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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 04-18-2009
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plastic owls and bird droppings

In an effort to reduce the deck mess we usually find after extended periods off the boat we picked up a plastic owl at the local boat shop to give it a try, since we figure it couldnt make things worse. We havent hoisted it up the mast yet and have 2 questions 1) do they work and 2) has anyone modified one so it could be hoisted up...i.e. added an eye/hooks more condusive to hoisting then the plastic 1/8" molded into the head? All comments welcomed. Thanks.
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Old 04-18-2009
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They do NOT work.. anything stationary regardless how stoic it looks will never. Go to a local kite shop they can sell you bird of prey "kites" that you can run that at least are animated and assist in pre-prevention.

We have several sailboats at my marina that run kites that are mocked "birds of prey" run on backstays and they seem to do a good job - if anything a great watch while eating at the local marina..
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Old 04-18-2009
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When I was back in Ottawa a chap who had a Dufour 34, put plastic snakes on the deck of his boat and one even sitting on his dodger, the result was no problems, yet everyone around him bothered with the birds. His neighours followed suit when they noticed a change and wonder what was with the platic snakes, and all experience next to none if no birds or droppings, for maybe the one bird flying who couldn't control himself. But all and all was a good result. I've since heard that others in the club of some 1000 members are following suit. I would say there has to be something to it. As for the snakes they were as real as I've ever seen.
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Old 04-18-2009
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I put 'eyes' onto the buoy that I would use to mark my anchor if I had to leave in a hurry. Just 2 strips of electrical tape and then I hung it from the end of my boom. Did the same on my mooring buoy that gets hauled onto the deck. Never saw a bird poop on my boat again.
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Old 04-18-2009
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Whooo says owls don't work?

I use a mock great horned owl with a little hanging loop. I hoist it whenver the boats left on the mooring and in two years I've not had any mess on the boat. It has realistic eyes which help and I use a piece of plasic bag in the feet/talon area which moves quite a bit with any breeze. [simulates struggling prey, maybe]
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Last edited by Joesaila; 04-18-2009 at 06:27 AM. Reason: because I could
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Old 04-18-2009
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A pair of nesting swans works better IMHO, but is harder to setup...
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Old 04-18-2009
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I picked up a string of flags from a beer distributor,(read free) took a scissors and cut each flag into three strips(cutting within an inch of the line) and then stringing them around the lifelines. I never had a bit of bird droppings on the boat, just had a bunch of people coming up and asking for a beer. If you're looking for something a little less intrusive, I saw a guy that put fish line on the clip style clothespins and clipped them to his lifelines the birds cant see the fish line and cant land on the lifelines. It doesn't keep them from landing on the deck though

Dave
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Old 04-19-2009
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all great ideas - thx you !
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Old 04-20-2009
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If a dirty bottom slows you down what do you think it does to your boat
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