5 Incredible Boat Shade Ideas For This Summer | Plus Easy DIY Ideas
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Everyone loves a good long boat trip during summertime. However, what we do not love is the scorching sun beaming down on us while trying to have a nice time fishing. No one likes to spend the day on a boat and end up with sunburns. That is why we need to consider some boat shade ideas for this summer.

You could go for T-Top right off the bat because they are super easy to install. Not to mention, you can install and take it off without breaking a sweat, as it is beginner-friendly. Outrigger boat shades are the best choice to go for if you are sailing with friends and family members on a big boat. Fly shades are the options if you are in a hurry to enjoy a good time.

So, is there more you should know? Indeed, there is! There are a few more boat shade ideas for you to consider that may be just the one you are looking for. So, let us not waste more time and get sailing!

The Importance Of A Boat Shade

Before you go on your merry way and start making your DIY boat shade, you should first know why it is essential to have one in the first place. A boat shade is more than it meets the eye.

If anything, it is a way to ensure your money does not go to waste too quickly. Let’s be honest, given the expensive costs of boats nowadays, every owner should do everything in their hand to keep it in the best condition possible.

Although not all boats need a shade, it does not hurt to see what one can do. Let us have a look at what a decent shade can do for you:

  • It protects against damage and fading caused by the harmful rays of the sun.
  • It helps with preventing molds
  • Keeps dirt, debris, and dust at bay
  • It stops wild animals from getting near or into your boat
  • Moisture and water get kept out of your boat
  • It can also serve as a form of protection for your boat by keeping thieves and vandals away
  • It prevents birds from entering and making a mess on your boat

With that said, a decent-fitting boat shade is a solution to it all. However, if you consider bringing the old shade back, it might not do the trick. As a result, you can try creating your own boat shade that will fit perfectly.

5 Incredible Boat Shade Ideas For This Summer

We all have been victims of severe sunburns and heat, no matter how fun the summer activity was. So, without further ado, let us go through some of the boat shade ideas below to help you sail in comfort and safety.

1. T-Top Shades

Image Source: Sureshade

T-Top shades are exactly what their names suggest. It is fashioned like the letter T because they are built of a spandex-like material, which can stretch to match various size needs. Plus, they are super simple to install, unlike other options.

Furthermore, they come in a range of sizes. That means beginners would face no trouble while installing. Although you should be aware of the design of these shades because they may not provide appropriate coverage if you want to travel with many passengers.

2. Outrigger Shades

Image Source: The hull Truth

Outrigger shades are a wonderful idea to go with. This is the ideal choice if you are one sail with friends and family members on a big boat. With only a handful of clips, this option easily and tightly connects to any outrigger and base system.
Not to forget, you can move from catching fish in the scorching sun to resting in the shade in the snap of a finger this way.

3. Fly Shades

Image Source: Gemlux

With one of these fly shades, you and your crew will be protected from the harmful UV rays while being out on the water. In addition, they are super easy to store and take out whenever you need a break from the sun.
The best part is that it would not take more than a few minutes. The Fly Shade kit is available in three different sizes to work with a range of boats. It is perfect if you want to have a relaxing time in the shade on a sunny day.

4. Beach Canopy Tent

Image Source: Amazon

Every boating trip has stops along the way for beach picnics and other activities that may need call for protection from the scorching summer heat. That is why a beach canopy tent is vital for making not just any unexpected shoreline breaks, but also for your boating journey.
It also works on your boat if you know how to fasten it to your framework tightly. Besides, you can always fold it up and tuck it away whenever you do not need it.

5. Marine Umbrellas

Image Source: TUUCI

Marine umbrellas are ideal for your trip on the water. They prove to be useful in stable settings, such as when your boat is docked.
On the other hand, they may not be the best idea to use in windy weather or while sailing. Umbrellas are pretty easy to pick up wind. So, there’s a high chance for it to fly off or get damaged.

Making Your Very Own Boat Shade

It is no secret that a boat can empty your bank account. So, taking the time to make sure yours is well covered is totally worth the effort.

Unfortunately, it turns out that even the shades come at a wallet-emptying price tag. On the bright side, many owners are taking matters into their own hands by making their own DIY shades – it is super cheap and easy!

Step 1: Take Correct Measurements

Image Source: T top covers for boats

First off, start measuring your boat and get an accurate size detail of your boat. Begin with the stern or along the rails if you have any.

After that, get a proper measurement of the windshield with the height and width of its rub rail to the peak. Next, move on to the bow’s widest part along with the rub rail’s height in case you have a railing there.

Do not forget to measure all the way from the stern rail to the bow rail. So, make sure you got all the high points like the windshield, railings, and anything else. This will help you save time in the future.

Lastly, measure the framework where your shade will rest and run a double review on all the details you wrote down. However, if you got something wrong, you would not like a boat shade that is either too loose or a bit tight.

Step 2: Purchase The Materials

As for materials, most owners choose theirs from Sunbrella as they have proved to be the most reliable. While there are other alternatives out there, Sunbrella seems to come out on top. This material tackles all four threats: UV rays, wetness, mold, and mildew.

Not to mention, it would not stretch or shrink any time soon. In fact, its flexibility is what makes it easier to handle during the stitching process.
Saving the best for the last, it has both sides that look the same. Thanks to this, beginners would no longer have to stress on which side is the outside and inside.

Step 3: Size Up The Fabric

Now that you have your fabric, start with carefully cutting and sizing it up. Keep in mind that this is where your measurements will come into play.
Try following the lengths and widths accordingly because you do not want your boat shade to be loose or tight. To get the perfect fit, start with leaving a few extra inches before stitching it.

Check whether you need to cut it more. That way, you would avoid making your shade too tight. This always happens with beginners because you can always get your measurements slightly wrong.

Step 4: Stitch Up The Fabric

Fourthly, once you have the desired shade, start with sewing the edges. After that, add the necessary openings and tie up ropes to attach them to the framework.

Here is a tip: leave enough material near the edges. This will allow you to hem the edge and run a rope around the shade too!

Step 5: Set It Up On Your Boat

Once you are done with the shaping and sewing, carefully place it over the framework. Make sure all the corners and edges are tightly attached.
If you feel like you need to add extra ropes around the edges to make it even tighter, go with your instincts.


You and your sailors deserve to have the greatest summer on the water. Thanks to all the elegant boat shade solutions nowadays, you and your fellow voyagers would not have to suffer in the sun.
So, were you in search of some boat shade ideas for this summer? If so, I hope the ones mentioned above will help you make your choice. As always, thank you for reading, and bon voyage!

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