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A GUIDE TO DESIGNING YOUR SHADE SAIL

Please watch our little video about the couple getting a shade sail


You are looking at this page!

So you have started the journey and maybe even already have an idea where you want to put the sail.

Things to take into account as you design your shade sail



  1. What hours of the day will it get most use
  2. What direction and angle is the sun position during these hours
  3. Where and on what will you fix the sail, these fixing points will determine the shape
  4. Shade sails are not waterproof but rain will "sheet" off them running to the lowest point but there needs to be a 20% fall *Read the section on Waterproof Sails
  5. Consider high points and low points
  6. Do you want a twist in the sail?
  7. Permanent or take down in bad weather / winter?


If you are not sure about the look you want to achieve you could look at our Facebook albums page, we have lots of pictures on our home page too, and you could do a Google Search for "Shade Sail Images"

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Possible Mounting Points for Shade Sails



Do not forget you are dealing with sails! They exert a lot of load as part of the need for them to be tensioned and this load can increase with strong winds.

Properly installed this is not a problem.

You can connect a shade sail to:-
  1. Poles
  2. Walls
  3. Facia Board
  4. Sidings
  5. Trees
  6. Columns on a patio or deck.


Further down the page we have sections for each of the connecting options.
Poles size graph

Connecting a shade sail to Poles



Ideally poles should be round and made from steel. If raw steel they should either be galvanised or powder coated. Stainless steel is also good but make sure it is 304 or 316 marine grade. The pole diameter is based on the area of the shade sail and wind conditions as shown in the graphic above. Wall thickness is important, it should not be less than 0.25 inch/6.35mm. If you are going to use an Eye Bolt weld it to the pole at both ends, but recommend that a lug is welded onto the pole such a shown here .

We do not favour aluminium poles since the underground portion of the pole will corrode too quickly for the anticipated life of the sail.

If you want to go with wooden poles the only available, and suitable, wood is Oak, a naturally rot and insect resistant timber, it achieves up to 25 years resistance to rot when in the ground and over 100 years when kept above the ground. For your Oak poles square is better than round, they should be twice the thickness of the specified diameter for the steel poles. You will need an Eye Bolt to connect to the turnbuckles this should be 3/8 inch/10mm to be compatible with our fittings. The load needs to be distributed so we suggest on the bolt end you use an oversize stainless steel washer up to 3 inches/75mm.

Please got to the Shade Sail Installation page for instructions.

Connecting a shade sail to Walls



The best way to connect a shade sail to a wall of brick, cement, or stone is by using anchor bolts or expansion anchors. Here are the steps to follow:
  1. Determine the location and height at which you want to attach the shade sail to the wall.
  2. Use a stud finder or tap the wall to locate solid areas of the wall where you can securely attach the shade sail.
  3. Mark the positions on the wall where you will install the anchor bolts or expansion anchors. Ensure that the marks are level and evenly spaced.
  4. Drill pilot holes into the marked positions on the wall using a masonry drill bit. The size of the drill bit should match the diameter of the anchor bolts or expansion anchors you will be using.
  5. Insert the anchor bolts or expansion anchors into the pilot holes. Make sure they are flush with the wall surface.
  6. Attach a mounting bracket or eye bolt to each anchor bolt or expansion anchor, using appropriate screws or bolts.
  7. Securely tighten the mounting brackets or eye bolts to ensure they are firmly attached to the wall.


Please got to the Shade Sail Installation page for instructions.

Connecting a shade sail to Facia Boards



Connecting a shade sail to a fascia board requires a secure and stable attachment method. Here's the best way to do it:
  1. Determine the location and height at which you want to attach the shade sail to the fascia board.
  2. Locate the rafters behind the fascia board using a stud finder or by tapping the board. Mark the positions on the fascia board where you will install the mounting brackets or eye bolts.
  3. Drill pilot holes into the marked positions on the fascia board, making sure to hit the rafters. Use a drill bit that matches the size of the screws or bolts you will be using.
  4. Attach the mounting brackets or eye bolts to the fascia board using appropriate screws or bolts. Ensure that they are securely fastened to the rafters.
  5. If the fascia board is made of lightweight material or if you are concerned about stability, consider reinforcing the attachment points with a backing plate. Cut a piece of plywood or metal plate to fit behind the fascia board and attach it to the rafters using screws or bolts.


It is important to note that attaching a shade sail to a fascia board may put additional stress on the board and could potentially cause damage if not properly installed. It is recommended to consult the manufacturer's instructions or seek professional advice if you are unsure about the best way to connect your shade sail to a fascia board. Additionally, ensure that your fascia board is structurally capable of supporting the weight and tension of the shade sail before proceeding with the installation.

Please got to the Shade Sail Installation page for instructions.

Connecting a shade sail to Sidings



Connecting a shade sail to a wall with sidings requires a slightly different approach. Here's the best way to do it:
  1. Determine the location and height at which you want to attach the shade sail to the wall.
  2. Locate the studs behind the sidings using a stud finder or by tapping the wall. Mark the positions on the wall where you will install the mounting brackets or eye bolts.
  3. Drill pilot holes into the marked positions on the wall, making sure to hit the studs. Use a drill bit that matches the size of the screws or bolts you will be using.
  4. Attach the mounting brackets or eye bolts to the wall using appropriate screws or bolts. Ensure that they are securely fastened to the studs.
  5. If the sidings are made of vinyl or other lightweight materials, you may need to reinforce the area behind the sidings with a backing plate. Cut a piece of plywood or metal plate to fit behind the sidings and attach it to the studs using screws or bolts.


Please got to the Shade Sail Installation page for instructions.

Connecting a shade sail to Trees



To connect shade sails to trees using a palm strap with a buckle at each end, follow these steps:
  1. Choose a strong and wide palm strap with buckles at each end.
  2. Determine the height and position at which you want to attach the shade sail to the tree. Make sure the tree is sturdy enough to support the weight and tension of the shade sail.
  3. Wrap the palm strap around the tree trunk, ensuring it goes around the tree twice for added stability.
  4. Adjust the position of the buckles to ensure they are at the same height and aligned with each other.
  5. Connect the two buckles together using a D shackle. Ensure that the D shackle is securely fastened, joining the two buckles at their attachment points.
  6. This now becomes a mounting point for your shade sail.


Please got to the Shade Sail Installation page for instructions.

Connecting a shade sail to Columns on a Patio



To connect a shade sail to columns on a patio, you can follow these steps:
  1. Determine the location and height at which you want to attach the shade sail to the columns.
  2. Inspect the columns to ensure they are structurally sound and capable of supporting the weight and tension of the shade sail.
  3. Use a measuring tape to determine the circumference of the column where you will be attaching the shade sail.
  4. Purchase column brackets or mounting hardware specifically designed for attaching shade sails to columns. Ensure that the brackets are suitable for the size and type of column you have.
  5. Install the column brackets onto the columns at the desired attachment points. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for proper installation.
  6. Once the brackets are securely attached to the columns, connect the shade sail to them using appropriate hardware, such as carabiners or shackles.


It is important to note that the specific method and hardware used may vary depending on the type of shade sail and the specific design of your patio columns. It is recommended to consult the manufacturer's instructions or seek professional advice if you are unsure about the best way to connect your shade sail to patio columns. Additionally, ensure that the columns are structurally capable of supporting the weight and tension of the shade sail before proceeding with the installation.

Please got to the Shade Sail Installation page for instructions.