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How not to fit a shade sail

So, I rushed out and bought a shade sail at my local Builders Warehouse, only to find that the sail was far too small and didn't even offer shade over the area that needed to be covered. Here are my tips on selecting and fitting a shade sail, so you don't have to go through the lengthy and expensive process that I did !


Having been pleasantly surprised to find that they stocked a variety of shade sails at Builders, I was very quick to snap up a 3.6 metre long shade sail for the new patio area at a cost of around R700. I thought the shape would fit perfectly in the spot and could be easily mounted to the trees around the area.

My first mistake was in thinking that I could simply wrap the ropes around three trees that are planted around the area. You need to screw heavy-duty eye hooks into sturdy trees, or mount onto a wall using nylon wall plugs or expanding bolts with hooks, in order to pull the shade sail taut. Remember to buy these when you purchase your shade sail.

The other problem I experienced was getting the positioning correct so that the shade sail would sit nice and neat over the patio area. There were three of us at different spots in the garden trying to make the sail shade fit properly.

After tying up the shade sail in one position - the sun moved overhead and in the early afternoon the patio was no longer a shady spot. Time to undo the shade sail and try it in another place!

My advice to anyone wanting to fit a shade sail is to note the location of the sun throughout the day and to make sure you buy the right shape and size of shade sail. I finally fitted the shade sail by stretching it across to the other side of the garden on one side, so that it would provide shade during the hottest part of the day.

Having only one shade sail over this area also looks a bit silly, so now I need to buy another shade sail in the same shape to mount over the top of this one. I could have saved myself a lot of time and effort, not to mention money, by getting a square one and mounting it with hooks in the wall and two trees.

Once the new shade sail has been bought I will secure all the ropes using heavy-duty eye hooks in the trees and walls.

BTW... the palm tree stump was left behind after cutting down the tree. I have a plan in mind to use this in the future!