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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related)
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  #1  
Old 09-11-2007
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Terns

I have a major problem with terns. Any success stories on keeping terns off the boat?
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Old 09-12-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ddilman View Post
I have a major problem with terns. Any success stories on keeping terns off the boat?
A shotgun works wonders for me... Seriously though, you have to be on the boat 24/7 for this to work properly.

Humming lines don't seem to much (terns are deaf??) but a fake-hawk birdscarer on a halyard up the forestay/backstay seems to work better than nothing.

--Cameron
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Old 09-12-2007
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Get one of those fake snakes and leav it on deck
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Old 09-12-2007
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How do you feel about cats?
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Old 09-12-2007
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Originally Posted by Raggbagger View Post
How do you feel about cats?
Well you could use a shotgun on cats too, but you've got to be careful not to damage the deck..

Or did you mean have a cat aboard to keep the terns away?? Oh... You have to feed cats, meaning regular trips to the boat, otherwise neighbours can get upset at the noise of a starving cat meowing in the night on the other side of a silent anchorage.

--Cameron
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Old 09-12-2007
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Originally Posted by Hartley18 View Post
Well you could use a shotgun on cats too, but you've got to be careful not to damage the deck..


--Cameron
Classic.

I've noticed some people using CDs hanging on fishing line. Whether it works for Terns or not I don't know but it does give a fine tangle of fishing line and discs if the wind pipes up. Does seem to discourage seagulls but maybe terns are a hardier breed.
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Old 09-12-2007
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I own a vineyard, and we use a propane "cannon" to keep the birds away. It fires a loud shot at random times, so the birds don't get use to it. Now I can see your slip mates falling off their chairs when it goes off, so this may not work for you......
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Old 09-12-2007
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Ok forget the cat,or the shotgun neither of those are great for neighbor relationships . Something I just remembered to scare birds was this contraption a Captain buddy told me about, sounded like it did the trick.So I will make my best attempt at describing it to you. Here goes :- Its basically a motor that drives a stick attached to a spring that smacks the forestay and causes the birds to take off. I guess you could use any low powered electric motor you can canibalise from oh say a blender , record player,cassette deck drill , or whatever ,you get the idea.Then attach a stick that will smack the forestay , shroud or back stay hard enough to scare the birds yet not hard enough to cause any damage. Then have it spring loaded so that as the motor turns it slowly it has some time delay before it smacks again . Apparently this worked great , didnt bother the neighbors, and left his poop deck poop free. Its a lot of rigimarole and probably will take some finagaling but its something that works without you having to be there.
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Old 09-12-2007
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There are several companies which produce spike-strip bird deterrents used on any horizontal surface birds typically roost upon - such as mast spreaders. One is Bird-B-Gone, in plastic or stainless steel.


I haven't used it on my boat, since birds for some reason avoid it - unlike some neighboring boats which seem to attract them. I have specified it for buildings though - seems to be very effective in keeping pigeons off ledges and roof eaves.

One very frugal sailor used 18" plastic cable ties secured to his spreaders. They are spaced about 6" apart and positioned with the "tails" of the ties pointing upward - similating the spike-strip design.
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Old 09-12-2007
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Thin fishing line, strung just 4-6" the spreaders will often deter them from landing. Since they can't really see it and will hit it...they'll learn to avoid the boat. For the bimini and dodger, you'd probably want something like a GullSweep.

One other option is an electronic bird deterrent. Several companies make them, and they use the distress cries of the various species in your area to deter like birds from coming around. Fairly effective.
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