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Old 23-08-2020, 07:03   #1
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External DIY UV Shading material? Clever solutions? Experiences?

Hi,

after pushing the idea for quite some time I am finally getting to prepare external sunshades for our boat.

I do not want to reinvent the wheel and thus grab some crowd knowledge before starting.

We will do this on the outside as it protects the portlights as well and external insulation usually works better than internal one.

This is a DIY project and I have only limited funds, so please don't recommend Sunbrella for it :-) great stuff with some useful applications but way to expensive for this.

I found this material and wonder about other users experience with it or with similar material:

https://de.aliexpress.com/i/4000778655183.html

Usually it's used to protect crops from to much sun radiation.
Seems to be slightly see through as well, which is better than a complete light blocking material. We do not want to live in a dark cave.

The price is very reasonable, even though I hope it lasts some time, because I am not keen on repeating the sewing process every year.

There are a lot of other suppliers for that sort of stuff on Alibaba as well.

It's normally available in a number of colors and I lean towards silver, looks cool and, as it is likely reflecting more UV than black it may reduce heat transfer further.
I am not going for white because it will get dirty fairly fast.
Black will likely have salt stains quckily.

Here are a few questions I am pondering.

1)
Has anyone used this or is there anyone who has found a better source on Alibaba?
Links?

2)
Is the silver/metallic looking stuff going to scratch the portlights more than the black stuff? Will it go unsightly grey very quickly?

3)
Preparing the shading panels, I am thinking of putting a plastic cable similar to the one found in a lawn trimmer into a tubular hem around the perimeter to keep the shape. Better ideas anyone? Photos?

4)
Attachement, seeing the price of metal Tenax attachements I am wondering if someone had a better, less costly and more foot friendly idea or solution which they used successful.
Footfriendly, because stepping onto a Tenax base barefoot is a real pain.
Metal attachments would be preferable, as they last longer in southern high UV environments. Anyone know of some good industrial type and long lasting velcro (Manufacturer? If suppliers, we are in Europe)?
Other photos, ideas?

We will use those shades primarely at anchor, but they may occasionally have to stay put in a squall to.

I appreciate your thoughts and ideas,

Fran
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Old 23-08-2020, 07:33   #2
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Re: External DIY UV Shading material? Clever solutions? Experiences?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Franziska View Post
This is a DIY project and I have only limited funds, so please don't recommend Sunbrella for it :-) great stuff with some useful applications but way to expensive for this.
Not to push you a particular way or another, but to offer some Sunbrella $ strategies. At the marina we started at, there was a marine upholstery shop - regular dumpster-diving expeditions turned up a lot of offcuts that yielded winch covers, fuel tank covers, portlight covers, etc. all for the cost of the thread (and a little dignity). You might have a harder time creating a large monochrome item, but could probably make a funky patchwork piece. Marine discount stores are scattered about, and frequently have the ends of bolts for far less than retail price. Again the choice of colour may be wanting, but if you don't mind a salmon pink awning, it might be an option. Sunbrella and its other-named analogs might be pricy, but it really is the best material.
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Old 23-08-2020, 07:53   #3
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Re: External DIY UV Shading material? Clever solutions? Experiences?

Thanks, Sunbrella absolutely has its applications and your patchwork idea is great.
BUT :-) Sunbrella is usually tight woven and let's no light through.

This agricultural shading stuff I am looking at, let's some light through. Which we do want for this application. A slight see through option would be even better. Maybe 80% shading would be perfect.
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Old 23-08-2020, 08:35   #4
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Re: External DIY UV Shading material? Clever solutions? Experiences?

I've had very good luck using the patio open weave sunshade material, such as:

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=sun+shade...ss_ts-o-p_5_10

It's cheap, and very study. It's made out of monofilament, and does not unravel when cut. It blocks like 95% UV, but is very porous. I used it first to make a dinghy cover, which lets water through (and then out the stern drain hole) while protecting the inflated sides from UV damage. I'm getting ready to make a sunshade for the wheelhouse "patio" roof with it, because it has a wonderful property of not beating itself to death in a mild breeze when we are at anchor. Shaded happy hour up top.
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Old 23-08-2020, 08:51   #5
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Re: External DIY UV Shading material? Clever solutions? Experiences?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Franziska View Post
Hi,

after pushing the idea for quite some time I am finally getting to prepare external sunshades for our boat.
...

https://de.aliexpress.com/i/4000778655183.html
I'm a bit confused about your application; will these be suspended OVER the cockpit, hatches etc for shade, or covers that go directly onto and over portlights, hatches etc?

I've seen the stuff you linked to, over some farmers' fields. I've also seen similar stuff in the Caribbean used as a shade to protect stands of monofilm windsurf sails from UV. Maybe you can find the material in the EU from agricultural stores or wholesalers? I wonder if farmers dispose of the material after a few years but it still might have life left?

We're looking for similar material for use as shade sails suspended over our house's back deck. We'll probably choose a lighter colour like tan for that use.
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Old 23-08-2020, 09:00   #6
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Re: External DIY UV Shading material? Clever solutions? Experiences?

Here is another option ...greenhouse shade cloth.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B075R2LQQL..._QfPqFb54JY46B

I expect this stuff to last several seasons. 40 percent and 70 percent UV block fabrics are available. Should be straightforward to customize.
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Old 23-08-2020, 09:04   #7
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Re: External DIY UV Shading material? Clever solutions? Experiences?

Using the cheap stuff from Amazon permeable tarps in an ivory color. It ties to forestay and rear of boom. Knocks temps in cabin down by 15 degrees making it easier on my AC at dock here in SW Florida.
Will be using during upcoming cruising season in Caribbean.

All in $80
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Old 23-08-2020, 09:13   #8
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Re: External DIY UV Shading material? Clever solutions? Experiences?

The material you posted looks like a basic tarp. It quotes 99% blockage, so I think that defeats your purpose.
If you want top of the line (probably not), look at phifertex. You just need to ask yourself how often you want to replace it as the better fabrics may be better value over time.
We are in Mexico where the sun is intense and high end fabrics are hard to find. I know lots of boaters that get normal shade cloth like the garden ones linked previously and they last several seasons. Ignore the marine labels as they are all a UV stabalized plastic material and the marine label will just add cost for little to no value. Buy a bunch of reasonable grommets...
Good luck and have fun.
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Old 23-08-2020, 09:14   #9
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Re: External DIY UV Shading material? Clever solutions? Experiences?

I have used sheet plastic UV blocking on the inside of windows. It cuts to size and is self adherent when applied with a squeege. It is made for home use and is much cheaper than your tarp.
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Old 23-08-2020, 09:30   #10
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Re: External DIY UV Shading material? Clever solutions? Experiences?

Here comes the clarification :-)

Only over the hatches and portlights which have Lexan or Plexiglas in them.

This is not a cockpit sunshade or something like that. For that I would use Sunbrella or similar.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lake-Effect View Post
I'm a bit confused about your application; will these be suspended OVER the cockpit, hatches etc for shade, or covers that go directly onto and over portlights, hatches etc?

I've seen the stuff you linked to, over some farmers' fields. I've also seen similar stuff in the Caribbean used as a shade to protect stands of monofilm windsurf sails from UV. Maybe you can find the material in the EU from agricultural stores or wholesalers? I wonder if farmers dispose of the material after a few years but it still might have life left?

We're looking for similar material for use as shade sails suspended over our house's back deck. We'll probably choose a lighter colour like tan for that use.
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Old 23-08-2020, 09:30   #11
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Re: External DIY UV Shading material? Clever solutions? Experiences?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tkeithlu View Post
I've had very good luck using the patio open weave sunshade material, such as:

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=sun+shade...ss_ts-o-p_5_10

It's cheap, and very study. It's made out of monofilament, and does not unravel when cut. It blocks like 95% UV, but is very porous. I used it first to make a dinghy cover, which lets water through (and then out the stern drain hole) while protecting the inflated sides from UV damage. I'm getting ready to make a sunshade for the wheelhouse "patio" roof with it, because it has a wonderful property of not beating itself to death in a mild breeze when we are at anchor. Shaded happy hour up top.
I second this. I bought one of these (used to shade patios) at the big box store thinking it would answer my problem until I figured out something better. I cut it down and hemmed it and put zip ties inside the hem to stiffen it. Three years later it's still going strong, no sun fade or unraveling and my only regret it that I had done a slightly better job because it lasted a lot longer than anticipated. Good luck!
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Old 23-08-2020, 09:34   #12
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Re: External DIY UV Shading material? Clever solutions? Experiences?

Uuups, thanks for spotting that.

I saw some similar stuff with 80-90% blockage which is what we want.
I may have posted the wrong link than.

And yes, I will not use a marine label. Usually we avoid that if it's reasonable to do so, as you rightly say you pay a premium for "marine" and an even higher one for "yacht" in a lot of cases.
Quote:
Originally Posted by bradfordharley View Post
The material you posted looks like a basic tarp. It quotes 99% blockage, so I think that defeats your purpose.
If you want top of the line (probably not), look at phifertex. You just need to ask yourself how often you want to replace it as the better fabrics may be better value over time.
We are in Mexico where the sun is intense and high end fabrics are hard to find. I know lots of boaters that get normal shade cloth like the garden ones linked previously and they last several seasons. Ignore the marine labels as they are all a UV stabalized plastic material and the marine label will just add cost for little to no value. Buy a bunch of reasonable grommets...
Good luck and have fun.
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Old 23-08-2020, 09:35   #13
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Re: External DIY UV Shading material? Clever solutions? Experiences?

Black attracts heat.
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Old 23-08-2020, 09:39   #14
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Re: External DIY UV Shading material? Clever solutions? Experiences?

Great find, but as our boat does not sport à green color in its design, I'll try to find something similar in silver :-)

This stuff seems close to the stuff I am after though.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sparx View Post
Here is another option ...greenhouse shade cloth.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B075R2LQQL..._QfPqFb54JY46B

I expect this stuff to last several seasons. 40 percent and 70 percent UV block fabrics are available. Should be straightforward to customize.
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Old 23-08-2020, 09:41   #15
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Re: External DIY UV Shading material? Clever solutions? Experiences?

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Originally Posted by Stewie12 View Post
Black attracts heat.
black attracts heat but not in these applications. i am using beige on bow, hot.. forest green midships-- nice n cool.and black--even better than green.
interior of boat 10-15 degrees cooler than outside, and decks are tolerable for bare feet.
try it..home depot makes the screening and is not too pricey. i found white screen to be glare-y and useless. hot no relief.
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