The cover works

damages caused by seabirds

The damage that seabird-droppings cause to boat covers can be extensive. Apart from the obvious unsightliness, the main problem is acids released from their excrement. These can cause irreversible damage to canvas surfaces resulting in the scarring of building fabric, damaging appearance and, potentially wear through, causing thousands of pounds worth of damage. We have experienced the corrosive effects that can continue for a long time after droppings are removed due to the effects of acids released from bird excrement. Its acidic nature is largely the product of the organisms that live on and in the excrement. Scientific research indicates that the fungi, which live on bird excrement, are the actual cause of corrosion rather than the excrement itself. The mycelium (similar to roots) of the fungi enter the canvas, transporting the naturally-produced acids, increasing the porosity of the surface and thus allowing water to penetrate more readily. During winter, if the water freezes, the expansion of ice crystals can weaken the threads and cause leaks ultimately causing the fabric to crumble. 

The way to reduce the threat of damage is to identify the problem bird and the main problem areas, treat and clean any droppings that may be in place, and then install deterrents that will prevent the pest bird from damaging the same place again.

bird deterrents

About dropstop

Preventative methods such as anti-perching devices are by far the most efficient and cost-effective for protecting boat covers and they come in many forms. DropStop is a version specially designed for boats and it is custom-made in various colour and size-choices to fit all vessels. It was developed by a team of boat cover designer Rob Smith and marine biologist Dr Eni Kadar using their combined 20+ years of working in the marine industry worldwide, presently owners of a successful cover making business in Devon.  Dropstop is the product of many hours of observing seabird behaviour and importantly, interacting with the boating community and customers. 

During our continuing product enhancement and development DropStop has undergone wind speed- and shock-testing in the marine environment to ensure improved quality compared to other products on the market.

The success of this product is based on combination of simple concepts in bird behavior and on the choice of best quality material for durability and a streamlined look.  The stainless steel spokes sway in the wind creating both physical and visual disruption threatening birds with getting entangled. Landing is therefore prevented not only due to the physical intrusion of the spokes but also due to the large “watchful eye” centerpiece that imitates a “predator“ threat.

As well as having an attractive design that complements any boat, DropStop is discreet, all the components of the device are hard wearing and, when assembled, form a tough standalone bird deterrent with no moving parts. It will not harm birds should they be brave enough to try and land in the protected area! The flexible nine-spoke design covers an impressive 1.8 meters in diameter and will deter any species but works best on larger nuisance birds such as gulls and pigeons. For smaller areas that need protection, the coverage can be reduced by simply trimming the spokes. The high quality stainless steel spoke wire (BS 304) and stem (marine grade) and fibreglass upper and lower parts are extremely durable and UV stable. 

Various mounting options provide versatility in installation of DropStop on your boat railings, deck, antenna, mast head or any other area where birds are likely to land and roost. This is achieved via the base support supplied that is adaptable for all surfaces. 

The Sandbag Base is a perfect support for DropStop via a 1.2 kg-weighted sandbag that can be placed on areas where the standard boat base is not appropriate for drilling. It is made of colour stable, UV resistant marine grade fabric to complement your boat cover design. Its unique filling port allows easy, non-return loading with sand/recycled glass filter media (manufactured under strict ISO accreditation) that we can provide upon request; the webbing loops allow for extra straps to provide further stability.

DropStop conveniently also allows for easy, practical and compact  storage when its not in use