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Old 04-15-2015, 08:33 AM   #1
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Marking Chain

I've seen the chain marking kits for sale. I've also read about painting and folks using zip ties.

How do you mark your chain? If you use paint, what kind? Any feedback on pros/cons of one method over another?
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Old 04-15-2015, 09:05 AM   #2
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Zip tie works good. Sometimes after a number of trips it will get cut by the gypsy and needs replacing which is a bit of a PITA because you don't know exactly where. I place them every 50' and eyeball the location of any that I loose and replace.

David
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Old 04-15-2015, 09:07 AM   #3
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I use red, then white, then blue at appropriate distances. Basically I paint a two foot section red and 25' later another two foot section blue, followed by white. It's easy for me to remember. And, by painting a big area I can't miss it.

However, the paint with repeated use does wear off (I primarily live on the hook)

AND, the best/smartest thing I did was paint the first three feet white. That tells me the anchor is near the surface so I can run ahead and wash off the anchor before bringing her all the way aboard.

Whatever your bow roller to waterline is add a couple feet so you can spot it easy and you're set. When you see the white, your anchor is ready to be washed. Put her in forward and voila: instantly cleaned anchor.

I added that a few years into the anchoring thing and have found that as useful as the amount out markings.

The other thing I did is this: Ten feet from the bitter end I painted the chain white. That way I know it's getting close. And the final three feet is red.

I wrote a couple articles on it for my website... This one is a good place to start:
Janice142 article Anchor Up (Painting your Chain)

Good luck Shrew.
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Old 04-15-2015, 09:17 AM   #4
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I use red, white and blue every 50'. Then repeat.

I use either these: Anchor Chain Markers - Marine Systems - Imtra Marine Products

Or I'll weave colored line in and out of the links.

If I paint or use the markers I use the same red/white/blue and then when I repeat I break the primary color in two or three with a contrasting color.
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Old 04-15-2015, 09:30 AM   #5
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I used red and black sharpies

Colored links at 100' and 50' intervals.

Time will tell if that works.
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Old 04-15-2015, 09:45 AM   #6
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We have 300' and use red, white and yellow paint. The first mark is at 30' then every 40' with the last one at 30 feet from the end. When we reverse the chain, the distances between paint marks are the same. We paint about a 2 foot section.
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Old 04-15-2015, 10:34 AM   #7
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I like using all white which is more visible at night. Usually paint it on the dock at the end of the season and then spot paint the worn sections as needed with a spray can inside a garbage bag on deck.


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Old 04-15-2015, 10:42 AM   #8
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same as everyone above. Paint works well. I've also seen colored electrical tape used.
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Old 04-15-2015, 12:19 PM   #9
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I use red paint to indicate I am at the end of my chain rode. Every 20 feet I painted 4 links white. At 100' I use Florissant orange. Then at 200' I paint 2 sections with Florissant with black between and so on at 300' with 3 orange separated by black.
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Old 04-15-2015, 12:31 PM   #10
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Tried the paint method. Was never sure whether I missed a marking or not as the chain paid out and I'd also get confused counting markings.

Some one from the Antipodes had a blog or post awhile back where he used narrow strips of synthetic light weight sail cloth (i.e. spinnaker cloth) tied through the chain links at measured intervals and wrote the length markings in indelible ink on them. Said he had no trouble with the strips getting fouled up in the gypsy.

So three years ago I did it on our boat. Has worked like a charm. Used both white and red spinnaker cloth. I used white for each fifteen feet and red for each 60. Have had zero problems with the strips catching or tearing in the gypsy. When a strip passes by your eye you can tell the length of chain paid out instantly by just reading the number on it. The indelible ink has remained legible as well, but would be easy to touch up. Mud washes right off the strips. Cheaper than a chain counter.
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Old 04-15-2015, 12:32 PM   #11
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Tried the paint method. Was never sure whether I missed a marking or not as the chain paid out and I'd also get confused counting markings.
The Admiral has to do something, so assign her to count the marks...
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Old 04-15-2015, 12:39 PM   #12
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We used to use paint and we had some sort of color code that told us how much chain was out. The paint faded and came off and we could never remember the code. So we bailed on that and simply have a white wire tie every ten feet. We put them on the sides of links that are up when they run through the wildcat and we don't cut the ends of the ties off.

Want 150' of chain out, count out 15 wire ties as the chain is going out. If we have to anchor in the dark, or more likely let more chain out in the dark, I can count the ties by feel simply by resting a hand on the chain as it's going out.

To remember how much is out we write the amount on a sticky note and put it on the steering cable chase tube in front of the lower helm. Sometimes a tail gets pulled off in the chain pile in the locker but not very often and even if one does the base remains attached to the chain so we know where to attach a new one.

This system has worked perfectly for the 15 years or so we've been using it.
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Old 04-15-2015, 01:48 PM   #13
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I use red paint and have only 2 places marked...50 ft and 100 ft.
Where I boat (Eastern LI Sound) I have never found a need to know more.
I can estimate in between.
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Old 04-15-2015, 01:48 PM   #14
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Paint bands on sections of chain:
1 band 50 ft
2 bands 100 ft
3 bands 150 ft
4 bands 200 ft

Adjust scale as needed. Works best if you use light color for bands and black in between IMO.
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Old 04-15-2015, 03:28 PM   #15
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Gave up on the bands and colors and opted for a simple 4' swath of white every 50'. It's visible from all stations especially helpful when free falling and easier to touch up when needed.Click image for larger version

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Old 04-15-2015, 07:36 PM   #16
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Quote:
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...spot paint the worn sections as needed with a spray can inside a garbage bag on deck.


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...to touch up when needed.]


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We probably paint more chain this way than at the dock. After several months of anchoring Lena says she can't see the first color. On deck with some plastic bags, it's real easy to remark/remark.
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Old 04-15-2015, 07:50 PM   #17
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[QUOTE=janice142;325133]I use red, then white, then blue at appropriate distances. Basically I paint a two foot section red and 25' later another two foot section blue, followed by white. It's easy for me to remember. And, by painting a big area I can't miss it.

Me too!

Rob
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Old 04-15-2015, 08:10 PM   #18
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I'm relying on a one-second count. "One potato, two potato, ..." About 2.5 feet per second with my windlass. Stepping on the pedal:


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Old 04-15-2015, 09:03 PM   #19
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I use 2 white zip ties at 10 ft as a warning that the anchor is getting close. I use one black zip tie for every 30 ft of 120 ft of chain, so 1 tie at 30 ft, 2 ties at 60 ft, 3 ties at 90 ft.

The chain changes to line at 120 so no marker needed. Then my line is marked with West Marine rode labels at 150, 180, 210, 240, 270, 300 and 330 ft. 360 is the end.

Most of my anchoring is in 20-40 ft in relatively benign waters so it's not hard to count the rode for a 3:1 or 5:1 scope.
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Old 04-15-2015, 10:07 PM   #20
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Blue cable tie every 25 feet. Yellow cable tie every 100 feet. Repeat. Our windlass "powers" out chain at a rate of about 25 feet per 15 seconds. So I set a timer (wrist watch) as a backup to chain markers.
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