Shade Sails, Planning and Design of

Planning

You probably already have an area in mind that you intend to cover with a sail shade.

There are numerous points to consider when planning your Shade Sail and as with all building projects not enough emphasis can be placed upon the importance of this aspect of the process. Thorough planning will ensure that your shade sail provides the benefits you intend it to.

As the sun moves across the sky from where it rises to where it sets the shade envelope created by your shade sail will also move. Additionally as seasons change the angle of the sun also changes. Very careful consideration should be given to your particular requirements when planning the location of your shade - remember the shade envelope from your sail will only ever be directly below it when the sun is at it's very highest point. ( A simple but effective method of determining the "shadow throw" of the sun at a particular time in your location is to suspend lengths of rope at the approximate height and shape of your proposed shade sail and observe the shadow line at different times of the day ).

We recommend that you install your fixing points further away from each other than the actual shaded area you desire.

Design

Shade Sails are attached to free standing uprights (or suitable existing structures**) and therefore do not have any form of structural roofing support.

** Fixing to Existing Structures - Shade Sails place considerable loads/force on fixing points. If you are unsure that your existing structure ( ie: house, pergola, garage, shed etc) is structurally adequate to handle such loads, we recommend that you contact a local engineer or qualified building contractor for confirmation or use free standing steel uprights. 

Shade Sail fixing points must be set at least at two alternate heights (This is to ensure that the sail does not trap water). Generally a square or rectangular shaped Sail will require two higher and two lower fixing points, with posts of equal height set at diagonally opposite corners to create a visually stunning and functional structure. A triangular shaped Sail will require one higher fixing point.

A flat sail or a triangle sail is harder to tension correctly, will "flap" around in the wind, and will pool water for long periods of time, putting excess loads on both the sail and the fixing points.