Boat raccoon-barrier

By Ray Ford

How to keep raccoons out of the boat

Raccoon barrier

Photo by Sandy Kelly

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At the Kelly cottage on Upper Rideau Lake, a gang of malodorous marauders got comfortable in the boathouse. Too comfortable. Their funky aromas and the landmines they’d leave on the decks were one thing. But the ’coons crossed the line when they got into the boats.

“It got really bad,” says Tom Kelly, “when they nested over the winter in our antique boat and proceeded to destroy the interior by tearing all the leather apart and then ripping out all the stuffing in the seats.”

The theory was that the raccoons were swimming in under the doors, and climbing up the inside of the slips. A barrier sticking out from the edge of the decks, Kelly reasoned, might just do the trick.

So he scavenged some wire garden fencing from the shed and nailed it to the deck with strapping, pointy ends extending out over the slips by about 30 cm.

Ever since, the raccoons and their smelly gifts have all but disappeared.

“I couldn’t be happier they’re gone,” says Kelly triumphantly. “I wouldn’t wish them on anyone.”

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Ray Ford