Live Free 2 Sail Fast

Looking to your Rode: Chain Marking My Way

If you own a boat and haven’t a clew what your Rode is; perhaps it’s time to learn?  In boating parlance, Rode prefers to the entire system used to keep a boat anchored in one place (but not a mooring)- this means the chain/rope, attachment swivels and any kind of anchor.  Today we’re only discussing the chain/rope portion of a Rode, although anchors are a favorite subject too.  Ever hauled out your chain or rope and paid attention to them?  If not, this post may be some help: 

I love to know how much chain I have and what condition it’s in.  On both Tulum IV and Tulum 5 I’ve taken out all the chain pretty soon after initial purchase to check out the quantity and quality of the chain.  This means I’ve laid it out and measured it, checked the markings for accuracy and then put on my own markings.  Doesn’t matter if you’re rockin’ a powerboat or a sailboat, this is a good thing to do.  Here’s what Tulum 5’s Rode looks like on the dock, prior to measure and marking:

Prior to measure and mark, see the measuring tape in the picture- Anchor is now the backup anchor.

Next, I lay out the chain on the dock and measure it twice, looking to see if the old markings are accurate.  Take a look at this next photo carefully and you’ll see the plastic insert markers and paint markers.  I go a step further, and sew in my own blue webbing strap markers- by hand.  

My hand-sewn markings will go where you see the blue tape.  Doesn’t take long and it’s a labor of love.  Next picture you’ll see the whole system back on deck and the locked into place via two different methods-

Lastly, your chain should go nicely back in your locker, making sure it doesn’t castle (pile up to the chain hawse hole).  I’ve also redone my entire chain locker with anti-mold and new paint, but that’s another cliffhanger post! 

I hope this has been helpful or at least entertaining and I look forward to putting out more great “How To” posts as I go.  It’s been a long week and I missed the Weds post, but I’m back at it.  Have a great MLK Weekend-

6 comments on “Looking to your Rode: Chain Marking My Way”

  • I am lamenting my chain turning to rust! Perhaps I should have re-galvanised but lack of funds… I will end up replacing my chain in 2020 when I get a budget to do so. Any advice on getting the best for the buck on chain?

    • buy in bulk, buy from a large dealer and ensure they will deliver or don’t buy it. Make sure it’s galvanized and keep the paperwork afterwards in case it starts rusting fast.

      • Thanks.I will be back later for more advice. I have a 1970 Coronado 30, I would like to make a cruising boat by 2020. I sailed it for 2 years now everything needs replacing or leaks.

      • Capt Kenny, what a great opportunity to make that boat into whatever you want with whatever new or slightly used equipment you want. I can think of nothing better than what we’re both doing, fixing up older boats in support of a quest! Don’t lose sight of your end goal for all the work that you’ll do on your Coronado. What a neat boat, noticed that it might have a second rudder built into the keel or was that a weird line drawing I looked at. Also saw that some might be have been built in Spain after 1970, could still be out there.

      • Correct. My Coronado has a tack rudder behind the keel. Unfortunately the cable to it is broken and the attachment to the thru hull fitting rusted off so no idea how to reattach it at this time.

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