The 3T - Web
With Rose & David
Your Anchor Chain
Marking and Painting: the length of the chain that is connected to
make-up the ships anchor cable is called "SHOTS". A standard
shot is 15 fathoms in length. Each shot is connected by "Detachable
Link" to form the anchor chain. Each detachable link is painted red,
white and blue as identification for every shot. The first shot chain
is 20 shots (this is the length of the standard shot and the outboard
swivel shot or bending shot, which include detachable link, regular links
swivel, end link, bending and anchor shackle). 1. 15-Fathom mark (1stshot)
The detachable link is painted red, one (1) link on each side of
the detachable link painted white and one turn of wire are wrapped around
2. 30-Fathom mark (2ndshot) detachable link is painted white, two
(2) links on each side of detachable link are painted white and two (2)
turns of wire are wrapped around each studs of the last white links. 3.
45-Fathom mark (3rdshot) detachable link is painted blue, three
(3) links on each side of the detachable link are painted white and three
turns of wire are wrapped around the last white link. 4. 75-Fathom mark
(5thshot) detachable link is painted white, five (5) links on each
side of the detachable link are painted white and five turns of wire are
wrapped around the studs of the last white links. (And so on). 5. Each
link of shot is entirely painted RED. These last two shots gives warning
to the approach of the bitter end of the chain. The bitter end of the
anchor chain is secured to a pad eye in the chain locker by means of a
screw pain shackle.
Here is the
numbering sequence you have to remember
RED = 1,
WHITE = 2, BLUE = 3.
There is one other color you have to consider which represents the digit
ZERO and that is no color at all. You also have to remember that the markings
are placed every 25 feet.
on the chain is a combination of only two colors, a background 6 feet
long, and a band of color centered on the background that is 2 feet long.
This way it is symmetrical and you don't have to know which order they
background color is the MOST SIGNIFICANT DIGIT, the SHORT color band in
the middle is the LEAST SIGNIFICANT DIGIT. So a blue band on a white background
would be the number 23. A blank (no color) band in the middle of a red
background would be the number 10.
SIGNIFICANT DIGIT (background color) represents the number of HUNDREDS
The LEAST SIGNIFICANT DIGIT (band color) represents the number of 25 foot
SEGMENTS that are out.
So the first example - blue band on white background = digits 2 3 or 200
feet plus 3x25 = 275 feet.
The second example - blank band in a red background = digits 1 0 or 100
feet plus 0x25 = 100 feet.
So here are
some more examples:-
250 feet Note the band is the same color as the background.
25 feet Note the background is zero or no color, just a 2 foot band.
So the very first mark at the point where the chain meets the anchor is
zero hundreds and zero X 25 so no band on no background which looks like:-
The maximum length this scheme will go to is 375 feet or, if you need
longer than 375 feet, I guess you could start over with the minor disadvantage
that the 400 foot marker would be missing since it is a blank band on
a blank background.
Your Anchor Chain
If it is new, galvanized chain, check with your paint store for a suitable
primer otherwise it is going to come off quite quickly. Even an older
chain will probably work better with a primer for galvanizing. I used
a brush on primer but I used spray cans of Red, White and Blue for the
colors. They have lasted 12 years so far although you have to look at
the inside of the links in the first 100 feet for shadows of the original
paint. But with color lengths two feet long you have a good resevoir of
color to pick up.
chain out on the dock in a zig zag pattern so the 25 foot points where
you have to paint are in the middle of the runs, not at the ends where
you have to mess with the chain doubling back on itself. Lay down a big
sheet of painter's plastic drop cloth to protect the dock. Use some heavy
brown masking paper and duct tape to mask each side of the center bands
first. Remember not to prime the center bands where there is no color.
Don't bother masking or painting the center bands where they are the same
color as the background band. You have to roll the chain round a number
of times to get the paint to penetrate thoroughly inside the links. Don't
worry too much about the quality of the paint job on the outside of the
links - this is going to rub off fairly quickly anyhow.
the bands, cover them with masking and mask the background area limits
- it makes for a much neater looking job than trying to cut the paint
off. Have a chart handy - it is very easy to get confused as to what color
goes where and once you make a mistake it is a mess to clean it off and