Installation Guide - Install a Sail Shade

Installing a sail shade can be a straightforward process, thanks to our innovative solutions designed to streamline the installation process.

Our Pole Holder enables hassle-free removal of poles for lawn maintenance, while our Fixing Kit facilitates swift setup of the sail shade, ensuring you're ready to enjoy the sunshine in no time!

For a quick installation using the Pole Holder, Pole and Fixing Kit, refer to our detailed guide below. Alternatively, explore all installation options in greater detail further below. View All Accessories.

Before proceeding with the installation of your sail shade, it's advisable to ensure compliance with any potential building regulations by consulting your local authority for necessary approvals.

Step 1: Choose the Location

Determine where you want to install the sail shade. Consider factors such as the angle of the Sun throughout the day, the location of existing structures or trees that could serve as anchor points, and any obstacles like trees or structures that might interfere with the installation.

Everyday the Sun emerges in the East and sets in the West each evening. Throughout the changing seasons, its trajectory evolves from a lower arc during cooler months to a higher ascent in the summer. Therefore, when planning your structure, it's essential to prioritise maximum shade coverage for the height of summer or the summer solstice, as this is when shade protection is most crucial. Check that the sail shade will project a shadow where it’s needed.

Step 2: Plan and Measure the Area

Use a measuring tape to determine the dimensions of the area where you want to install the sail shade. Choose a sail shade that fits the area you measured.

We recommend allowing an extra 10% of space at each sail shade corner for tensioning. Tension the sail shade corners with a Fixing Kit to a secure Fixing Point. Leave approx 20 to 50cm of space from a sail shade corner to the Fixing Point.


An 3x2m Rectangle sail shade, allow approx space of 3.3m x 2.2m.
An 2m Triangle sail shade, allow approx space of 2.2m Triangle.

Things to consider:

When installing your sail shade, consider attaching it to existing structures such as your house (wall) or to a tree, If this isn't feasible, you may need to purchase 3m/4m Posts to support the sail shade.

Additionally, think about whether you'll keep the Sail Shade up for extended periods or only for specific occasions. Crucially, ensure that at least one corner of the shade sail is installed lower than the others to allow water runoff. If the sail isn't sufficiently taut or isn't angled adequately, rainwater may accumulate on the sail shade fabric, leading to stretching or tearing. We recommend maintaining a minimum 30 degree angle of incline for each shade sail, provided the sail shade is properly tensioned.

Sail Shades must be removed before severe storms/cyclones. Remove the Sail Shade during the winter period will prevent any wear and tear from extreme weather conditions. It will keep the Sail Shade in a good shape/condition, ready for the hot sunny months.

Step 3: Select a Sail Shade - Surface Area Dimensions

Use a measuring tape to determine the dimensions of the area where you want to install the sail shade. Choose a sail shade that fits the area you measured.

The shape you choose ultimately comes down to your preference, but you may want to consider the installation space. Triangles, squares, and rectangles are the most common shapes. You can create fantastic looking structures by overlapping multiple sail shades. The overlapping method is best for larger areas, whereas a single sail shade is recommended for small spaces.

Note: A sail shade typically feature curved edges rather than straight lines. The curved edges allow for better distribution of tension across the fabric which evenly distribute stress. This reduces the risk of tearing or damage to the material. The curved edges also creates an elegant and visually appealing appearance.

Dimensions below are approx and intended to use as a guideline. Sail Shades will come with seams and they’re all heat sealed. Install the sail shades with the seams facing down towards the ground

Step 4: Determine the Fixing Points

This stage of the installation is critical. Ensuring a proper tension between anchor points requires precise alignment. This can be accomplished by drawing a straight line from the centre of the sail shade to each proposed anchor point. The corner must point to a fixing point such as a pole etc. If the corner is out, thesail shade will not sit straight, the fabric will crease, crinkle and eventually damage the fabric. View diagrams (left and below) for the ideal installation.

If the sail shade isn't taut, it may billow in the wind, exerting force against the fixings. Proper water runoff is essential to prevent damage from accumulating weight. Ensure one corner of the shade sail slopes downward. We recommend maintaining a minimum 30 degree angle of incline for each shade sail. If water still accumulates, adjust and lower the corner even more until the water runs off.

Anchor points may include:

- A sturdy wall or beam
- A suitable tree
- A wooden post with a minimum diameter of 100mm securely placed in the ground
- A metal pole with a diameter of at least 48mm securely placed in the ground or fitted into a ground sleeve, similar to a rotary washing line. Available here, 3m pole, 4m pole, pole holder.

Posts - Fixing point Fixing

Posts should be at least 2.4m (7ft 10inches) above the ground, and it is important that these are strong to take the full weight of a sail shade in the rain and windy conditions. The wind can add significantly to the stress of the sail shade on any fixings, so it is vital to be certain that they can stand the drag.

If there’s any doubts you should take advice from a builder or structural engineer. If you need to install posts, these should be 48mm wide galvanised steel which is 4mm thick (these can be easily painted if required). Posts should be angled away from the centre of the shade sail by at least 10 degrees to provide additional strength and stability.

As a guide, the footings for posts for sail shades up to 4m (16ft 5 inches) should be 400mm square 800mm deep. For larger sail shades (5m +) increase the footings to 400mm square, 1200mm deep. We recommend using an Auger for digging holes in the ground, Also consider using an Easy Pole Holder which allows you to put up and take down your sail shade in minutes. Simply drop the 3m Pole or 4m Pole into the Easy Pole Holder, hang your sail shade and you’re done. This allows you to install a removable, semi-permanent pole.



Concrete should be well packed down around the pole holder or pole and sloping 10 degrees outwards at the top to provide extra strength and stability. This should be left for a minimum of 48 hours to allow it to set completely before you attach the sail shade.

Wall / Fascia / Tree - Fixing point

If space constraints prevent you from installing a pole, an alternative solution involves affixing a pad eye directly onto a wall. This method provides a convenient means of securing a sail shade to a robust vertical surface, offering stability and support without requiring additional space or ground fixtures.

For this purpose, we recommend using a steel wall bracket mounting plate equipped with an eyelet, such as Pad Eyes (Diamond Shape) or (Square).

Should you choose to utilise a fascia as your fixing point, it's advisable to enhance its stability by incorporating a fascia support. These supports, readily available from reputable hardware distributors, serve to fortify the connection between the fascia and the joists or trusses.

Alternatively, if opting to employ a tree as a fixing point, ensure it possesses a diameter of at least 250mm. Use the provided 3m long polyester rope to securely fasten the sail shade around the tree.

Step 5: Attaching a Sail Shade to a Fixing point - Tension

Achieving the right tension in your sail is crucial for achieving a flawless aesthetic appearance and optimal performance against wind, rain, or hail. Proper tensioning stands as a paramount aspect during installation.

The benefits of a well-tensioned sail include:

- Prevention of water accumulation (allow 30 degree slope on one corner to facilitate water runoff)
- Enhanced wind resistance (preventing tearing and avoiding contact with fixing points)
- Extended lifespan of the sail shade and fixing point)
- Creates an architectural statement

There’s various options available to attach your sail shade securely to your selected fixing point.

Option 1:

Triangle Fixing Kit (parts for all corners)
Galvanised Steel

12 x Wall plugs
12 x Screws
3 x Snap hooks
3 x Turnbuckles (hook and eye)
3 x Pad eyes (square)

Option 2:

Rectangle / Square Fixing Kit (parts for all corners)
Galvanised Steel

16 x Wall plugs
16 x Screws
4 x Snap hooks
4 x Turnbuckles (hook and eye)
4 x Pad eyes (square)

Option 3:

Hoist Fixing Kit (for one corner)
Galvanised Steel

5m Polyester rope
2 x Snap hook
2 x Screws
1 x Swivel Pulley
1 x Cleat

1. Screw cleats into the pole, attach swivel pulley to a bracket clamp on the pole using a snap hook, loop the polyester rope around the swivel pulley.

2. Insert pole into the ground / pole holder.

3. Attach the sail shade corner to one end of the polyester rope.

4. Pull the other end of the rope to hoist the sail shade. Pull and tighten up the corner until the sail shade is taut.

Installing and removing sail shades can be effortlessly accomplished at any time, requiring only a few minutes for completion. This straight forward process is made even more convenient by utilising a hoist kit for installation.

Trouble shooting - Common issues and Solutions

When troubleshooting sail shade installation, consider these points.

1. Problem: Inadequate Fixing Points, Insufficient or improperly installed Fixing Points can compromise the stability and effectiveness of the sail shade, especially in windy conditions.
Solution: Use sturdy Fixing points such as concrete footings, walls, or poles, and ensure they are securely fastened to withstand tension. Consider adding additional Fixing Points or reinforcement if necessary to adequately support the sail shade.

2. Problem: Insufficient angle or tension in the sail shade can lead to rainwater pooling on the fabric, increasing the risk of stretching or tearing. (See image - left)
Solution: Ensure that the sail shade is properly angled during installation, with at least one corner positioned lower than the others to facilitate water runoff, 30 30 degree angle of incline for each shade. Adjust the tension of the sail shade as needed to ensure it is sufficiently taut, allowing rainwater to drain off the fabric easily. Regularly inspect the angle and tension of the sail shade to prevent water accumulation and minimise the risk of damage to the fabric.

Alignment and tension: Make necessary adjustments to achieve the desired shape and tautness.

3. Problem: Inadequate alignment and tension of the sail shade can result in an uneven or sagging appearance, detracting from its functionality and aesthetics.
Solution: Regularly inspect the alignment and tension of the sail shade, making necessary adjustments to achieve the desired shape and tautness. Ensure that the fixing points are securely fastened and evenly distributed to maintain uniform tension across the fabric.

Use tensioning hardware or adjust the positioning of Fixing Points as needed to optimise the alignment and tension of the sail shade. Regular maintenance and adjustments will help ensure that the sail shade remains taut and properly aligned, enhancing its performance and visual appeal.

Care and Maintenance

To clean your sail shade, you can use a solution of mild detergent and water at any time. Apply the solution with a sponge or a very soft brush, allowing it to sit on the fabric for 10 minutes. Then thoroughly rinse the fabric with water from your garden hose.

DO NOT put in the washing machine, clothes drier or scrub it with a stiff brush, scouring pad or an abrasive cleaner. This will remove the PU waterproof coating on the fabric.

Sail shades must be removed before severe windy conditions/storms. Bringing the sail shade in for the winterwill prevent any wear and tear from extreme weather conditions and keep the sail shade in great condition ready for the summer months.

Need more help?

If you need further assistance or haven't found the information you're looking for, there are additional resources available to help you with your water feature project. You can explore our customer help center for more guidance and information on various topics related to sail shades. Additionally, you can reach out to us directly via our live chat service for personalied assistance and support. Our team is here to help address any questions or concerns you may have to ensure your sail shade project is a success. Feel free to contact us anytime for assistance.


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