Jump to content

colour of anchor chains and anchors

Recommended Posts

Probably black with some white bands painted on the chain at 100 foot or 10 fathom intervals. Connecting links might be painted red, don't remember the details, but anchor chains were marked so the length out was known.

My 1964 printing of the American Merchant Seaman's Manual states that the merchant service and navy use two different standards of markings but go's on to say that those actually handling the ground tackle may have their own marking system. Wire wraps as well as paint were used to mark the anchor cable,"chain".


Edited by jud
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Usually the anchor chain was divided in eight 15 fathom lenghts conected by patent links or shackles. Normally eight such lenghts.

To keep track of how much chain was out a number of links on both sides of the shackle were painted white.

Also  a lenght of wire was twisted around the stay of the corresponding link, i.e. the third shackle would have three white links on either side

of the shackle and a twist of wire on the third link on either side.

As for red connecting links I don't really recall seeing it

Sometimes a dozen or so links nearer to the anchor were also painted white to make it easier to see when nearing the surface an start

reducing winch speed.

I wasn't sailing in the 30s but I sailed on some trawlers not much younger and I'm pretty sure the way they were run by the bosuns wasn't

that much different.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Rust was the color of choice once a trawler left the ship yard The original black paint on the cast iron would not have lasted long in the open ocean and as paint was expensive seldom used also the anchors would have been used very very infrequently almost in case of emergency only so no chance of the rust getting worn of 


Current Build

HM Granado CC

Past builds

 HMS Chatham CC, HM Convulsion CC,  Duke William German Kit, Fair American LSS, The Wright Flyer MS

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...