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Old 12-14-2009, 07:24 PM   #1
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I've recently encountered a horrible deck stain issue... Black berry bird poo... at least that's what it seems to be... This place is loaded with blackbirds and they just love hanging out in the rigging leaving their unwanted deliveries all over the place.... I've got a boom tent up on the main over the coach house and keep the cockpit covered quite often as well but still these pests continue to somehow get through my defences... next step is a plastic owl in the rigging... maybe that will keep them off... Even if it does though I have yet to find a good stain remover for these horrible purple stains, soap does nothing, comet does nothing, rust stain remover turns the stain pink and eventually gets it out but is also leaching the color out of my nonskid leaving bright white spots all over the off-white nonskid... and it's even worse when it's not on the nonskid... it doesn't come out of the gel coat even with rust stain remover... I've taken to using 1200grit wet sand paper to buff the stains out... and I thought red wine vomit stain was hard to get out.

Anyone else ever encounter this stain? any suggestions?
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Old 12-14-2009, 08:11 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by atavist View Post
Anyone else ever encounter this stain? any suggestions?
Ah, the purple/black bird poo. I've experience it but now don't have the same surfaces you have to deal with. It comes right off of varnished wood and painted canvas. I know it doesn't come off of old fiberglass gelcoat worth a darn because our other boat had decks that were in need of waxing, painting, or something.

Is the surface you're trying to clean a bit chalky? If so, the stain is just getting into that top oxidized layer of gelcoat--and perhaps your best bet is to clean and somehow seal the gelcoat..

But regarding stains, you might try some Simple Green to clean the spot. It sometimes works wonders. I know some people who use SnoBowl (or something like Snowy Bowl...) toilet cleaner on their fiberglass hull to get bad stains off of it.

Good luck.
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Old 12-14-2009, 09:02 PM   #3
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Nonconventional approaches:

- Try accumulating salt, dust and such on the deck. When you get to less blackbirdpooless areas, you can more easily get rid of it with those layers underneath.

I am doing this approach with my bycicle. It also helps against thieves. Bike chain lubricant is a good material to give an initial cover to the surface, hopefully insulates bird poo, and attracts dust very well.

- Paind the deck pink.
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Old 12-15-2009, 12:51 PM   #4
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Yeah my gel coat is a bit chalky... I've used the Gel Coat Restorer Wax on the hull which pretty much took care of the chalkyness... guess it's time to get on my knees and do the same with the non-nonskid deck areas.
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Old 12-15-2009, 02:01 PM   #5
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another suggestion for cleaning the stains - this is a "try", I'm not sure. Non-chlorine fabric bleach is quite good at getting out juice and berry stains if you apply it to the dry stain (i.e., full strength, do not wet it first). Another safe way to "bleach", for stains on nylon as well, is a thick paste of common household baking soda with a drop or two of water, put on stain and drip hydrogen peroxide onto the paste. Bubbles really well, and might remove the stain as well.

I think that having baking soda around, especially for putting out grease fires in the galley, makes it a common item on a boat. Most people have hydrogen peroxide in their first-aid kit to help clean dirty wounds, so you should have the ingredients to try that approach without going out to buy something new.

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Old 12-16-2009, 12:30 AM   #6
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This wont help with the stains but the best bird deterrent I have seen is CD's or DVD's on a string. Hang em all over the place and the reflection and flashing keeps the birds away.
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Old 12-16-2009, 10:21 AM   #7
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Oh you guys haven't seen nothing yet.

Try anchoring/mooring/berthing a boat along the SE coast of Australia near a heavily wooded area sometime and watching the decks for kookaburra turds. The kookaburra is the world's largest kingfisher, and being land based it generally eats lizards, small reptiles, snails, slugs (favourite food is the leopard slug -- a carnivorous Australian variety) and of course its primary natural prey, the barbecued sausage (turn your back on the bbq'd sausages in kookaburra country and you'll lose them).

There is nothing that stains, smells, or even approaches the droppings of a carnivorous bird, trust me on this.

Owls. The answer is owls. You can get the large plastic ones and hang them by strings, or what's quite common here are the fluffy vaguely-owl shaped things that look like the working end of a mop, hung in the rigging. I have several on the shrouds and the diagonals and since hanging them there the weekly bird turd clean up exercise has become less of a nightmare.
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Old 12-16-2009, 10:50 AM   #8
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We found that a few well placed big rubber/plastic snakes worked well.
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Old 12-16-2009, 03:48 PM   #9
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I used Polyglow on mine. It creates a layer over the plastic and really keeps things from staining. Red wine stains wipe right off.

It's not something I would use for a fancy new boat, but I don't think many of us have one of those. For an older boat it does wonders with minimal effort.
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Old 12-17-2009, 02:45 AM   #10
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When I was in New Zealand, I purchased a roll of "Bird Scare" , at a yacht supply.

It is a thin plastic tape that you streach out horizontally with a bungy on one end to tension it.

The tape is about the size of the tape in a cassett , and has a harmonic hum, even in very light breeze. I have had good success with this .

What acid is in the rust stain remover ? Could it be Hydrofloric acid ? If so, it doesn't seem to harm gelcoat but it will "half life" paint.

Did you try any of the citris cleaners ?

Douglas
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Old 12-17-2009, 12:41 PM   #11
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haven't tried any new cleaners yet but got what was there up best as possible using simple green and the rust remover in moderation...

I put up an inflatable owl and it is definitely helping... they stay away whichever end of the boat the owl is on... right now it's up front so all I have to do when I hear them land on the mizzen is reach out and give the mizzen halyard a twang so that it bangs against the mast and they leave... I'll probably pick up another owl and maybe a snake today, one for the stern and one in the spreaders... that should pretty much get the job done....

I almost feel sorry for the next boat out.... I'm closest to shore and they used to swamp me... since the arrival of the owl he's getting the worst of it.
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Old 12-17-2009, 02:03 PM   #12
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I think you'll find that the birds will eventually figure out that the owl isn't a threat. Same with the snake. In general, it seems that the most effective bird repellents are moving - the suggestion of old CDs twirling in the breeze. One boat had a rotating metal wire arm - I'm having trouble finding the words to describe it, but it was very simple. Picture a rotating radar arm, but just a thin piece of metal rod, with something shiny at each end. Sitting on top of the boom or the pulpit rail, able to rotate with the breeze. The sweep of the arms of this thing kept the birds hopping and so they gave up.
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Old 12-17-2009, 03:27 PM   #13
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Hanging old fenders the way that they swing over the deck helps knocking the birds off the boat. Works well in any marina where there is swell.

Big fun to see the ducks making themselves comfortable on the stern platform, as a ship passes by the marina and the fenders start swinging...

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Old 12-17-2009, 03:43 PM   #14
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Not staying in one place too long is a great way to keep the birds off the boat. We've noticed that the birds tend to be much more likely to sit on your boat if your boat has been...just sitting there! Seriously.
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