How to Keep Seagulls Off Boat Canopy Lift Covers

How to Keep Seagulls Off Boat Canopy Lift Covers

Among the invasive birds common in marine vessels, seagulls happen to be the most disgusting. Most boat owners actually see them as the rats of the air. 

And the reason is simple – seagulls are pretty intrusive as they can invade your boat lift cover and poop everywhere, causing damage to the entire vessel.

The worst thing about seagull invasions is that they not only come to chill out on the boat, but they also make it their personal bathroom. 

Whenever they visit your boat, they leave a terrible mess and you’ll have to scrub the cover and deck to remove all that seagull poop.

Along with the pooping damage, you may also have to deal with diseases as seagulls’ poop has all the nastiness obtained from bins and damps. 

While you could simply run around waving your hands to scare seagulls away, they will come back and carry on with their business as soon as you leave.

In this article, we’ll talk about several solutions to help you rid your boat canopy lift cover of seagulls. Check it out.  

The Secret of Keeping Seagulls off Boat Lift Covers

The Secret of Keeping Seagulls off Boat Lift Covers

Whether your pontoon boat is docked or cruising on the water, there are several methods you can use to keep seagulls away in such scenarios. 

If you are looking for a seagull solution that works for both static and moving vessels, bird deterrents that rotate with winds are your best choice. 

There are also many commercially available products you can use to keep seagulls off your boat canopy lift cover when your vessel is moored. 

If you have a seagull invasion on your boat, don’t worry as you can easily eliminate them in a few steps. 

Getting rid of seagulls begins by accepting that bird invasions are a normal thing for watercraft and recognizing the need to actively keep your boat safe all the time. 

I’ve had to deal with seagulls on my pontoon boat several times and while it wasn’t a bed of roses, I nailed it for the first time with a seagull sweeper. 

Even so, seagulls are much more clever than you might think. 

When they perch at an appealing pace with food nearby, they will stick around and call more friends as reinforcement. 

To help you keep seagulls off your boat lift cover and protect your vessel, here are some practical solutions to try: 

#1. Get a Bird B Gone Seagull Deterrent

While simply waving hands may not keep seagulls off your boat canopy lift cover for a long time, the most effective way still involves motion. 

Seagulls hate landing on areas with erratic motion and will stay away from boat lifts with moving devices. So, the Bird B Gone seagull deterrent is your best bet for a boat lift cover. 

This device comes with spider-like arms that bounce and sway with winds to create an optical distraction area for birds. They will not want to land near the area with the moving device. 

I liked the Bird B Gone deterrent device because it’s highly versatile, so you can adapt it to prevent seagull invasion on the various parts of your boat. 

You can install it on your boat cover canopy frame, Bimini top, or even a lift cover to keep seagulls away. 

The only drawback of this seagull deterrent is that it’s prone to mechanical damage, given that it uses screws, a pivot, and natural elements, that is, wind, to scare birds away. 

Over time, the screws may loosen in the wind or even fall out, causing the spider arms to detach. Loose screws may also lead to unnecessary vibration as the pivot point twists. 

To solve the issue, you should check the deterrent from time to time and tighten any loose ends. This will ensure that the device lasts for a long time and remains effective in keeping birds away. 

Get a Bird B Gone Seagull Deterrent

#2. Install a Gulls-Away Boat Bird Deterrent 

This bird deterrent differs from the first option as it doesn’t rely on natural elements or movement to keep seagulls off the canopy lift. 

It’s rather an obstruction device that uses four uprights attached to the corners of a canopy frame then extended on the canopy to keep birds away. 

The Gulls Away Deterrent features a transparent fishing line tied in an X pattern to leave no place for birds to land. 

It works in the sense that if the seagulls cannot access your canopy lift cover, they can’t mess up with it since it blocks them from the canopy cover. 

If you own a large boat with a huge boat lift cover, Gulls Away is an excellent option as it will increase obstruction and keep your boat safe during peak seagull time. 

And there is no need to worry about how your boat will look as this deterrent doesn’t interfere with your canopy’s aesthetics. The bird deterrent is barely noticeable so that it won’t affect your canopy’s looks. 

It’s pretty easy to assemble the device and install it on the boat lift top. All you have to do is attach it to the boat lift frame and voila!

#3. Hang Some Lawn Ornaments 

Another great way to keep seagulls off your canopy lift cover is hanging some ornaments like hawks, owls, and falcons. 

These ornaments can work magic in areas with high seagull populations. Seagulls are afraid of these birds as they see them as predators. 

A friend of mine has a pair owl ornaments with bright yellow eyes, and she claims that they get the job done exceptionally well. 

If you want to buy some owl ornaments for your boat, you’ll find several options in the market. I recommend the Ruolan Plastic Owl Scarecrows as they are non-fading and easy to install. 

There are also some owl decoys designed with a head moving back and forth. They can be even more effective as the birds think that the owl is looking around for a snack. 

You can attach them to the top of your boat lift canopy cover or place them on the outer deck of the boat to ensure that seagulls can see them from afar. 

While hanging some owl and falcon ornaments may not be the best decorations for canopy lifts, it’s an excellent way to keep stubborn seagulls away. 

You may not like how the ornaments look on your boat, but you’ll definitely love their efficiency in solving  seagull problems. 

#4. Use Scare Tapes on the Canopy Frame

If you are looking for a quick and effective way of deterring birds without spending a lot of money, a bird scare tape is your go-to option. 

Seagulls dislike reflective devices, and they won’t come near your boat when they see the tape. Unlike other reflective materials like old CDs that would look shabby on your boat, a mirrored tape looks attractive. 

You can get the bird scare tapes and tie them on the canopy frame or anywhere on your boat, ensuring that birds can see them from a far distance and keep off. 

When buying the scare tape, you want to look for a durable one that can withstand harsh outdoor conditions, so you won’t have to replace it regularly. 

Have Some Reflective Mirrors or Spiral Rods on Board

#5. Have Some Reflective Mirrors or Spiral Rods on Board 

If you don’t want to use reflective scare tape, you can try other reflective apparatus such as spiral rods and mirrors. 

Reflective mirrors and spiral rods work the same way as to scare tapes but with less movement. They reflect light that seagulls find annoying. 

This solution not only works for deterring seagulls but is also an excellent way to keep other birds like sparrows, pigeons, and woodpeckers off your boat. 

You can hang them on the boat railing or find a creative way to hook them on the boat lift cover. 

If you decide to install them on the lift cover, be sure to secure them well to ensure that strong winds don’t take them off. 

#6. Bring a Crouching Pet On Board

Did you know that cats and dogs are direct enemies of birds? Your furry friends are natural hunters, and seagulls ignite their hunting skills whenever they land nearby. 

When birds see a cat or dog on board, they will stay away. The nice thing about scaring birds with a pet is that you don’t have to bring your furry friend on board all the time. 

You can buy a model of a cat designed in a crouching position, and the birds will still keep off your boat canopy lift. 

Some cat decoys are also designed with a raised tail that waggles in the wind denoting even more threat to the feral birds. 

#7. Invest in a Scaregull Seagull Sweep

Another effective yet affordable way to deter seagulls from a boat canopy lift cover is to install a seagull sweep. 

The Scaregull Seagull Sweep is easy to install on a canopy cover, and it doesn’t require power to operate. Its two propellers sweep around in the wind to deny seagulls and other kinds of birds a landing place on your boat canopy cover. 

When installed properly, this seagull deterrent will not only deliver outstanding performance but also last for a long time. 

#8. Net Your Boat

If you don’t have a pet to bring on board and are not sold to reflective bird deterrents, your better resort is to keep your boat netted. 

You can install a net or mesh all over the exposed parts of your boat to ensure that seagulls have nowhere to land on your vessel. 

To install the net or mesh, you’ll just need to gather some strings then tie the net across the canopy lit and the lower part of the boat. 

While this works extremely well for small and medium-sized boats, it may not work for large vessels with towering spreaders. 

#9. Electric Deterrents 

While this method is usually common in marinas, it can also be effective in keeping birds away from boat canopies. 

Electric bird deterrents provide a mild electric current shock through a metal track to birds who try to land or make a nest on your boat. 

The mild shock will not harm the birds but will give them a lesson to stay away and warn their friends as well. 

This option may be a bit pricier than other solutions provided above, but it has proven to be an effective way to deter birds. 



Q: How Do I Keep Birds Out of My Boat Lift Canopy?

A: There are many ways to keep birds out of your boat lift canopy, from reflective bird stoppers to audio deterrents. 

If you want a faster solution that will deter birds from your boat cover immediately, you can install the seagull sweep or Bird B Gone deterrent that spins in the wind. 

Garden ornaments like plastic owls and falcons can also be used to scare stubborn birds and keep them off mooring covers in marinas and local beaches. 

Other boat owners use scare tapes and repellent gels to get rid of birds and or make it uncomfortable for them to land on static boat lifts.

Q: How Do I Keep Birds Off My Bimini Top?

A: To keep birds out of your Bimini top, you need to install a bird deterrent for boats such as Bird B Gone repellent with spider legs or propellers. 

Birds can land almost anywhere on your boat, but they feel safe on the Bimini top as they can easily fly away.

So, you should look for a deterrent that is easy to install and works best on boat covers and Bimini tops. 

If you don’t want to hassle hard for a bird deterrent, you can get much better results by keeping your boat netted.

Q: How Do I Stop Seagulls from Pooping on My Boat?

A: The best way to prevent seagulls from pooping on your boat is by ensuring that they don’t land on your vessel.

And there are many ways to prevent seagulls from perching on your vessel, including using a seagull stopper with wire legs that rotate in the wind and seagull distress calls.

If you live in a great lake region with many of these birds, the best canopy bird deterrent system to use is a Scaregull Seagull Sweep. 

You can install one or two Scaregull seagull sweeps on various parts of your boat to ensure that the birds have nowhere to land. 

Alternatively, hang some shiny materials on your vessel to scare birds away and prevent seagull poop. 

Better yet, you can bring your pet on board or simply buy a seagull deterrent cat decoy with a bobbing head on the deck where birds can easily see it. No bird will try to land or poop near a hungry predator. 



Seagulls are undoubtedly among the most annoying birds to boaters, and it’s not just the disgusting poop they leave behind. They make nasty noise, and their waste carries loads of bacteria and contaminants. 

So, you need to get rid of them as soon as they land on your boat canopy lift or simply  prevent them from landing altogether. 

I hope the solutions discussed above will help you solve your seagull problem and keep your boat canopy lift cover poop-free. 

If you cannot get rid of seagulls on your boat, you may want to call animal and pest control to help you safely remove their nest or eggs. 

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Lisa Hayden-Matthews

Lisa Hayden-Matthews

An avid Skier, bike rider, triathlon enthusiast, amateurish beach volleyball player and nature lover who has never lost a dare! I manage the overall Editorial section for the magazine here and occasionally chip in with my own nature photographs, when required.

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