How to Make a Powerboat Sun Shade

Item # X-HT-300538

Add a temporary sun shade to your powerboat and enjoy hours on the water without suffering the heat and burn of the sun. With a temporary sun shade, you can install it when you're docked or at anchor and then take it down when you're off exploring the waters. In this video tutorial, you'll learn how to sew a freestanding sun shade for a powerboat, but you can apply these techniques to any shade structure you'd like to make for your boat, home or business. You can even erect a sun shade around the pool or at a campground. Let's get started on today's DIY project!

Install a sun shade on your boat.

We're patterning our new sun shade from the old one. If you don't have an old sun shade to pattern from, not to worry! We'll show you how to measure for a sun shade using your shade poles as a guide. In order to take accurate measurements, you need to have shade poles already installed on your boat.

If you're in the market for high-quality shade poles, check out Carbiepoles™ Adjustable Carbon Fiber Shade Poles. Carbiepoles are a fantastic choice for erecting a temporary shade structure. They are simple to install and take down so you can quickly and easily add shade when you need it. These handcrafted, telescoping poles are incredibly lightweight and very strong. Each pole has an internal rigging system, making it easy to attach to your sun shade and tension it just right.

Sun shade top down view.

A top-down view of our sun shade.

When choosing the right fabric for your sun shade, there are some factors to consider. Different brands of sun shade material have different shade factor ratings, fabric weaves, widths and price points. Luckily, our blog "How to Choose a Shade Fabric" (#300380XHT) makes it easy to compare and contrast our shade fabrics. And with high-quality shade fabrics in bold and bright colors as well as classic neutrals, you're sure to find exactly what you're looking for at Sailrite.

Watch the video below to learn how to sew a sun shade. This is an easier project than you might think! Once you have your shade cloth patterned and cut out, next comes cutting the corner patches and sewing the hem and patches in place. Then all that remains is adding the shock cord cover clips and installing the sun shade on the shade poles. You'll be relaxing in the shade and enjoying the beautiful views from your boat's deck in no time!

Video Chapters:

  • Measuring Discussion — 0:54 min.
  • Patterning from Old Shade — 3:41 min.
  • Adding Hem Allowance — 10:15 min.
  • Cutting Corner Patches — 17:06 min.
  • Sewing Hem & Patches — 21:52 min.
  • Installing Shock Cord Cover Clips — 26:24 min.
  • Installing — 29:02 min.
  • Materials & Tools List — 29:39 min.

Materials List:

  • Shade Cloth Fabric from Sailrite
  • Seamstick 3/8" Basting Tape for Canvas (50 yds.) (#129)
  • Shelter-Rite® 61" Fabric from Sailrite (we used Beige #112014)
  • Thread Silver Tex 90 Polyester UV 4oz. (#106387)
  • Sailrite® Woven Sew in Tags (#121627)
  • Stayput™ Fastener Shock Cord Cover Clip (Standard) – Black (#100369) or White (#100368)

Tools List:

  • Triangle Tailor’s Chalk – Red (#121914)
  • Gingher® Scissors Right Hand Lightweight 8" (#101017)
  • Clear Acrylic Ruler 6" x 24" (#102400)
  • Sailrite® Canvas Patterning Ruler (#107040)
  • Scratch Awl Yellow (#2354)
  • Sailrite® Edge Cordless Hotknife 18V Package (#122177)
  • Tempered Cutting Glass for Hotknife (#121915)
  • Sailrite® Ultrafeed® LSZ Walking Foot Sewing Machine (#300600)
  • Sailrite® Ultrafeed® Industrial Sewing Table (#120934)
  • Sailrite® Drill Hole Cutter Set (#121825)
  • Barry King Mallet Hammer Style 3# (#68563)
  • Tape Measure, 1/2" PVC Pipe, 2" Painters Tape, Drill

What did you think of this DIY project? Where would you put a sun shade? Let us know in the comments below!