Birds can be problematic when it comes to maintaining your boat, boat lift, dock, and your boat lift cover. When these birds “leave their mark”, it’s more of a nuisance but can present actual damage to your watercraft and dock. Keeping birds off your boat and dock can require a combo of preventative measures, including covers and proper lift maintenance. To fix this problem, boat owners must first understand why birds love boats and boat docks, and what damage they can cause to your boat.
First, you must realize why birds are attracted to boats and boat docks.
Birds will be attracted to boats for several reasons. From seeking shelter to scavenging for food, and perching to various human activities that draw them in. You can read more on individual reasons below.
A Great Food Source: Boat docks can provide a consistent source of food for birds. People often fish or clean fish near docks, and this can result in small scraps or discarded bait that birds find appealing. Additionally, algae and small aquatic organisms may grow around docks, providing a natural food source for birds.
Boat Docks Offer Shelter and Roosting Spots: Docks offer birds shelter from the elements, such as sun, wind, and rain. The structures provide a place for birds to rest and roost, keeping them safe from predators and harsh weather conditions.
Perching and Nesting Opportunities: Birds like to perch on the edges of boat docks and pilings, as this vantage point allows them to scan the water for potential prey. Some species may also choose to build nests under docks or in nearby trees, as they offer secure nesting sites away from ground predators.
Proximity to Water: Birds often congregate near water bodies because they rely on them for drinking, bathing, and sometimes for catching prey. Boat docks are conveniently located close to water, making them attractive locations for birds.
Bird Behavior: Birds are social creatures and tend to gather in areas where they see other birds. Others may follow suit if one bird discovers a suitable location on a boat dock.
Human Activity: Birds can become accustomed to human activity and may associate marinas and boat docks with potential food sources. They may also become less fearful of humans, making these areas more appealing.
Now that you know why the birds are frequenting your dock, you can move on to preventative maintenance.
So. How can you prevent them from hanging around?
To keep birds off your boat and dock you can use the following methods which have been proven successful in deterring birds from hanging around.
Bird Repellent Sprays: Apply bird repellent sprays or gels on your boat cover. These products are designed to create an unpleasant surface for birds to land on.
Reflective Objects And Tape Deter Birds: While this isn’t our first suggestion as it can appear trashy, hanging reflective objects like CD discs, aluminum foil strips, or reflective tape on and around your boat cover can scare away birds.
Use Bird Spikes: Attach bird spikes to the areas of your boat cover where birds tend to perch. These spikes make it uncomfortable for birds to land and discourage them from staying.
Bird Netting For Boat Docks: Install bird netting above your boat cover. This creates a physical barrier that prevents birds from accessing the area.
Use Decoys To Scare Birds: Use decoy predators like plastic owls or hawks near your boat cover. Birds may avoid the area thinking a predator is nearby.
Keep Your Boat Lift Cover Clean: Remove any food scraps or debris from your boat cover regularly, as these can attract birds.
Repair Holes & Tears In Covers: If your boat cover has any holes or tears, patch them up promptly to prevent birds from nesting inside.
Maintain your boat lift cover and dock.
Regular boat dock and cover maintenance is important in keeping birds off your boat. Food, sticky drink remnants, and other debris left over from a weekend on the water can draw birds to your dock. Broken covers, along with gaps or crevices, your dock’s structure can offer birds a great place to nest or hang out.
Make sure that your boat lift cover is securely fastened and fitted to prevent birds from accessing the boat’s interior. Repairing these problematic areas can ensure that your boat lift cover last longer, and help minimize your bird problem.
How do boat lift covers help protect my boat from birds?
Boat lift covers designed by SlipSki offer another layer of protection against birds and other elements that your boat is exposed to daily. By creating a barrier between your boat and its surrounding environment, you make it more difficult for birds to access your boat.
Boat lift covers help to discourage birds from the following.
- Perching on your boat.
- Visiting your dock to scavenge.
- Help keep your boat clean of debris that can attract birds.
Custom boat lift covers designed to fit your boat dock specifically can greatly increase the protection of your boat from birds. If you have questions about our covers contact us today or find a location nearest to you here.