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My Awesome Shade

J-RAD

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There are many posts here on shades, I hope you'll all entertain 1 more.

Preview:
20180819_140806.jpg

After enduring 2 seasons with just my little bimini I began to research adding some additional shade to my AR240. I think I came up with a pretty unique solution, and one I've not seen pulled off on a Yamaha boat similar to mine. I've had a chance to use it a couple of times now and I am really proud of how it's worked out.

I'm envious of the models with the larger biminis (wouldn't be able to clear the eave of my house), but the versatility of what I now have is hard to beat. I'd even consider utilizing the "canvas" portion of this shade as a curtain option even if I had one of the large biminis... It's just so versatile in it's applications.

Without being critical of anyone, I wanted something a little more than the umbrellas I was seeing folks use. I liked the simplicity of those and wanted something that compared in its ease of use but it wasn't the look or functionality I desired. I had the idea of adding to the rear bimini as some have done, but when I stumbled across my end solution I though it was an even better concept.

While researching stumbled across this video and the ideas began to flow:

Manufacturers website:
https://www.ttopcovers.com/products/boat-shade-kit

As depicted in the video the kit utilizes telescoping poles inserted into rod holders to support the rear of the shade. Obviously my AR240 isn't equip with such holders. However, upon reaching the manufacturer's website I quickly discovered the availability of the Mate Series cup/rod holders. Finding those made the solution obvious... replace a pair of the cup holders on the swim deck (as several here already have) and use those to support the poles.

From that point, I was sold, and began researching the install of the cup/rod holders and talking measurements to determine sizing and the proof of concept.
Screenshot_20180911-113121_Dropbox.jpg
I first ordered the Mate Series 30 degree cup/rod holders (not cheap) and contacted LaPorte's Products directly with the measurements necessary to determine the best fit for the T-Top Boat Shade Kit. It was determined a 5'(W) X 6'(L) aft only shade is what would fit best for the application.

When they arrived I began the mock up process with the cup/rod. My original intentions were to install the 30 degree holders in place of the cup holders on the upper portion of the swim deck. After removing one of them I quickly discovered a flaw in my plan... Apparently Yamaha decided that directly below the cup holders was the best place to put the exhaust resonators which obstruct the passage for the rod tube. Upon this discovery, I had to revise my plan slightly and instead install 15 degree cup/rod holders in place of the cup holders on the lower swim deck. I did a little write up of that situation in another thread. This proved to only be a minor setback. Having had both the Mate Series holders and the rods in my possession did aid me in determining to switch brands for the cup/rod holders and instead go with the Amarine brand ones, which were much more affordable ($40 ea. Vs. $120 ea.) The differences are a slightly larger cup and slightly larger tube for the rod. The poles were a perfect fit in the Mate Series tube but have some play in the Amarine version, I decided I could always add a spacer to the bottom of the poles if needed... it wasn't enough of a difference in size or quality to justify paying triple the cost...

Due to the fact these cups would now be holding a load, I decided to reinforce the structure of the thin fiberglass by fabricating some plastic rings made from a cheap cutting board by using a couple of hole saws.
20180608_160418.jpg 20180608_172633.jpg 20180630_192411.jpg 20180630_192812.jpg 20180630_192828.jpg 20180706_210542.jpg
I used epoxy and clamps to fasten rings, placed and aligned the holders, then predrilled holes for the screws provided. I'd even recommend putting the screws down into those holes and removing them again prior to removing the clamps or putting the cups in. This will reduce the risk of the screws pushing the ring down and braking it loose once you actually go to install it.
20180626_203718.jpg 20180909_184814.jpg

With this in, the shade was ready to install. The kit includes the following. (Copied from the manufacturer's website.)
KitContents100.png
  1. T-Top Boat Shade made with Resilience@
  2. T-Top Telescoping Poles:
    • We manufacture our own heavy duty anodized aluminum telescoping poles. We use the same piping that the T-Top frames are made of. The telescope poles adjust from 42 in. to 72 in. and mount into standard rod holders. (2 Poles Included with Kit)
  3. Pole Securing Straps:
    • Each kit includes two adjustable 1” wide polyester webbing straps with a loop on one end and a grommet on the other end. Once they’re attached to your boat and poles, they lock the poles and shade into your boat and this allows you to run with the shade kit installed.
  4. Velcro Clean Up Tabs:
    • Included with your kit is a set of 9 - 6” long double sided Velcro strips. These are used after you have installed your Boat Shade kit and the ends of the webbing straps are left hanging. Simply roll the excess webbing strap up and wrap a Velcro strip around it and secure it to webbing connector strap. They can be used for any loose ends.
  5. Shade Kit Carry Bag:
    • Your BSK will be contained quite nicely in the storage provided. It has an over the shoulder strap which makes it easy to carry if you don’t store the shade kit on the boat. It zippers the whole length of the bag making it easy to install or remove the shade kit. The polyester material is lightweight and breathable. The dimension of the bag is 48" x 10" and easily stowes away in the boat.

Installation of the product was very similar to the video, with the exception of my shade only had the 2 corner anchor points on the front as opposed to the multiple being shown in the previous picture of the entire kit.
20180909_185232.jpg
When installing, the shade is first stretched over the top of the bimini and fastened to the tower, just above the top most cross member.
20180911_102529.jpg
The poles are inserted into the rod holders, and fastened with the provided straps down to the eye hook under the swim deck.
Screenshot_20180911-120128_Gallery.jpg

Here's a few pics of my completed shade:
20180819_140806.jpg
20180819_140724.jpg
20180819_140739.jpg
20180819_140623.jpg
20180819_141005.jpg
20180819_141323.jpg
20180819_141038.jpg

Cost wise, the kit was not inexpensive... nearly $700. The rod holders I settled on were only $40 each.
Screenshot_20180911-103035_Mobile Print.jpg
Say what you will about the cost, but I LOVE IT! Besides, once I decide to sell my boat, I can easily keep the shade for use on my next boat if I so desire, and the new owners can enjoy the rod holders as a bonus.

As an added point, despite what was said in the video, there is conflicting info and pictures that both mention and show the shade being used while under way. I've yet to attempt it. The shade has a lot of stretch to it and I'm sure there is the potential for some flapping. I have wondered if a 5' X 5' may allow for some additional tension to minimize the effect, with the 5' X 6' I am maxed out on adjustment. We'll see what happens when I make my attempt.
 
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2kwik4u

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I love everything about it except the cost. The design is significantly more substantial than the umbrella I'm using.

How does it do in a stiff breeze? Pretty stable?
 

J-RAD

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I love everything about it except the cost. The design is significantly more substantial than the umbrella I'm using.

How does it do in a stiff breeze? Pretty stable?
The cost is admittedly a bit steep... undoubtedly that's going to be the dealbreaker for most people.

It's very stable, the straps keep the poles in place and it's very secure at all points. The fact that it stretches the way it does really just lets it move without putting additional stress on anything. Last time we were out we had a consistent 15mph wind blowing with little effect.
 

Jgorm

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I dig it. Great work! I'm about to pull the trigger on a full metal 6x9' awning that will mostly attach to the tower. I'm still working on the design to send out.
 

Neutron

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Love it, great job!
 

J-RAD

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I dig it. Great work! I'm about to pull the trigger on a full metal 6x9' awning that will mostly attach to the tower. I'm still working on the design to send out.
Thanks! That sounds really interesting... be sure to share the details.
 

Chillypilot

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I don't think the cost is that bad. People drop $700 on all kinds of boat accessories. The fact that it can fit your next boat is a huge bonus. Great Job!
 

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PJ73

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Are these made for larger boats? I have a 212x and am looking for something like this to add a bit more shade off the back.
 

J-RAD

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Are these made for larger boats? I have a 212x and am looking for something like this to add a bit more shade off the back.
The shade in the original post is installed on my AR240, so yes they should have a size that should accommodate a 212x. I'm not certain of how the cup/rod holders would fit. Predictably you'd probably need to order a slightly shorter length shade (maybe 5' x 5' vs the 5' x 6' I ended up with). When speaking with the manufacturer over the phone they seemed like they'd be very reasonable if there were a need to make an exchange for a better fit.
 
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seanmclean

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That came out really, really, nice. Love that color scheme too.
 

Gym

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Nice job and great write up @J-RAD.
Extended shade... $700
Cup/rod holders..... $40
Comfort on your boat..priceless
 

J-RAD

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spatty99

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J-RAD

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My old 2008 212X had a phenomenal bimini extension, I'm sure it could be recreated fairly inexpensively. Add new cloth, a couple zippers, standard bimini piping with the right bends, and a couple tie down straps. Items 11 and 22 below...

https://www.yamahasportsplaza.com/oemparts/a/yam/50039fb1f870021f60a118d2/bimini-top-carpet
True, and I had considered going that route prior to this. But once I saw the versatility of this shade to adjust and stretch to various heights and angles, and saw a means to make it work on my 240 via the cup/rod holders, I was sold. I'm still contemplating a means of fitting it forward over the bow. I did do it once, stretched from the bimini down to the bow rails without the poles. It worked reasonably well for shading the cockpit. Also stretched it along the side on another occasion. Unfortunately, no pics of either of those applications though.
 

J-RAD

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Screenshot_20190514-225942_Facebook.jpg
I guess shouldn't share my million dollar ideas so freely... 🤦‍♂️ LOL!
Good for @JetBoatPilot for making workable for the JB market. I thought it was a nifty plan. Even better if you can make it more affordable and improve the ease of install.

Will, are you finding it necessary to reinforce the fiberglass around the cup holders?


I'll DM you my full name and mailing address so you know where to send the royalties.
 
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jcyamaharider

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:blackeye::blackeye::blackeye::blackeye:
 

JetBoatPilot

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View attachment 94316
I guess shouldn't share my million dollar ideas so freely... 🤦‍♂️ LOL!
Good for @JetBoatPilot for making workable for the JB market. I thought it was a nifty plan. Even better if you can make it more affordable and improve the ease of install.

Will, are you finding it necessary to reinforce the fiberglass around the cup holders?


I'll DM you my full name and mailing address so you know where to send the royalties.
Honestly we are selling these in distribution for one of our dealers in central Florida who developed it. I had not seen yours till today. Sorry to intrude on your idea. I don't think the gelcoat or fiberglass is being reinforced but we're replacing the cupholder with a combination cupholer/rod holder and using 5200 to secure it. Install video coming soon.

Also it can be used while the boat is underway so it does not need to be taken down when you decide to change locations or go cruising.
 

J-RAD

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Honestly we are selling these in distribution for one of our dealers in central Florida who developed it. I had not seen yours till today. Sorry to intrude on your idea. I don't think the gelcoat or fiberglass is being reinforced but we're replacing the cupholder with a combination cupholer/rod holder and using 5200 to secure it. Install video coming soon.

Also it can be used while the boat is underway so it does not need to be taken down when you decide to change locations or go cruising.
Thanks for the honest reply Will and I'm not sure an apology is necessary per say but I appreciate the gesture. I don't want to give the impression that I'm the only one with an original thought... I did put it out there for others to be inspired and possibly follow. At the same time it's strange to see someone profiting from what seemed to be an original thought at the time... I'm sure you have experienced that... So I'm trying not to be butt hurt about it, lol!

If I had a guarded interest in it I suppose I would have taken more steps to guard it as intellectual property or whatever. Or have created a modified version such as your distributor has to patent and market it...

Anyway, I guess you can let your distributor know who to make the check out to... lol!
 
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