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Plastic Owl on Boat Lift?

Old 12-28-2016, 06:10 AM
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Default Plastic Owl on Boat Lift?

Below is a picture of my boat/lift for reference. My t-top canvas is full of crap, literally. Birds are constantly hanging out on it, and if they don't poop on the t-top canvas, they'll poop on the boat cover.

I was thinking of two options:

1. Putting a plastic owl on one of the poles. I've seen a few in the neighborhood, but wonder if they work. Evidently the type with a moving head are better since birds will get accustomed to a static version. Will they get used to all of them at some point?

2. Installing fishing line in a crisscross pattern at the top of the guide poles. This seems to be a deterrent that works well at waterfront restaurants. My only concern is that we do have large gray herons, and they too stand/poop on the top, and I don't want to injure one.

Aside from sitting on the dock 24/7 with a hose, any other suggestions are welcome!
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Old 12-28-2016, 06:18 AM
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I was in the keys a few weeks ago and noticed a guy had something rigged up I'd never seen before....

A sheet of needles or spikes on top of his outboards. I don't know how else to decscribe it. Think of 500 rigging needles standing up on their ends affixed to a board.

I'm not sure how would be best to rig it...maybe a sheet of styrofoam purchased from a arts/crafts store, glue to it to a sheet of starboard for rigidity and drill strap points in the starboard. Push the back ends of stainless rigging needles in to the styrofoam and strap the starboard to the top of the t-top.

It looked like one side of the iron maiden facing up on the top of outboards. I sure as sh*t wouldn't land on it if I was a bird.
Old 12-28-2016, 06:34 AM
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I can say that the plastic owl doesn't work, at least long term.
I put one on top of a floater piling, and after 3 months you couldn't see the head of the owl there was so much bird crap covering it.
Old 12-28-2016, 06:36 AM
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Try a couple old CDs hung on a string and able to twist in the wind. Birds do not like the flickering light.
Old 12-28-2016, 06:38 AM
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My neighbor had the Owl with the moving head. Didn't work. He now has the array of spines thing which works ok.

I have the monofilament strung above my boat which works pretty well. (neighbor's boat is too tall to use the monofilament)
Old 12-28-2016, 06:50 AM
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According to this dude across the pond, all you need to do is get a red boat cover and t-top canvas!

https://www.theguardian.com/uk/scotl...-card-arbroath
Old 12-28-2016, 06:51 AM
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Thanks...I was afraid the owl would work only for a short period of time, or not at all. Guess I'll go the monofilament route. In a crisscross pattern, it will cross-sect right over the t-top, so it'll be tough for birds to land on it, and if they do, their motion will be restricted, so hopefully they'll fly off before pooping.
Old 12-28-2016, 06:55 AM
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Interesting about the red deterrent! Sea gulls aren't a concern, but rather herons of all types, black birds, pelicans and osprey's.
Old 12-28-2016, 06:59 AM
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Sure give it a try.
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Old 12-28-2016, 07:00 AM
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Wal-Mart online the plastic yellow blow up balls with big eyes on them. Hang em off the ttop front and back.
Old 12-28-2016, 07:03 AM
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I tried the owl....it only worked for a little while. I was thinking of the wire/string between the guideposts thing...but we flex those posts coming into the berth so we would have to take it down when we go out. It would also create a headroom issue getting into and out of the boat.

The "spikes" or needles is a very popular way to keep pigeons of building facades.....but might be a PITA on a boat. It is also a very "localized" solution, so they might just move over a couple of inches. I have heard of good results with pinwheels, dangling CD's and also dangling aluminum pie plates.......

Also some marine-specific pinwheel-type thingies....bird-B-gone, etc....
Old 12-28-2016, 07:07 AM
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Originally Posted by 6104696 View Post

and also dangling aluminum pie plates.......
Forgot about the pie plates. My aunt and uncle farm cherries and they used to hang pie plates in their cherry trees. It worked well.
Old 12-28-2016, 07:10 AM
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String silver metallic streamers, the type they have at used car lots, around boat and boat lift guides, the more the better.
Old 12-28-2016, 07:37 AM
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https://www.amazon.com/Bird-X-Plasti.../dp/B0019F8IX6

Put them on something that you can toss up on the t-top as soon as you hit the dock.
Old 12-28-2016, 08:08 AM
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I always see birds sitting on top of the owls like posted above. So pretty sure they generally don't work lol
Old 12-28-2016, 08:18 AM
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the owl works for a day or so, works better if you move it and take it in at night.
I use one to keep the birds away from my dog's bowl but if you just leave it one spot they catch on pretty quick. I take it in at night and I put it in different spots works much better.

Figure something else out unless you have a lot of time to move this plastic owl around all the time
Old 12-28-2016, 08:50 AM
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Thanks everyone...I'm trying to find a solution that's a little more nondescript. If possible, I'd like to have a fixed solution that doesn't require installing and removing. I've seen CD's used on sailboats quite frequently, so maybe mono going front-to-back on the guide poles, with a few CD's would work.
Old 12-28-2016, 09:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Commocean View Post
Thanks everyone...I'm trying to find a solution that's a little more nondescript. If possible, I'd like to have a fixed solution that doesn't require installing and removing. I've seen CD's used on sailboats quite frequently, so maybe mono going front-to-back on the guide poles, with a few CD's would work.
Maybe some old Yoko Ono or Bjork CD's. That should keep every living thing away....
Old 12-28-2016, 09:37 AM
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ditto; the only thing that works is mono; just make sure your antenna(s) clear it. Your other option is a pellet gun but dead birds float; not sure why I know that.

It doesn't take much mono to keep them away.
Old 12-28-2016, 10:08 AM
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Originally Posted by coastboater View Post
I can say that the plastic owl doesn't work, at least long term.
I put one on top of a floater piling, and after 3 months you couldn't see the head of the owl there was so much bird crap covering it.
I put an owl on my boat on a 2ft pvc pipe ... it worked for a little while ... I then put it on a longer (6ft) smaller diameter pvc pipe and wrapped duct tape around the bottom until it almost fit in a rod holder. No more bird poop ... the wind keeps it moving around and I assume more realistic. It's been working for almost a year now whereas the stubby static one I started with only lasted 6-8 weeks ...
.

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