Sunday, May 29, 2011

Marking the Anchor

Remember this post from back in January when we spray painted our anchor chain?  Well, (as expected) it didn't last too long.

A huge part of successful anchoring is knowing how much "scope" (chain or rope) to put out.  In most circumstances (for an all chain rode) this is around 5 to 1 (meaning: 5 feet of chain for every 1 foot of depth*, in strong winds we'll go up to 7 to 1).  If you're chain isn't adequately marked it is really, really hard to measure correctly by eyesight.  The difference between sitting comfortably at anchor and dragging into a reef (or out to sea, or into another boat...) can be in a 10 foot miscalculation so knowing where you are on your chain is kind of a big deal.

The past month or so have proven detrimental to the spray paint on our anchor chain.  I have been Squinty McSquintsalot while dropping the hook trying make out the colors marking various lengths; Wait, was that red that just went by?  Are we at fifty feet or eighty feet? Oh - shoot - that's blue...but is it forty or seventy? 

Not good.

We needed something better.

People suggested zip ties and spinnaker cloth - but neither of those sounded too appealing to me or our windlass gypsy - so I kept my eyes peeled for a better option.

I found this product at Budget marine in St. Maarten and let me tell you - I LOVE it.  Scott just put them on last week (we bought six packets of various colors and mark the chain with four in a row, every twenty feet) so we'll see how they stand the test of time - but so far, so good.

Brittany & Scott

* Make sure to compensate for the distance of the bow roller off the water...On our boat, it's four feet.  So if the depth is 6 feet - we actually scope out as if it were 10.


Deb said...

Great idea! We currently have different colored tape that doesn't last much longer than your paint.

S/V Kintala

Unknown said...

Over four years later ... How did these work out? Still in use? Found something else? Would love a follow up.

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