Shade Sails – Choosing Location & Measuring

More stable than an umbrella and less expensive than an awning, shade sails are an ideal sun protection solution. It is also possible to install them in locations where nothing else will provide shade.

Bay Hammocks makes custom shade sails that come in three basic shapes:
• rectangular
• square
• triangular

You select the shape that will best suit your application, measure the space you want to cover, install the fixing points, and we’ll help you with the rest.

This stunning shade sail application provides shade in an area where nothing else could. An umbrella would be inadequate and an awing much too big to be functional.

Note how the posts that are away from the house slant outwards. This excellent design helps to keep the sails taut, which is important for shade sails of every shape.

This square shade sail has several jobs to do:

  • • shade the deck which has a southern exposure and was hot and unusable most of the summer – umbrellas blew away and an awning would not fit.
  • • this home looks over the ocean and the home owners wanted to enjoy the view and cool ocean breezes.
  • • they did not want to draw their curtains during the heat of the day (bye bye view) so the home needed sun protection as well to save on air conditioning and not obstruct the view.

This shade sail is installed at the front on our shop in Seabright, Nova Scotia, Canada. Its main job is to shade the entrance during the morning hours and provide our staff with a shaded outdoor work area so they can weave hammocks outside and enjoy our beautiful Nova Scotia summer.

Our shade sails are made of Commercial 95, a high quality, heavy duty knitted shade cloth specifically developed as a very strong and stable outdoor fabric for use in shade sails.

Choosing the Right Location

Shade Sails should be installed where you need shade but several other factors should be considered:

  • • Shape of the shade sail – how many fixing points do you need?
  • • Can you install posts or would it be easier (and less expensive) to attach it to the house (or sometimes trees located near by) in a couple of corners?
  • • Does it snow where you live or do you experience winds in excess of 100 km (80 miles)/per hour? If so you will want to install it in a spot where it will be easy to take down in severe weather conditions.
  • • Path of the sun. Remember that the sun travels through the sky from east to west during the day so the shade sail should be positioned in such a way to give you maximum sun protection. Sometimes it is wise to install two smaller shade sails sloped at at different angles rather than one large one.
  • • Wind speed and direction is an important consideration as well.
  • • Important: DO NOT install your shade sail over your barbecue or use your barbecue underneath it.

How to Measure for a Shade Sail

how to measureWhen measuring each side of the sail, allow a space between the corner of the shade sail and the mounting point that is at least 10% of the shade sail length.

If one side of the shade sail has a 120 inch length, there should be at least 12 inches between the corner of the shade sail and the mounting point. This will provide enough room for mounting hardware, material stretch, and tightening the tension of the sail. This should be done for each side of the shade sail to ensure there is adequate room to tension the sail properly.