Well roughly one thousand dollars later we're the proud owners of 275' of 5/16 G4 Acco chain. Although the "three hundred feet of chain" rule is a good one to follow, a half drum ships out in 275' so there you go. We got ours from Defender.
I looped it out in ten foot sections and spray painted at the ends. The idea being that if you're in 30 feet of water and want to pay out 180 feet of chain you'll watch 18 sections of painted links go by. Actually, you'll watch 15 go by then rig the 30' nylon snubber, then watch another 3 painted sections go by.
Of course when I went to shake the spraypaint can the nozzle flew into the water and sunk, so I had to get the paint out by jamming a toothpick into the little receiver. Needless to say my shoes, legs, shorts, and arms have little speckles of orange safety paint.
If you order this much chain, realize that you will spend a lot to ship it: probably as much as 30% of the cost of the chain itself. Also, it will show up on a semi and you will need a way to get it from the elevated position of the semi's bed to a dolly that you can haul it away with. No dice on just rolling it out as it will crack whatever asphalt or pavement it would fall on. The stuff is heavy and weighs in at over 300 pounds.
The next time we're on the hook we'll sleep much better knowing that we have a big ass anchor secured by a big ass shackle to a big ass chain. Oh, and don't forget some seizing wire to make sure the shackle bolt doesn't come undone. I'm paranoid so I run two different ones. It's not very common for a shackle to fail but it is extremely common for a shackle bolt to wiggle its way loose.
One thing I didn't discuss was securing the bitter end, and snubbers (in any detail). Here's a pretty good discussion that happened lately over on sailinganarchy.com concerning the loss of a vessel named Moonduster. Essentially the vessel was in Fiji during the cyclone season and a 70+ knot hurricane (that got near 100 knots in other areas) and was lost on the beach. The owner is in the thread and discusses some hard realities in regards to securing the bitter end, life expectancies of snubbers (which in hurricane conditions is about 30 minutes), and other heavy-weather-at-anchor realities.
Here's a video of Tropical Cyclone Mick (the one that Moonduster was destroyed by). For those who aren't weather geeks: cyclones, hurricans, and typhoons are all very large rotating low pressure storms. The names change based on your location in the world.