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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all, weekend sailor here. Every time wifey and I come up to the boat it's a ritual to clean the deck. With no one on the boat mon-fri to repel boarders, we're always left with bird mess. Mostly along where they perch on the furled jib sheets or lifelines. This appears to be normal for everyone in the marina.

Except for one boat, I notice one boat, a 50-ish Caliber, has pinwheels taped to their lifeline stanchions. Presumably as they spun in the wind the bright flashiness would be off-putting to the birds (mostly swallows). Does anyone else employ this tactic and does it work? The weekly ritual of scrubbing the deck will never go away, but it'd be much easier without the gobs of bird nastiness every time. :confused:
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Oh, and the Caliber's deck was clean, so it seems to work form them, but it's possible too that they scrubbed their deck that afternoon.
 

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Bird stuff is a pain. Different birds, different remedies. It seems that seagulls )sater rats!) get used to almost anything.

The pinwheels would probably keep most birds off the lifelines, in fact I may try it. Anything shiny will usually work as long as it moves.

As to the sheets for the genoa just coil them and attach to the lifeline at the bow to not give them a place to light. Keeps them from chafing, and also makes the deck easier to clean when they are out of the way.
 

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I just leave chocolate, cheese, and red meat on the deck for them. Binds the little @#$#@ up real good. It's fun to watch them waddle around, all hunched over making low, uncomfortable groaning sounds about an hour later.
 
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There are very effective electronic bird repellents used by airports. A boat near me in Charleston City Marina had one and when it was on it covered a pretty wide area.
As they are pretty expensive, I'd get the slip holders to suggest that the marina purchase one or two to cover the whole marina and solve the problem for all.
 

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One thing I did was to get those 1/4 lb deli containers, the ones they sell potato salad and such in....poke a hole in the middle of the bottom for a string with a hook to hang the container, bottom side up, then get 3/4" round mirrors from a local craft store. Glue them all around, then hang it over your deck, or cockpit, wherever you have a problem. As the boat rocks and rolls, or the wind blows it sends dozens of dancing lights all over your boat. They DON'T like that!

Won't keep them off the spreaders or top of mast though. You need spikes and wires for that.
 
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I've noticed that birds will move between boats, leaving some untouched altogether. If they find a boat they like, they will stay until either dissuaded or something else more attractive as a roost arrives nearby.

Old CD's hung on bits of string at strategic locations have some effect and are a cheap solution. Around here, gulls and shags are our main adversaries. The worst of the lot are shags that just love to get into the cockpit and sit behind the dodger to get out of the weather. To top if off their poops set like concrete after a couple of days. CD's would work most times, but every now and again a few hardy avian souls would ignore them and move in until even more CD's were laid out to discourage them. Even tried a rubber snake at one point and they just pooped on it, too. These days we use a full cockpit cover of bird netting cut to size and fitted with a ring of elastic cord at the base that allows it to be set up or taken down in only a minute or two. From our own experiences and from observing the boats around us (including the ones where seagulls nest in the anchor wells), bird netting is by far the most effective solution. It not only provides a physical barrier to prevent them from entering a covered area, but they also will not land on the netting even if it is suspended just a small distance above a potential perch.
 

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I bought a roll of bird scare tape and sewed it to the perimeter of a burgee. I fly the burgee just above the mast top. It's attached to a stick that I haul up on the halyard with a downhaul to retrieve it. It seems to help to keep the big birds off the top of the mast. The problem with big birds is that they sit up there and eat fish, but apparently fish guts are hard to hold onto in talons.

Shop Bird-X 1,200-in L Bird Repelling Ribbon at Lowes.com
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks All, so far it's only been the swallows that are the real problem. while we have tons of seaguls and cormorants, I don't see many of those actually on boats. ReefMagnet is right though, they appear to move about the marina in a group. They really love my neighbors boat, a 31 foot Formula powerboat that rarely is used.

I think I'll try the pinwheels as a cheap tactic. I have already stowed my jib sheets as suggested in this thread so they're not a perch option. Hopefully the little buggers stay away from my life lines. It ocurred to me though, with only about a month of sailing left before the boat comes out for the season, I really should have thought about this 6 months ago. ;)
 

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I had one of those fake owls with the swiveling head and they work.

How do I know. Because after two years with no bird crap on my boat, my owl fell off the piling next to my boat one day. A few weeks later, the birds were obviously having drunken parties on my deck, and crapping everywhere. I've got to get another one.
 

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Monofilament fishing line strategically placed will deter birds from landing anywhere. Effective and inexpensive. They can't see it, but when it's felt scares them off because of bad footing when landing.
 
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