SSU-logo Deborah - no background.png
Shade Sail Installation:
   Installing the sail

Now that you have received your custom shade sail, it's time to install it.


Remember, your attachment points should already be placed. You did that first and then took the measurements to order your sail. 

Our sails come with the cable already installed in the pocket. If you have a sail that does not already have the cable in place, you will need to feed the cable through the pockets.

Ladder and Rolled Up Shade Sail

Step 1: Attach the Corner Hardware

Start by attaching all of your corner hardware. 

Attach the corner D Rings to the Bow Shackle, making sure to capture both the D Ring and the Cable. 

D Ring Thimble & Bow Shackle

Shade Sail Corner - Installation

Connect D Ring Thimble & Bow Shackle

Next, attach your Turnbuckle to the Bow Shackle. Open each Turnbuckle to the maximum length making sure that a few threads from each end are visible inside the Turnbuckle body. 

Shade Sail Corner - Installation

Bow Shackle & Turnbuckle

Shade Sail Corner - Installation

Connect Bow Shackle & Turnbuckle

Open Turnbuckle

We recommend that you use a Turnbuckle and Bow Shackle at each corner for maximum flexibility during the initial installation.  

Step 2: Attach the Corners

If you have any Direct Connection points, you will attach the Bow Shackle directly to the attachment point.

Turnbuckles can be directly connected to your attachment point. If you are having trouble reaching the point or the Turnbuckle doesn't fit around the attachment loop, it can be connected via an extra Bow Shackle.

Connect Bow Shackle to Attachment Point

Connect Turnbuckle to Attachment Point

Three corners down, one to go

If you are installing a Keder or A-Rail sail, you should install the Keder side first, followed by the corners at either side of the Keder. Then you will attach the remaining corners just like you would any other sail.

Feed one end of the Keder through the C-Channel

Guide the Keder through the Channel

Direct Connect Attachment at Corner with Keder

As you get to the third or fourth corners, you will find that the sail will be very tight and difficult to pull toward your attachment point. You will likely need a ratchet strap or rope to help you pull the corner close enough to secure. Use whichever tool fits the space best to get the job done.

Loop the rope around the D Ring

Loop the rope through the attachment point

Loop the rope back through the D Ring and the attachment point multiple times.

More loops = More Pulling Force = Less Work for You

Ratchet Strap

Ratchet Strap

Patrick Says.png

The first corner of the sail will be the easiest to install.  Plan to install it in the corner that is most difficult to reach.  The last corner of the sail will be the tightest, so plan to install it in an area where there is plenty of room to pull with a rope or ratchet strap.

Step 3: Tighten the Cable and Cable Clamps

Pull the ends of the Cable hand tight.  Check to make sure there that the Cable is seated in the thimble at each corner. 

Cable Exit Corner

Before tightening the Cable Clamps take a look at each corner. 

Make sure your cable is seated properly in the d-ring thimbles.

Patrick Says.png

Feed the ends of the cable around the corner hardware and stick them back into the pockets.  Place a clamp on either side of the corner hardware.  Snug the cable again if needed and tighten the Cable Clamps.

Note: The pictures below were taken with the sail on the ground so that we could properly demonstrate this step. You will do this while the sail is attached.

Feed one end of the Cable into the pocket

It should loop around the D Ring and Thimble

Feed other Cable End into pocket

Both cable ends should be tucked into the pockets and looped around the D Ring and Thimble

Place Cable Clamps on either side of the D Ring

Tighten Cable Clamps

Step 4: Tighten the Turnbuckles

Make sure to lubricate the threads with an anti-seize compound or white lithium grease.  

We provide anti-seize with your Turnbuckles

Put anti-seize on the threads on either size of the body

If you don’t have anti-seize, use white lithium grease, available at your local hardware store

Tighten Turnbuckles until the sail is smooth and taught. Observe the threads making sure to rotate the Turnbuckle body in the proper direction to tighten it.  Turning the Turnbuckle body the wrong way will loosen it causing the Turnbuckle ends to fall out and the sail to fall down.  Then tighten the lock nuts on each side of the Turnbuckle.


This should provide the correct amount of tension to the sail.  Any small wrinkles will work themselves out over time. 

Tighten the Body of the Turnbuckle

Tighten the Lock Nuts

Secure the Lock Nuts with Two Wrenches

Step 5: Lock and Safety Wire Hardware

Shade sails will move slightly with the wind.  You must lock down the Turnbuckles and put a Safety Wire on the hardware to keep it from vibrating loose. 

Feed Lock Wire through Bow Shackle pin and the Bow Shackle loop

Twist the ends together to tighten the loop

Cut off the extra wire

Feed Lock Wire through the Turnbuckle End and Body and twist together to tighten

Cut off extra wire

Stainless Steel Lock Wire

Tools to secure and Tighten a Turnbuckle

Safety Cable:

Last, but not least, we recommend attaching Safety Cables for larger sails.

Corner hardware fails for a variety of reasons, but it is the most dangerous kind of failure. Imagine a storm with high winds has caused your turnbuckle to come loose and the eye bolt to break. Now you have a heavy set of hardware; turnbuckle, bow shackle, and D ring thimble, flapping about in the wind causing damage and potential injuries. We always recommend that you take down your sails before a heavy storm with high winds, but as we all know, accidents happen.


A good way to help prevent this kind of accident is to connect a safety cable to the D Ring and your attachment point. 

Shade Sail Hardware Corner with Safety Cable

Sail Installation is now complete!

Congratulations, you have just installed a beautiful shade sail!


Top 3 Takeaways for Chapter 5

  1. Don't skimp on the footings when you install a post.

  2. Take measurements for your sail from eye-bolt to eye-bolt (or point-to-point).

  3. The first corner of the sail will be the easiest to install. Plan to install it in the corner that is most difficult to reach. The last corner of the sail will be the tightest, so plan to install it in an area where there is plenty of room to pull with a rope or ratchet strap.

SSU-logo Deborah - no background.png

Chapter 6

How to sew a Shade Sail