DIY Boat Shades

Handy boat owners can complete do-it-yourself installs of retractable sunshade systems on hardtops, extending canvas for more shade in the bow or cockpit

With endless hours cruising, anchoring out or fishing under the hot sun, more shade on your boat is essential for sun safety, comfort and overall boating enjoyment. And adding shade is one upgrade most boaters should consider.

When it comes to upgrades, many boaters prefer do-it-yourself projects that allow them to save money and control the project outcome. But until recently, the only options boaters had were costly custom shade solutions (which often results in obtrusive fixed support poles) or using low-quality DIY shade products that serve as a temporary, somewhat flimsy “canopy” while anchored or docked. 

SureShade now offers DIY installation options that have set a new standard for do-it-yourself boat shade.

The SureShade MTF manual shade makes it easy to install more shade on your hardtop boat with a quality product that adds value to your boat and your boating lifestyle.

Choosing Retractable Boat Shade


Shade retracted on Boston Whaler 320 Outrage Cuddy

The biggest benefit of SureShade sunshades – whether manually or electrically operated – is that it gives you choice with shade. And choosing retractable shade is the best option for boaters who want flexibility.

The SureShade MTF manual shade is a great upgrade option for boats with hardtop, offering many advantages:
  • Operates with a simple hand lever to retract or extend the shade
  • Provides full extension of canvas from hardtop to cover aft, bow or both
  • Requires no obtrusive support poles in the aft or bow of boat
  • Eliminates physical handling of shade or wrestling with boots
  • Marine grade components with lightweight aluminum framework
  • Simple installation unique mounting brackets for hardtops

The SureShade MTF is ideal for boats under 35 feet with an overhead structure such as a hardtop.

The shade system is the same quality product currently offered by boat builders as a factory installed option on new boat brands and models such as the Boston Whaler 285 and 315 Conquest.

The RTX Pull-Out Boat Shade is also a great option for boats under 27 feet. Using a push-in / pull-out mechanism, shade is extended within seconds.


Easy Boat Shade Install Process

The SureShade MTF manual retractable shade can easily be a DIY installation project by a private boat owner. The simple top mount installation features unique mounting clamps that provide a secure fit and installation.

Our DIY install instructions will guide you through each step of the shade installation – from measuring for precise placement to ensuring mounting clamps are positioned in the right place for optimal performance.


When you purchase the retractable shade system with your choice of canvas color, we provide all necessary mounting components and full installation instructions with detailed illustrations for assembly and installation.

Most importantly, every shade we sell – whether directly to a boater, through a dealer or as a manufacturer installation – comes along with outstanding customer service to ensure that your installation runs smoothly and you are more than happy with your new shade.

Of course, if you prefer more assistance with installing SureShade MTF, we are happy to coordinate installation with your local boat dealer’s service department.

In addition to the option of a DIY installation of the SureShade MTF manual shade, we also offer SureShade ATF automated shade as a factory or dealer installed product due to the level of integration typically required. The automated shade features stainless steel components, electrically powered shade extension and retraction, and is ideal for boats over 30 feet in length.

Learn more about the SureShade MTF manual shade for DIY shade installation options for your boat, and view our boat brand gallery to see top how top brands like Boston Whaler and Grady-White are featuring our sunshade solutions.