A previous blog entry detailed my attempts at keeping the birds off my upper cover. My K.I.S.S. solution detailed in that write up worked, but I was never totally satisfied with it as storing the long rods with the plastic blocks was not easy, they had to go inside the cabin at the edge of the forward berth. So this is the latest version of what I now call my “Bird Away” system.
I began with a small piece of 1/4” white ABS plastic, which I bent at an angle, at home, using a heat gun. The ABS just slips into the unused bimini cover holders, drill a hole, put in a bolt and the ABS is locked in place.
Next I purchased a short section of 1/4” ID stainless tubing. I cut the tubing into sections about 2.5” long, drilled a hole in the end, and using small bolts attached the tubing to the bent ABS. The idea was to position the tubes at a fore and aft and upward angle, so that when a fiberglass rod was inserted in each rod it would sit above the cover and keep the dirty birds from landing on the cover.
Long narrow strips of 1/8 and 1/16 thick ABS were cut from scraps. These were then cut into short pieces and used as shims to position the metal tubes at appropriate angles. The shims were glued to the ABS base, and to each other using methylene chloride, but ABS plumbing cement would also work.
The fiberglass rods were then inserted into the tubing and cut to length to give a fan effect providing a sort of canopy over the cover. This has proved very effective in keeping the birds off. It has not been necessary to fasten the fiberglass rods to the metal tubes, they just slip in and none has ever worked its way out. This makes removal easy. I just pull the rods out and store them on the upper deck between the seats and the outside edge. The rod holder remains bolted to the upper rail and only needs to be removed when the winter cover goes on.