Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Marking Anchor Chain

Someone once told me that marking anchor chain with paint was amateurish.

Sailors on the US Blue Rige (LCC19) touch up the chain markings.

Okay, sure. 
  • They suggest that you can feel bits of cloth and such in the dark. Assuming the gypsy don't sheer them off or jam, please don't tell me you would run your hand along a running chain in the dark. That is a good way to lose fingers.
  • Plastic ties. My windlass sheers them off no matter how they are attached. Some manual say there is a right way, but not with a Lewmar vertical.
  • Inserts. If I can't see the paint, I'm going to be able to make out a few mud-coated lumps in the dark? Silly on the face of it. 
The first article in Good Old Boat Magazine described a better way to paint the chain. Also in "Keeping a Cruising Boat for Peanuts" and "Rigging Modern Anchors."

 They even have a standard color code. Not sayin' you need to use it, although I do use a long red band to warn me of the rope-to-chain splice at 100 feet (98% of the time I stop short of the splice so that I can anchor on all-chain.

After all, you always need to know how much rode you have out.  It's all part of good anchor craft, along with proper snubber sizing (Practical Sailor) and one hundred other factors.

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