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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest Forums > General Discussion (sailing related)
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  #1  
Old 01-24-2011
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Question Dealing with Birds at your Dock

Does anyone have any cost effective, proven ways to keep birds off your sailboat while docked at the marina during the week? As nice as they may think it is to leave me so many presents on my boat, I really don't enjoy having to allocate so much valuable sailing time with having to spray and scrub off the boat prior to launch.

I have seen people try all sorts of things from fake owls (which seem not to do much), to hanging CD's via fishing line, spikes, spinning reflective things and motion activated water sprinklers.

I am curious if anyone could share their experience on how they combat the birds. I plan on implementing something, and am leaning towards the sprinkler (Clamped to the bow pulpit, angled up and towards the stern, with a narrow spray pattern) as the hose seems to do well with getting the birds to stay off my boat.

Any and all feedback is appreciated!
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Old 01-24-2011
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We tried a number of things while our boat was out on a mooring buoy. What worked best for us, was tenting the boat with an old scrap of gillnet. It took an extra 15 minutes to put it up and take it down but it's what we ended up doing after exhausting several other methods.

One time, I set a dozen small mouse traps on the boat tied to strings. I thought the sound of a trap going off and a few sore toes would scare the birds to a nieighbor's boat. When I came back, each mouse trap left a nice little rust stain on the deck. That ended that experiment.
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Old 01-24-2011
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We're fairly lucky. we have a family of swans that live in our marina most of the season. They keep the other birds away...
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Old 01-24-2011
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The cd thing works for us. Lots of people around us use them. The others only use about 20 or so. I used 60. I made 3 strings, one on the boom and one along each side. It works!
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Old 01-24-2011
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Why can't we shoot these rodents on sight? For goodness sake, there is an actual hunting season for squirrels, but these disease spreading, garbage eating, flying crap machines are protected. WTF.
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Old 01-24-2011
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My dad swears by placing a rubber snake on deck, or even up on a spreader if you have steps.

I never tried it because I welcome the birds, poop and all. Oddly, with my "come one/come all" stance on birds and other wildlife hanging out on my boat, I rarely get pooped on.

They know..
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Old 01-24-2011
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The is a lot of poop on our docks but I never noticed any on the boats.
I guess we're lucky
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Old 01-24-2011
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After a minor mess a while back, I took a bunch of old tennis balls sliced them so I could wedge a 1/8 " line
in each and spaced them about 18" apart on the line.
My daughter drew some scarry faces on the balls with
a marker, and I hung the line very loosely from headstay
to mast and mast above boom to backstay. As we are on a mooring with some wave action there was a lot of swinging in different directions at the same time. Birds
stayed away, I think it was my daughters artwork!
However this was not set up when a young Osprey decided to try and land on my windex! That will involve a trip up the mast come spring!
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Old 01-24-2011
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Oh, that's easy, buy one of these:

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Old 01-24-2011
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My solution was to tie 2 plastic grocery bags on an unused halyard and hoist one up to the top of the mast and the other to the spreaders. Worked perfectly after implemented. While all the other devices people put on their boats (lights, owls, snakes) would be defeated after a few days. I think it was the noise the plastic makes when it fills up that stares them off.

I'll have to remember the CD idea. Maybe try that this summer.
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