Repainting our chain markings

Our anchor rode is 300 feet of chain. 50 feet of three strand line and a chain splice connects the end of the chain to the boat. Every few years we need to refresh the length markings on the anchor chain. It’s easy, the markings are just spray paint.

It’s a two person project to get the anchor and chain down on the dock. Kim ran the windlass while I dragged the chain around on the dock. I pulled all the colors together to make it easier to paint.

We have this little plaque stuck on the side of the windlass. We got it when we replaced the chain early on. We paint the chain with the appropriate color to correspond to this legend on the plaque.

The 50, 150, and 250 foot marks get white paint.

Red marks 100 feet, green is 200 feet.

And finally, blue marks both 300 feet and the end of the chain.

We sprayed the chain, let it dry for a while, flipped it over, and sprayed the other side. It’s not art, we were just marking it, so we didn’t put a lot of effort into making sure all the chain surfaces were covered.

Before we hauled it all back aboard, I cleaned all the dirt out of the chain locker. We used the windlass to wind all the chain back aboard, and secure the anchor. This project is done.

There ya go. That’s how to make a relatively long, yet not all that interesting post about chain marking. I have also been working on refinishing interior trim. More on that later.

4 thoughts on “Repainting our chain markings

    • No problem. My project posts can be considered anything from the right way to do it, to a warning to others about what not to do. The old boat is still floating. Sometimes I get lucky. 🙂 Thanks for taking the time to comment!

  1. Hi Rusty:
    No mention of prep to the chain prior to painting. Did you clean it with anything first? I need to do this project and my plan is to first use a long low pan of some sort holding a mixture of muriatic and water. Lay the chain in the mix and brush it.
    Then rinse off, dry, and paint. Second, what paint did you use? Any comments on type of paint? I’m thinking good old Rustoleum.

    • Hi Hal. For right or wrong, I don’t do anything to the chain except rinse it before I paint it. The chain and paint takes a fair amount of abuse in the water and in the chain locker. It doesn’t seem worth it to me to over think this. I can do that on all my other projects. The paint markings need to be refreshed every two years or so. I could spend an additional hour or three on prep, but I don’t think it would add enough life to the markings to make it worth it. At least to me. I use plain old spray paint. I don’t recall what brand it is. I bought what seemed like a decent quality for a reasonable price. Those cans will last a very long time.

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