avocado are favorite foods. As soon as you
catch one, get rid of the trap. Same goes for
mice. You can wash it, but if the trap has
the smell of death, only the most desperate
rodent will eat from it.
■ Some boat owners swear by ammonia.
Rats hate it. Soak a towel and leave it out in
the open (but out of the weather) on something plastic so it doesn’t discolor the boat.
(Never mix ammonia with bleach.)
■ Off season, when your boat is not in use,
go down and check it regularly. If you were
to discover that you have mice aboard or
(horrors!) a rat, you can deal with it early,
before it eats through your wiring, or worse.
(Look for droppings or damage.)
■ Docklines and fenders are bridges for
rodents, so position your boat in the middle
of the slip if possible, and keep lines taut to
prevent the boat from drifting close to the
dock. If there’s a known rodent problem in
the area, try pie-pan deterrents. Put a hole in
a metal pie pan and put one on each dock-
line to obstruct the creatures from boarding.
Sea LionS: Hear Them Roar
This tends to be a West Coast problem, but
if you’ve ever tried persuading an unwanted
300-pound-plus guest to leave your party,
you’ll know it’s no easy task. There’s not
much to recommend sea lions as visitors.
Apart from the mess they leave behind and
the noise they make, if your boat becomes
party central for a bunch of sea lions, they can
sink it. “These guys, if they’re on your boat,
you’ve got a lot of scrubbing to do,” says
Chris Miller, Newport Beach harbor manager.
“I’ve seen them push the door from the
swim platform into the cockpit where a lot of
people have cushions and canvases, so you
get drippings and droppings there, and it can
start to smell bad. But the biggest complaint
is the barking,” says Miller. “At night it’s very
disturbing.” Add to that the fact they live
with fish, eat fish, and smell like fish. Like
everything else, prevention is easier than cure.
Those on mooring balls who leave their boats
for extended periods are particularly susceptible. Remember, sea lions are protected by
the Marine Mammal Protection Act, which
outlaws hunting, killing, capture, and harassment of these animals. Here are other do-it-yourself ideas to deter them:
■ Sea lions typically like anything to which
they can gain easy access. Catamarans and
boats with lower gunnels, and boats used
less frequently become hot spots. Plastic
chairs, barrels, and crates on swim platforms
or steps seem to work as a deterrent.
■ Bow-to-stern canvases that wrap the boat
are another way of keeping them off but are
a hassle to undo every time you want to use
Ann Dermody is BoatU.S. Magazine’s
See a video of one man’s chance
encounter with a baby sea lion while
on a day sail out of newport Harbor,
California. www.BoatUS.com/Magazine P H
When visitors live, eat, and breathe
fish, it’s easy to work out what your
boat will smell like after their arrival.
M dia Seas
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