet I paint the chain Orange
3. Two Hundred feet: Orange-Black-Orange
4. Three Hundred feet: Orange-Black-Orange-Black-Orange


Used this for the last 5 years, works great. You do have to re-spray annually.
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Old 06-03-2019, 09:47 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alaskan Sea-Duction View Post
I use the most simple cheapest way. Using Florescent spray paint:

.
No where near as simple and cheap as the coloured rope method above



Quote:
Used this for the last 5 years, works great. You do have to re-spray annually
If you don't anchor much it possibly does.
If you cruise full time and only anchor like we do its gone in a matter of weeks.
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Old 06-03-2019, 10:33 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alaskan Sea-Duction View Post
I use the most simple cheapest way. Using Florescent spray paint:

1. Every 20 feet I paint the chain white.
2. Every 100 feet I paint the chain Orange
3. Two Hundred feet: Orange-Black-Orange
4. Three Hundred feet: Orange-Black-Orange-Black-Orange


Used this for the last 5 years, works great. You do have to re-spray annually.
Thats a LOT of painting.

I paint the all chain rode every 100 using the old telecom color code

Blue, Orange, green, Brown, Slate (I used white for this). Then Red for the the last 50
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Old 06-04-2019, 04:25 AM   #13
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This discussion always gives me a laugh. We have the types who have a chain-counter, and those that don't. What we don't have is many who have once had one, but now don't have one but are not bothered by this lack. On the other hand, we have those like me, who even though, compared to most, my boat electronics and other labour-saving bells and whistles and gizmos are spartan to say the least, (eg not even an A/P), I still look back on when I installed a fairly cheap but reliable chain-counter as one of the best things I ever did.

But if messing around tying coloured bits of this and that, or painting sections different colours, or using different coloured lengths of rope floats your boat - fine..! You just keep missin' out on the best you-beaut boat anchoring device ever invented for as long as y'all like. But Simi, as a dinky dye do it yourself Aussie, to have a new one still in it's box, and not installed...I'm left speechless, really I am. Although if you do anchor in places so deep you always have some nylon (duly coloured) out, then maybe, just maybe, I can live with that.
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Old 06-04-2019, 04:54 AM   #14
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I have had a chain counter for a few years, initially the CruzPro but now the Muir-supplied one with the new windlass. I would not be without it.

I did get one last season out of the Ideal windlass and its BBB chain. The chain had enough surface rust to stain the foredeck so I treated it with rust converter Then I read the rust converter instructions, which said for best results paint afterwards!

So, no problem, just use different colour paint in 10m intervals. As in the pic.
The code is based on what I understand is the old British Navy one: Rub Your Balls With Grease. I can only surmise that young seamen received a 'reminder' that they would not forget in a hurry if perchance they got it wrong......
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Old 06-04-2019, 09:49 AM   #15
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A chain counter would be nice. However, Im too lazy to run wire. I painted my chain a couple years ago and it i has worked fine. Granted, it will need to be repainted before long. I also am not satisfied with my paint scheme and if I repaint I will change it.

Im intrigued with the idea of using a poly line thread through the chain. It would be cheap, easy, and effective. My only concern would be the amount of mud that it could pick up. Lot of anchorages around hear are pretty muddy and usually the chain is lying on the bottom in the mud.
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Old 06-04-2019, 10:32 AM   #16
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The watch that I always wear has a stopwatch built in.
My windlass deploys chain at ~1'/sec, 120' takes 2 min to let out.
Simple.
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Old 06-04-2019, 01:01 PM   #17
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So I went out on my boat and "Rubbed My Balls With Grease" before I dropped the anchor and I still didn't know how much rode I let out. [For those that don't read prior posts, you're going to have to work on this one]
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Old 06-04-2019, 02:39 PM   #18
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Like TT, I have a fully auto windlass controller with chain counter. It is wireless and also contols bow thruster and anchor washdown pump. Worn around neck on lanyard while at bow, it is invaluable when picking up a mooring. Couldn't live without it now.
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Old 06-04-2019, 02:49 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dhays View Post
.

I’m intrigued with the idea of using a poly line thread through the chain. It would be cheap, easy, and effective. My only concern would be the amount of mud that it could pick up. Lot of anchorages around hear are pretty muddy and usually the chain is lying on the bottom in the mud.
It picks up a lot less mud than the considerable amount of chain you have laying in it.
You hose that off as it comes up right , the small bit of rope gets done at the same time.

Don't melt the rope ends, over time it frays out and makes a nice visible flag easily seen from our helm position
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Old 06-04-2019, 03:00 PM   #20
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.

But if messing around tying coloured bits of this and that, or painting sections different colours, or using different coloured lengths of rope floats your boat - fine..! You just keep missin' out on the best you-beaut boat anchoring device ever invented for as long as y'all like. But Simi, as a dinky dye do it yourself Aussie, to have a new one still in it's box, and not installed...I'm left speechless, really I am. Although if you do anchor in places so deep you always have some nylon (duly coloured) out, then maybe, just maybe, I can live with that.

Rope was the logical choice for me.

Tying bits of rope takes 5 minutes once every two years of daily anchoring usage.
A lifetime supply of bits of rope costs $5 at the big green hardware shed.
Easily fixed in remote locations with no need for an electrician or trades person of any sort to do it.

Compare that to the considerable cost for a chain counter
Purchase of device, removal of windlass, drilling holes, mixing epoxy , wiring runs from foredeck to wheelhouse , re fitting windlass, the dollars and time add up.

Our counter sells for $744 here
Just another of the expensive "treasures" we came across as we explore the many hidyholes onboard.
If only the previous owner had left cash or gold instead
https://www.keoghsmarine.com.au/Anch...lasses-p102944
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