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Old 28-05-2021, 09:37   #1
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Rodents eating holes in sails

Greetings All!

I just had to have chewed rodent holes repaired for the second time (over 6 years) in my mainsail. Any advice on minimizing this recurrence? Mothballs?

Details:
Sailboat is docked on a navigable canal at the end of ~75' walkway.
Mangroves that are only 6' tall come up to water's edge.
No palm trees in vicinity.
Mainsail is exposed on boom within the protective cover of lazy jacks.
Three (3) separate holes; no nesting material.
Boat is in a residential community without trash/debris.

Also had to replace anchor line that had at least four (4) complete chew-throughs and several partial chew-throughs. There WAS some nesting material in the anchor locker.

I suspected rats (I think mice and squirrels are less likely).

Look forward to any insights/advice.

Thanks,

David
s/v Rodeo Clown
Beneteau 38M
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Old 28-05-2021, 09:50   #2
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Re: Rodents eating holes in sails

Go sailing more often?
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Old 28-05-2021, 09:56   #3
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Re: Rodents eating holes in sails

I personally would become the harbinger of death to many a rat. Many many many a rat.
But thats just me.
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Old 28-05-2021, 09:59   #4
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Re: Rodents eating holes in sails

We put mothballs in swimming pool heaters to keep the rats out.

The mothballs stink so bad though.
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Old 28-05-2021, 10:08   #5
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Re: Rodents eating holes in sails

Wifey was not impressed to see a rat in the compost bin. I bought one of these to get rid of said fury animal and it did.

Pete
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Old 28-05-2021, 14:26   #6
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Re: Rodents eating holes in sails

Maybe you need a ball bearing mousetrap: a tom cat, who likes to hunt; or for that matter, a female who likes to hunt will do a fine job, I just wanted to smile.

Rats cause huge damages on boats. It's not only your sails, it is that they go below and chew wires, and wood, and make nests for more chewers of sails, wires, wood, and so on. If home remedies don't work, get an exterminator.

Ann
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Old 28-05-2021, 15:16   #7
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Re: Rodents eating holes in sails

Years ago, I used to tie up on the Paseo in Palma de Mallorca (t was free then!). They had a rat problem. Big, smart, urban rats that weren't afraid of people. We would tie up stern to and the rats would run up the mooring lines like they were on an interstate highway. Someone showed my how to put rat guards on the lines. You take a plastic bottle, like for Clorox or something, and cut the bottom our of it. Run the mooring line through the neck with the open end facing away from the boat. It will be shaped like a funnel. They worked pretty good. If the lines are slack, or the wind blows hard enough, the edge of the bottle will touch the line and the rats can climb over. But they were cheap, and definitely helped.
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Old 28-05-2021, 19:38   #8
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Re: Rodents eating holes in sails

It's great the bottles worked. What i've seen used is aluminum pie tins, so ratty can't see where to jump to to go around. But the sneaky blankety-blanks are really good swimmers, too, can come up your snubber line if you're anchored....and the thing is, they know you've got a feast for them on the boat, and a nest, too. Free food and beer: you couldn't keep yachties away, either!

A serious problem.

Ann
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Old 28-05-2021, 20:44   #9
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Re: Rodents eating holes in sails

I had a squirrel problem. Pellet gun worked pretty well.
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Old 29-05-2021, 08:20   #10
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Re: Rodents eating holes in sails

Quote:
Originally Posted by RodeoClown View Post
Greetings All!

I just had to have chewed rodent holes repaired for the second time (over 6 years) in my mainsail. Any advice on minimizing this recurrence? Mothballs?

Details:
Sailboat is docked on a navigable canal at the end of ~75' walkway.
Mangroves that are only 6' tall come up to water's edge.
No palm trees in vicinity.
Mainsail is exposed on boom within the protective cover of lazy jacks.
Three (3) separate holes; no nesting material.
Boat is in a residential community without trash/debris.

Also had to replace anchor line that had at least four (4) complete chew-throughs and several partial chew-throughs. There WAS some nesting material in the anchor locker.

I suspected rats (I think mice and squirrels are less likely).

Look forward to any insights/advice.

Thanks,

David
s/v Rodeo Clown
Beneteau 38M
If you think that's bad, just wait until they discover your wiring! Get an exterminator in there ASAP as those little devils can cost you a fortune. The deal with rats and other rodent is that their teeth never stop growing (at least while they're alive) so they must continue to gnaw on things even if they aren't edible which means they'll chew up everything eventually.
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Old 29-05-2021, 08:33   #11
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Re: Rodents eating holes in sails

https://www.facebook.com/marketplace...f-8d43f7458dbf


https://www.facebook.com/marketplace...f-8d43f7458dbf
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Old 29-05-2021, 08:34   #12
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Re: Rodents eating holes in sails

I had that problem once and the sailmaker that repaired the sail mentioned that mice are only after the salt and not the sail material. Hosing down the sail during or after the season will solve the problem.
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Old 29-05-2021, 08:34   #13
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Re: Rodents eating holes in sails

I owned pet rats, what works is to spray the items with capsaicin. They sell it for pets on amazon, see link below. I would not spray the sails themselves, but spray the sailbags and keep them shut tight.

Rodents like them for bedding.


https://www.amazon.com/s?k=capsaicin...ckgo-fpas-b-20
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Old 29-05-2021, 09:09   #14
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Re: Rodents eating holes in sails

When I was buying storage bins before storing my sails last fall, the saleslady recommended dropping bars of Irish spring soap into the bins. In the spring, the sails were fine, but smelled like a bordello (or how I imagine a bordello might smell...).
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Old 29-05-2021, 17:08   #15
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Re: Rodents eating holes in sails

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lazy Jack 32 View Post
When I was buying storage bins before storing my sails last fall, the saleslady recommended dropping bars of Irish spring soap into the bins. In the spring, the sails were fine, but smelled like a bordello (or how I imagine a bordello might smell...).
Hmmmm, Irish Spring is not what bordellos smell like, I mean, not what I imagine bordellos smell like. And it smells a whole lot better than moth balls.
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