How to keep the gulls off your boat!

Date posted: 17 June 2013
How do you keep the Sea gulls at bay?
For boats sat about in rivers, in marina’s and quays, seagulls are a constant problem. It would appear that next to my mooring a pair of gulls has started using the yacht as a perching location. Now I would usually just be thankful it wasn’t on my boat; but the owners of this boat have gone to great lengths to protect their boat. Rope is threaded carefully crossing the boat from the push pit to the pull pit, with hardly any area not covered.

You think this would be a deterrent…Oh no the birds hop from one clear patch to another in amongst the rope, just flapping their wings enough to alight over the next piece of string! I feel so sorry for the owners, for a number of reasons, firstly the amount of time needed to tie and untie the boat each time they wish to use her, secondly the fact it clearly isn’t working!

When a bird messes on your boat it is important to clean it up, as mess on your boat is a clear indicator to other gulls that your boat is a safe place to land, not to mention the staining damage to the gel coat.

So what is on the market…and what do others say about it??? Last year on a different mooring I used a massive garden net, which was slung over the boom, and dragged forward, it was inexpensive and easily fixed to the guard rail with pegs. This lasted the season and worked well for me. Thankfully from the shore…the netting couldn’t be seen!!

One form of bird deterrent that I have seen is plastic CD’s threaded on a string and strung around boats..not a great look, but hey who am I to comment with my garden net!
I have also seen large plastic owls and hawks tied to spreaders or fixed to the pull pit.
 The most popular in our local harbour is ‘Gullsweep’. The Gullsweep keeps birds off your boat by continually sweeping the area where they usually perch.  The Gullsweep rotates over a six diameter and creates an intimidating environment for birds as they don’t like moving objects. They now have a model with a sandbag base meaning you do not need permanent attachments, and you can move the device around the boat.
Gull sweep, good for the immediate area only

Gull sweep, good for the immediate area only

There is also something called simply the ‘birdscarer
Daddy Long legs bird scarer

Daddy Long legs bird scarer

The Daddi Long Legs is a spider-shaped circular deterrent that has a freely rotating head with long stainless steel wires which bounce in the wind or when a bird comes into contact with it. Again I can see the same problem with this as the Gullsweep, you will need a number of them on the boat, both forms of deterrent state that they are easy to remove.
So if you have stayed with me this far…I bet you have some neat ideas yourself….come on be the first to comment on the blog….what do you do on your boat ;)!

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