Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why should I use ShadeSails-Australia?

1. You can do your own replacement shade sail quote anonymously without having to contact a salesperson or company.
2. Your shade sail will be professionally made on the Gold Coast by a company who have been making shade sails for over 25 years.
3. When you purchase a shade sail from us, your job will be professionally measured by us (whether you install it, or we do).
This removes the greatest pitfall of DIY quoting and installation: mismeasurement!

2. What is the difference in the sail cloth types?

1. Waterproof shade sails use a cloth called DRiZ. This comes in a similar range of colours to “normal” shade sails (called Z16) as can be seen on our colour chart here.

2. Z16 has the following characteristics:
  a. High UV-R Protection (Up To 99%)
  b. 24 Designer Colours
  c. High Tensile Strength
  d. Proven Durability & Longevity
  e. Excellent Heat and Glare Reduction
  f. Easy Care and Maintenance
  g. Lightweight (200GSM)
  h. Safe Filtered Light Transmission
  i. Unique Constructions with excellent cover factor
  j. Z16 has a 10-year limited warranty on the cloth
  k. Z16 is cheaper than DRiZ

3. DRiZ has the following characteristics:
  a. Weather Protection
  b. 16 Designer Colours
  c. Excellent UV-R Protection (up to 100%)
  d. High Tensile Strength
  e. Natural Light Transmission
  f. Proven Durability & Longevity
  g. Easy Care and Maintenance
  h. Great Heat and Glare Reduction
  i. Light Weight (Only 280 GSM)
  j. DRiZ has a 5-year limited warranty on the cloth

4. Z16 has a slightly open weave to the cloth, so it breathes well but will weep moisture when it rains.

5. DRiZ has a clear waterproof coating so it doesn’t “breathe” as well but it does not allow moisture through. Should your shade sail require a seam: the seam is coated with a special waterproofing agent to inhibit water weeping through the stitches.

3. What is the difference between a single 5-pt sail and a "Twin" sail?

1. Both "Twin" sails and a single 5-point sail have the same shade footprint and use the same amount of posts and "roof" hardware.

2. A single 5pt sail has the following characteristics:
  a. the single sail is larger some may move around more
  b. as there is no "vent" in the middle, they are more susceptible to moving in the wind
  c. they are cheaper than "twin" sails

3. A Twin sail setup has the following characteristics:
  a. each sail is smaller than a single sail setup, so we can control it more, so it moves less
  b. there is a "vent" in the middle, so gusts of wind can exhaust between the sails
  c. there is an area in the middle of the setup where the sails overlap, giving extra sun and hail protection
  d. arguably, they look nicer, looking more "architectural"
  e. they are roughly one-third dearer than a single 5pt sail setup

4. What type of hardware and fittings do you use?

We use quality marine-grade (316) stainless steel turnbuckles and shackles (unless you specifically choose to use rope lashing).
We also use quality marine-grade (316) stainless steel “D” rings and perimeter bracing wire in the shade sails construction.

All of our fittings are Marine-Grade 316 Stainless Steel from ProRig.

5. What is “Sail Track”?

Sail Track is an aluminium extrusion that attaches the shade sail directly to a beam or wall, along the full track length.
This is an excellent method to attach shade sails to walls where no gap is required.
The join (to the wall) is also water resistant to inhibit water seepage down the wall.
Sail tracks have the benefit of distributing the sail load over a much greater surface area
You will know if you already have a sail track.

Sail Track is an aluminium extrusion which attaches the shade sail directly to a beam or wall, along the full track length.

6. What are “Cable Pockets”?

“Cable Pockets” a fabric sleeve or pocket with a stainless steel wire reinforcement inside
They are used within the shade sail (not along the perimeter) to support wide areas where sag may be a problem.
They act like the "spine" in a tent.

Cable Pockets are a wire reinforcement inside a fabric sleeve or pocket.

7. What if my site is exposed to high winds?

Simply tell us using the “Strong Wind Area” option during the quote.
This will tell us to use the next size up for your perimeter wire which is stronger and more durable for stronger wind applications.
For large shade sails, we may need to discuss other options.

8. Can I install the shade sail myself?

In short, yes! But you will need to be comfortable with using ladders and perhaps moving around on the roof if some pick-up points exist there.
You will probably need some rope to pre-tension the shade sail to allow the fittings to be engaged.
Tensioning is relatively straightforward, but you need to be patient and adjust each one separately, in turn, and a little bit each time.
Getting this wrong may harm your shade sail or create unsightly creases with a poorly set shade sail.

9. Do you provide new or just replacement sails?

We specialise in replacement shade sails.
That is: we replace worn or old shade sails, utilising the poles and roof-fittings you already have installed.
We can, however, arrange a quotation for new sails and poles/roof-fittings, taking advantage of all the benefits already mentioned.

10. What sewing thread is used in the shade sails?

We use the best quality PTFE Long-Life Thread available in the marketplace.
Thread technology has come a long way since your original sail and the thread will now have the same longevity and sun resistance as the shade sail cloth.

11. How are your corners sewn?

We are very proud of the way we sew our “corners”. To ensure strength and quality we use double-layer corner patches, double and triple-sewn areas, seat-belt ring webbing, marine-grade 316 wire and rings and double-folded hems.
Features include:

1. The corners have an extra two layers of cloth reinforcement sewn in by several rows of double stitching.
2. The “D” rings are retained by seat-belt webbing sewn in using a cross pattern of double stitching.
3. The perimeter wire is retained by a double-fold of sailcloth and double-sewn.
4. Where the wire exits to go around the “D” ring, the ends are triple-sewn.

We are very proud of the way we sew our corners. To ensure strength and quality we use double-layer corner patches, double and triple*sewn areas, seat-belt ring webbing, marine-grade 316 wire and rings and double-folded hems.


12. When is the best time to replace my sail?

As with all things to do with the sun and heat, summer is the busiest period.
Winter will get you your shade sails fastest, and you may even get yourself a winter bargain!

13. Why do you not like using rope lashing at the corners?

Rope will do the job and is considerably cheaper than stainless steel fittings
Rope has the following characteristics:
  a. it work hardens a "squeaks" on the fittings when the sail moves in the breeze
  b. people are reluctant to adjust the sail tension as they feel they cannot untie and retie the knot
  c. it is one of the ways some companies can provide a cheaper quote

Stainless steel fittings have the following characteristics:
  a. oddly; they do not "squeak" on the fittings when the sail moves in the breeze
  b. a home handyman can easily adjust the sail tension with common tools, plus, we provide a free tail tensioning service for all of our sails fitted with stainless steel fittings
  c. they look much better, and much more professional


If you have a question that is not answered here please send your question to

and we will answer you directly usually within 48 hours.
If it is a good question we will add it to this FAQ section.


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