How to Keep Seagulls off Pontoon Boat

How to Keep Seagulls off Pontoon Boat

Keeping seagulls away and preventing them from pooping all over a boat seems like a perpetual battle that every boat owner has to fight. 

These birds can be a huge issue when they land and decide to have a little fun on your boat. Not only can they damage your perfect boat with their waste, but they can also spread hazardous diseases.  

See, when these birds aren’t landing on boats, they are probably on some dirty spots like bins and garbage areas trying to find something to eat. 

Some of them may seem clean, but the truth is that they carry all sorts of germs and bacteria, and they can easily bring all the nastiness onto your immaculate boat. 

Seagulls can be very shrewd too, and they love living in groups in areas with food nearby. 

If they come to a boat and like the habitat, they will bring more friends next time. 

Once they make your poor boat their hanging place, you’ll toil trying to clean the mess they leave on the deck, seats, and canvas. 

And apart from the devastating work getting rid of all that seagull poop, you and your boating crew might get sick as well. 

Luckily, I have been there too, and I might have some answers for you. 

In this article, I’m going to show some of the most effective ways to keep seagulls off your boat. 

Check out the method that saved my pontoon boat from seagulls and find more practical solutions that worked for other boat owners below!

Best Ways to Get Rid of Seagulls from Your Pontoon Boat

Humane Seagull and Bird Sweep

A few years ago, I had a seagull infestation on my pontoon boat, which made me loathe these creatures. Everything they did to my poor pontoon was just disgusting. 

I was surprised to see that even my little son, who is actually a bird-lover, felt scorned by these intruding flying rodents. 

So, I decided to do some research and ask around in my area how people deal with these birds. After a few days of looking into it, I decided to try a humane seagull and bird sweep. 

I bought my first bird scarer, but unfortunately, I broke after a year or so. It also needed constant maintenance and repairs, which I could not keep up with. 

A friend of mine then recommended that I buy the Scaregull Seagull and Bird Scarer, and I heeded the advice and went for it. 

It’s a simple device that comes with two propellers that spread sideways from the central point. 

And to be honest, this is all I needed to discourage birds and get relief from their nasty noise. 

I’ve had this Scaregull seagull sweep for nearly three years now, and all I can say is that it works extremely well. 

If you want to keep seagulls away from your boat for good, all you have to do is install this sweep on top of your vessel. Its spinning scares birds away and discourages them from nesting on the boat top. 

What’s even more intriguing about this sweep is that it requires no power to run as it spins with the wind. No wires or batteries are needed!

And it’s so easy to install it. You can fit it on the Bimini top or a hauling tower if your boat has one. It’s also super easy to disassemble the scarer when not in use. 

Another delightful thing about the Scaregull Seagull and Bird Scarer is that it keeps birds away without hurting them in any way. 

For boat enthusiasts with huge watercraft, I’d suggest that you get two of these sweeps and see them work like a charm on all fronts. 

Bird Spider Repellant 

Have you ever seen other vessels with a long wire-like device fitted on top? Perhaps that was a Bird B Gone Spider Repellant. It functions practically the same way as the first option. 

While I have never tried this device before, a friend of mine who lives in Utah has every confidence in it. She has them on her two boats and claims that the spider legs bounce really well to scare seagulls. 

Just like the Scaregull Seagull and Bird Scarer, the Bird B Gone Spider device runs with the wind, so you don’t have to worry about how to power it. 

It’s designed with stainless steel ‘spider legs, making it sturdy enough to last for many years.  

While this device will not hurt a seagull in whatever way, it forms an optical distraction that many birds hate and can’t dare come near it. 

The highly effective repellant has several types of bases, making it highly versatile. 

It’s also available in different sizes to ensure that everyone gets a perfect one, no matter how big or small their boat is. 

When it comes to storage, you can easily remove the spider arms from the base for easy organization and saving on space. 

Plastic Owl Ornament Featured with Frightening Eyes 

Another effective yet affordable way of keeping seagulls off your boat is using a plastic owl ornament with frightening yellow eyes. 

Owls are quite scary to seagulls and other birds as they like to eat them. They will stay away from your boat when they see the bright yellow eyes. 

Many boaters use lawn ornaments, and they work well to some extent. However, they may not be the best solution if you have a large boat. 

This is because the birds will still land on areas where they cannot see the scary owl. You need to buy several owls for your boat and hang them in strategic locations to solve the problem. 

For example, you can hook them to the boat’s Bimini top and let them sway about with the wind. 

You also need to get the right owl, as some of them may not be scary for birds. The ones with big yellow eyes are the best.

If you want to try this seagull deterrent, I highly recommend the Hausse 2 Pack Fake Owl Bird Scarecrow

It uses exceptional materials that give it a realistic look while still withstanding the harsh outdoor weather conditions. 

While scary owls may not be the best decoration for pontoon boats, they are definitely worth having on a boat. They will keep seagulls and other types of pests at bay. 

Again, this is a humane and safe way to get rid of seagulls as the ornament doesn’t harm birds.

Seagull Deterrent for Boat Lift Canopies

Cleaning a boat canopy can be a tiresome task as it collects all the dirt and allows mildew growth when rained on. 

Now it’s even more daunting when the boat canopy has bird pooping. It will take you ages to clean the cover and get rid of the stubborn stains. 

So, it’s important to protect your boat lift canopy by keeping seagulls off your boat. And a brilliant method of scaring the birds is by setting up a seagull stopper. 

Would you like to try this approach? If yes, the Seagull Stopper Standard Bird Repellant is a great way to start. It’s relatively affordable, and you can buy it online. 

It comes with magnetic attachments that make the installation process effortless for anyone.

Seagull stoppers act as a fence between the birds and your boat’s canopy. The sleek tubes used on the frame also make it hard for the webbed feet creatures to land on the boat. 

Chephon Bird Scare Disc Set

Chephon Bird Scare Disc Set

Did you know that anything that reflects light straight to birds is pretty annoying to them? Well, seagulls will stay away from your boat when you have these reflective discs on board. 

The Chephon Bird Scare Discs are pretty decorative and won’t necessarily interfere with your vessel’s overall décor. 

They are very easy to set up on your boat to discourage seagulls from landing without hurting them. You can hang them from the Bimini top or any other suitable place on your vessel. 

Reflective Bird Deterrent Tape 

If you are looking for an effortless way to control seagulls without having to spend too much money, the Britenway Reflective Scare Tape is a very cheap solution. 

This tape is mainly used on farms and lawns to keep birds away, but it also works well for pontoon boats. 

The good thing about reflective tapes is that they are pretty easy to use on a boat. You just need to cut a few stripes and place them on the most exposed areas on your pontoon. 

Ideally, you can tie a few stripes on the deck or the Bimini frame and witness the feathery invaders fly away. 

If you are worried about the harsh weather conditions you cruise on, there is no need to think about it as the tape won’t fade whatsoever. It uses premium quality materials to withstand adverse outdoor conditions. 

Bird B Gone Reflect a Bird Deterrent

If you are very concerned about your boat’s aesthetics, you probably want something that won’t contradict your décor. In that case, you might like this deterrent from  Bird B Gone. 

The Bird B Gone Reflect a Bird Deterrent is a great alternative to most of the options discussed above. It’s made with sleek aluminum that gives it a satellite dish look. 

It works by creating a visual confusion to flying intruders, and you don’t need to power it as it spins silently with the wind. 

The only disadvantage of this bird deterrent is that it’s more expensive than the previous solutions. 

But it’s absolutely worth the money for someone looking to get rid of seagulls without compromising your boat’s aesthetics. 

Electronic Bird Repeller 

Have you tried several methods to keep seagulls off your boat, but none of them seems to work? It may be time to dig deeper into your pockets and go for an electric solution. 

Electronic bird repellers are designed to produce predator’s noise or seagull distress calls and scare birds away. 

Different models come in different predator calls and settings, so you want to ensure that you get the right one for seagulls. 

One of the best electric deterrents for seagulls that I would recommend is the Bird-X Peller Pro Electronic Bird Repeller

It’s a bit more expensive than other solutions on the list, and while I haven’t tried it, many boat owners who use electric bird deterrents say that they work perfectly. 

The device is also not waterproof, so the manufacturer recommends downward usage to avoid getting moisture in it. 

There are other electronic devices that provide a mild electric current shock when any bird lands or tries to settle on the metal track. 

It may not be appropriate for boats, but it can be installed on the marina to keep birds from boating areas. 

Bird Repellent Gel

Just as importantly, a repellent gel that seagulls hate landing on works well when dealing with them on a boat. You can use the gel on different sections of your boat where the pesky birds land most. 

While repellent gels are mainly meant for residential use, several boating enthusiasts use them on their boats, and they give very good reviews. 

The gel is formulated to make it uncomfortable for birds to hang around. It’s not harmful to them, but they won’t take residence on your boat again. 

How to Clean Seagull Poop from Your Boat Lift Canopy

How to Clean Seagull Poop from Your Boat Lift Canopy

Now that you’ve learned some effective methods of deterring birds, it’s time to clean the mess they left on your boat lift top. 

Seagull poopings generally stink, so it’s essential to clean the boat lift canopy properly and remove any stains. 

But how do you clean a boat lift cover? 

Well, it’s simple. The first thing to do is get rid of the droppings with a lot of water and a soft brush. Before scrubbing, you can let the water sit for about 15 minutes on the canvas. 

Once the first part of the clean-up operation is complete, use some soapy water and a soft-bristle brush to remove stains.

Then rinse the cover with clean water and gently scrub once more if any stubborn stains are left. 

Most importantly, always use mild detergents, like dish-washing soap, when cleaning your boat canopies. The same thing should apply when cleaning mooring covers. 



Q: How Do I Keep Birds off My Pontoon Boat?

A: There are many ways to keep birds off your boat. One of the most effective methods is a bird sweep that propels with wind on your Bimini top. 

Scare bird propellers sweep work for all kinds of birds, from seagulls to sparrows. It’s perfect for people boating on a great lakes region and local beaches where different birds can invade boats. 

If you want a cheaper solution, you can buy a bird scare tape or any other reflective item and hang it on various parts of your boat to scare birds away. 

Owl ornaments are also great for boat owners looking to get rid of birds like seagulls. The birds will fly away when they see a scary owl onboard. 

Most birds are also afraid of dogs and cats. You can bring your furry friend when boating to keep birds off. 

And if you are scared of boating with your pet, you can bring a decoy cat that shakes its head and tail with the wind. 

Q: What is the Best Boat Bird Deterrent?

A: The best bird deterrent for boats is the Scaregull seagull and bird sweep. It comes with two propellers that spin with the wind to make it impossible for birds to land on your boat. 

Other effective bird deterrents include bird spiders with wire legs, bird spikes, sound cannons, decoy cats, owl ornaments, and electronic bird repellers. 

Q: How Do Boat Owners Keep Seagulls Off Their Boat Lifts?

A: Different boaters use varied methods to keep seagulls off their boats, with some of the most common ones being deterrent devices and decoy owls. 

If you want an efficient method to keep seagulls away from your boat lift, you can install a humane seagull sweep or a bird spider repellant on the boat’s top points. 

Other ways to get rid of seagulls sitting on static boat lifts include using bird spikes, owl ornaments, bird deterrent gels, and other shiny materials called bird scare tape.

Final Thoughts

Final Thoughts

If you have had to deal with the stinky mess that seagulls leave behind when they land on a boat, your top priority might be keeping off these annoying birds. 

Luckily, there are many ways to keep birds away, as described in this article. 

While you may be tempted to use harmful devices or kill the flying rats, you could be fined for breaking the law. 

And even if you kill those that land on your boat, they will come back as seagull populations are usually high around lakes and other water bodies. 

Deterrents are the best way to scare birds off, so they never think of  coming back. Feel free to try some of the safe approaches we’ve provided and steer clear of boat damages seagulls can cause. 

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Picture of 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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