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11/20/2019 5:07:11 PM
Posted: 7/28/2009 7:45:37 AM EST
Things are slow at work, so I thought I'd post about my last project; shade sails.

I think, like most people, a lot of us didn't think or know about these being a good option to get some shade wherever you'd like. I stole the idea from my little brother, I don't know where he got the idea, then researched them in magazines and online. Some of the keys to installing these are; make sure your mounting points on your house are in studs, use 4" OD or larger steel pipe (not some little pipe you get from Home Depot or Lowes) or wood 4x4's with 1/3 of your pipe in the ground....depending on the makeup of your soil/ground. After hitting limestone after 8" of digging I had to use a jack hammer to dig my holes down to 38", which is not 1/3 of the pole's length but given the fact that I was mounting this into rock 38" worked out fine. The pole, themselves, are 12' long and weigh, roughly 120 pounds. Each hold dug is filled with 460+ pounds of concrete. In my little brother's case we ended up attaching his sails to two of his established trees in his back yard after his first attempt of using 1-2" pipe he got from Home Depot failed miserably.

All of the rigging is stainless steel purchased mostly from marine hardware stores; shade sail specific places charge you 2 to 3 times more for the same thing you'd get from the marine store.

This idea confused my friends in Seattle, so the idea is to provide shade wherever you like. Trees down here don't grow that fast and with the temps perpetually in the 100's lately, it's provided good relief from the sun...they also save your bare feet from liquid hot magma hot pavement/cement like we have on our patio.

You can get shade sails online, like I did, for pretty cheap and they come in various colors and for the most part either square/rectangle or triangle shapes. The ones I am using are 16.5' but they also come in, I believe, 10' as well. Another thing to point out is that triangles on the ground don't stay triangles once up due to the tension; they bow out so you end up with gaps that you may not have intended to have. The rigging is another story; once you add it up you'll end up spending close to $1K for what I did to put up $150 worth of sails.


In this pic you can see that I used ratcheting tie downs to figure out the overall length of rigging that would be needed to get the sail in the place I wanted.

Link Posted: 7/28/2009 4:20:54 PM EST
That's really cool. I've never seen that done before.
Link Posted: 7/28/2009 5:01:50 PM EST
Very nice!
Link Posted: 7/29/2009 5:55:29 AM EST
I think they're starting to be used/marketed to home use now, whereas before they were mainly a commercial use item.
I like the way they ended up and they do their job very well. Another thing that I like about them is that their lowest point (on the pole) is 8 feet, so they don't give you a claustrophobic feel, like umbrellas. They also have a pleasant sway about them when they catch the wind.
Link Posted: 8/2/2009 12:42:10 PM EST
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