The correct choice of hardware will allow proper tensioning, a great look, and perhaps more importantly (depending on the fabric) an adequate tension for rainwater run-off.
Listed below are examples from our range of fittings that are suitable for fixing Shade Sails in place 'semi-permanently'. Shade Sails are always best removed when not in use, or for periods of bad weather - particularly during the winter months. All the following are made in 316 marine grade stainless steel.
1. KSFX8480 4 Hole Eye Plates (8mm)
*For use as an anchorage point for smaller Shade Sails*
2. KSFX8100 M8 x 100mm (Thread length) Eye Bolt
*Use as an anchorage for larger Shade Sails and/or through posts*
3. KSFX7060 S/S Long D-Shackle 50mm long
*Universal fixing and link*
4. KSFX9060 S/S 6mm Carbine Hook 60mm long
*Universal temporary fixing, generally used with fork/fork screws*
5. KSFXHH06 Hook/Hook Adjustable Turnbuckle (6mm)
*Tensioning fixing for smaller and/or temporary Shade Sails*
6. KSFX81CB M8 Fork/Fork Adjustable Turnbuckle – (Closed Body Rigging Screw)
*A more permanent version of the hook/hook turnbuckle, our recommendation for sails over 8sqm.*
7. KSFX50PL Adjustable Fixing Kit – (Rope & Pulleys with a Fastening Cleat)
*An excellent option for removable Shades, our recommendation for temporary installation.*
Distances for fixings
The recommended fitting for 8 square metre sails and above, would be an M8 eye bolt (number 2, above) through a post, with a fork / fork adjustable rigging screw (number 6) between it and the ring (which is included in the corner of the Shade Sail). So, the total 'fixing allowance' (bisecting the corner angle) would need be between 200mm and 270mm (we recommend using 240mm from the posts face).
For an M8 eye bolt (number 2, above) through a post, with the smaller Hook/Hook adjustable rigging screw, then the 'fixing allowance' (bisecting the corner) would be between 175mm and 235mm.(we recommend using 210mm from the posts face).
Other fixing methods such as Stainless D-Shackles are non adjustable, but do minimise the distance between the Shade Sails and the fixing point. This is useful when trying to maximise a shade covered area and reduce gaps, for instance in the centre of a circle of shades, such as on the 'Wytch' multiple shade solution. Shackles are also a good fall back if your measurements haven't quite worked out (!) they can be used for added extra distance or replacing a tensioner.
Alternatively, if you are trying to bridge a larger gap from the fixing point to the shade, using a wire strop can be a good solution. Often the best way to ensure this works properly is to rig the sail up with a low-stretch rope and measure the exact length for the strop. We can always supply these later.
Part of our new range of fixings includes the 'tension kit', made up of a pair of blocks (pulleys), a cleat (for rope fastening) and a length of rope. This makes asecure fixing that can be easily mounted and de-mounted, whilst allowing sufficient tension to be applied to keep the sail taut.
Posts and Poles
Posts or Poles, are often an essential ingredient in creating the final effect with Shade Sails. Most people choose to set up posts and fixings permanently, although we do have a option of using strong 'tent poles' and guy lines that make a temporary shade a very practical option. To this end, the following comments are some of our thoughts on choosing posts.
Imagine carrying a large sheet of plywood on a still and windless day - It would be a relatively easy task, but in even a moderate amount of wind the same task would become very difficult indeed. The point being, that although Shade Sails are normally positioned horizontally or at a relatively shallow angle you can now begin to appreciate how the wind loadings on the Shade Sail, on the calm sunny day you installed it, may not actually be the highest load it will ever experience! Similarly, it is very easy to underestimate how stiff the poles should be. If in doubt, opt for a bigger diameter.
Poles or posts can ideally be either wooden or metal. Wood is far cheaper and easier to obtain (and can be found in our Webshop). PLEASE NOTE, our poles are shipped directly to you from the mill, are charged separately from the Shade Sail and therefore delivery must be selected as a separate item in the Webshop.
Other Suppliers of treated poles we can recommend are:
Because wooden poles are solid they are very stiff and easily drilled for attachments. Round poles are preferable from the safety aspect - no sharp edges and less possibility of splinters!
As a rule use the biggest poles you can, 150-200mm diameter (wooden) poles are ideal, or if you want smaller poles consider staying your posts with guys anchored in the ground - one stay per post is usually enough. Poles of up to 150mm are only recommended for the smaller sized Shade Sails i.e. up to around 8sqm.
Metal poles are usually tubular and thus can be far less stiff than they initially appear - so please beware! If in doubt choose a bigger diameter tube or a thicker walled tube. Tube can be Galvanised for ultimate durability or powder coated - sometimes in colours. Stainless steel is also an option and looks good and ages very well - but it's usually more expensive. Once again, it may be worth considering guys or stays to help support the pole. A national supplier of metal poles is:
ASD Sign Products (Regional Offices)
When placing poles and posts, ideally a third of the length of the exposed pole should be buried underground - this provides the correct amount of stiffness and support. A 3m pole should have 2m above ground, with 1m sunk below ground level. A concrete cube 1m x 1m around this provides the perfect base foundation.
If your Anchorage point is a building or a brick structure then we would definitely advise that you seek professional advice regarding the anchorages. Bricks are theoretically very strong - However, walls themselves are not designed to be pulled on.....In fact, they take far less pulling over than you may think!
Older bricks can also be broken or split, if correct fixings are not utilised. Similarly, old mortar or pointing can be brittle. Chemical fixings and eyebolts can often be a good solution, but if in doubt please do seek advice from a building professional.
If you are fixing to wooden areas of a building, eye plates can be a useful solution, but use care to ensure that the wooden structure is adequately secured to take the load of the Shade Sail.