by marco bono
Square sun sails will provide the most coverage. They are available in variety of sizes ranging from pre made to custom sized square sails. However, larger square sails will typically require stronger fixing points. It is recommended to use steel posts as your masts. Furthermore, each post should be cemented into the ground. The rule of thumb for how far into the ground you should go is going to be 1/3 of your walk through height. Therefore, if your walk through is going to be 9 feet than you should go around 3 feet into the ground. Most engineers typically recommend that you go at least 4 feet into the ground as your starting point. The other disadvantage to a large square sail is the possibility that it will “belly” up in the middle. This can happen for a variety of reasons. Lack of tension and water build up are primary reasons why a sun sail will belly up in the middle. Furthermore, square sails do not arrange as nicely as triangular shade sails.
Triangular shade sails have many advantages and disadvantages as well. The biggest advantage they have over square sails is that they can be arranged in a variety of configurations that will please just about any one. You can point one going one way and another going the other way. You may very the heights as well or just play around with however you want to make your arrangement. One of the big disadvantages is that triangular sails always have a gap in between sails. This is an area where sun light or water can easily pass through. The advantage is that they will not belly up as much as square sail when installed properly. Furthermore, the gaps prevent as much water from building up and causing the sun sail to sag.
First you need to determine the sails primary function before you decide what shape you are going to buy. If you are primarily looking to get as much shade coverage as possible than a square or rectangular sail will be to your advantage. However, if you are looking more for something that can transform the architecture of your surroundings, then a triangular sail might not be such a bad idea. Either way, shade sails provide a great way to cover just about anything quickly and inexpensively.
Todd Holliday is an avid writer who enjoys subjects such as shade canopy, and custom shade sails