Choosing the right Shade Sail - Technical Information

Shade Sails Melbourne has produced this information to provide customers with a better understanding and knowledge of what is involved in the production and installation of our shade sails.

Things to Consider

Shade sails come in a range of different shapes and sizes; usually square, rectangular, triangular or hexagonal. Shade sails are attached to steel posts, buildings or a combination of the two usually using stainless steel fittings.

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Our shade sails are made from lightweight, long lasting, strong, premier shade cloth that is in compliance with the Australian Standard AS 4174-1994 and is re-enforced with a non-stretch webbing or 316 x 3.2mm stainless steel cable depending on size and shape of the sail, which allows the sail to be supported by its own tension.
Sails are normally installed with a twist. For example, two high posts and two low posts are situated diagonally opposite so that the sail slopes in order to allow water to easily flow off the surface of the sail.


Shade Sails Melbourne design, produce and install shade sails according to computations prepared by a qualified and experienced engineer. We will make these computations available to clients upon request.
Designing an effective sails takes into account many factors: the area size and location, type of soil, access to the property, direction of pull and force as well as water run off all play an important part in the final design of the shade sail. There is no room for guesswork.

Choosing the Right Site

Choosing the actual site you wish to be shaded is important.  Throughout the day, take notice of where the sun is. As a general rule for afternoon shade a shade sail should be installed north and slightly to the west of the area and slightly to the east if morning shade is required. Suppliers that use smaller size posts or lesser grade steel than required are able to supply a shade sail and installation cheaper than an organization that supplies steel as per their engineer’s computations.


Shade sail fittings will generally be a mixture of turnbuckles, “Q’ shackles, eye-bolts, bolts and chain. Fittings can be supplied as stainless steel or galvanized. The stainless steel is naturally more expensive, but is by far a more superior shade sail fitting product.At Franklin Gem we prefer stainless steel fixings, however please feel free to discuss with us if you would rather the galvanized option.

Steel Fittings

Steel sizes and grades vary. Generally 100mm x 100mm square galvanized steel is used with a wall thickness of 5.Omm. However, depending upon the requirements smaller or larger steel may be used.


To ensure consistent quality your new shade sail will require a little maintenance from time to time. Shade Sails Melbourne will carry out a maintenance visit to re-adjust tension on the sail and to check all is in order. This maintenance visit is included in the initial price of your shade sail.Your sail will require cleaning to remove dirt and debris a few times a year. Simply hose the surface and lightly clean with soapy water.

Quality Guarantee

At Shade Sails Melbourne we pride ourselves on professional service with a superior finished product. Shade Sails Melbourne use all quality products and ensure that we meet all requirements of our individual clients.
All Shade Sails are tailored to your specific needs and designed around your environment. Call and speak to our specialist Andrew on 0418 385 139 to discuss your shade requirements and find out how we can help you.
We may not be your cheapest quote, however we promise you will have a top quality shade for years to come. We appreciate your feedback and we look forward to working with you.

If you have any questions and would like to speak to Andrew please give us a call on

Freecall 1300 729 116