Marking Your Anchor
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
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.
Each marking 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 come in.
The LONG 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.
The MOST SIGNIFICANT
DIGIT (background color) represents the number of HUNDREDS OF FEET.
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
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:- OK?
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.
Painting Your Anchor
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.
Snake the 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.
After painting 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