BOATING TIPS -- February 1999
Marking the Anchor Rode

Joe Coons

I wonder why I get some boating magazines. Filled with puff-pieces and information for the Baywatch crowd, they're often irrelevant, at least to me! I don't do much water-skiing on Bellingham Bay, and unless I win the lottery, I doubt I'll be buying a megayacht. In fact, I doubt I'd buy a megayacht even if I did win the lottery.

But just when I'm ready to give up a subscription to one of these journals, along comes a great idea or article, and they're saved from my magazine budget-cutting for another year . . .

Such was the case recently when the new issue of SEA came along. It had one great idea for me, and I suspect for you, too: It concerns a way to mark your anchor chain (and you could use it for a three-strand rope anchor rode, too, but not a braided one).

The author suggests getting two-foot lengths of every color polypropylene rope you can, including yellow, green, black, red, etc. The smallest diameter is best.

Then, simply interweave this polypropylene through your chain links or through your three-strand at the appropriate intervals, say, every twenty-five feet or every fifty feet.

Unlike the usual painted markings, the polypropylene won't wear off, and the two-foot length of the mark will make it easy to see as it goes by. Because it's interlaced, it's visible from all sides, and because it's soft, it easily passes over or through your windlass without affecting its grip on the rode.

And because the polypropylene rope is so cheap, this is very cost-effective.

I'm going to try it, for I'm sick of painting my chain every year.

I guess I'll keep SEA for another year . . .

Stay safe and have fun in February. We'll talk again next month.

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