Sun Shade Solutions or How to Have a Happy Happy Hour

You’ve arrived at your anchorage in the late afternoon.  A great sail behind you.  A great dinner to come.  The barbecue is fired up.  The appetizers and wine come out.  Wait…Blinded by the light…sorry Bruce.  Granted I’m glad that its sunny.  But let’s not bake during happy hour.  Answer – get out the sun shades.

Sun Shade on Magnolia
Sun Shade on Magnolia

Here’s an easy Seamless Sailor sun shade solution.



– Sunbrella

– Grommets, snaps or fasteners of choice

Measure area where you want to block sun, like across the back and side of an enclosure.  Determine how you will attach shades.  Do you have handles to tie to or snaps on the enclosure you can use? A shroud or stanchion to attach to?  We made a sun shade for the front (or back – same size) and one side.  We put a split in the side curtain to make it easier to enter and exit the cockpit (split the width and add an inch for an overlap).  Cut Phifertex according to measurements.

To have a finished look and create a binding for your fasteners, cut Sunbrella for a 2 inch binding.  Cut the length plus an 1” by 5“ width.  Cut with hot knife or finish with hot knife.  Pinch or iron in 1/2” hems, then fold in half lengthwise and iron.  It’s worth spending the time with your iron on this part.  You could buy pre-made binding as an option.

Use basting tape or hold the binding over the top edge and stitch it on using a UV-resistant thread just inside 1/2 to catch the hem.  Turn under ends 1/2”.  Finish the other edges for a clean look with 1 or 2″ binding.  Phifertex doesn’t need to be finished though.  (I didn’t finish the sides – horrors! – but I may do this on a rainy day!)

Measure twice where you want fasteners and attach.  We used grommets and attach line to handles on the outside of the enclosure.

Alternative Option:  You could also make shades to fit each enclosure panel if you have the time and inclination.  Basically remake each panel with Phitertex instead of vinyl.  Zip them right in!

Now that your sun shades are done, enjoy Happy Hour!

Do you have another sun shade solution?  Please leave a comment.

Leave a Reply