grady-white 282 sailfish

Florida boater completes do-it-yourself installation of a manual SureShade for more cockpit shade on his 2006 Grady-White 282

Boaters seeking a solution for more shade on-board now have a DIY installation option that is as easy to operate as it is to install. 

With the SureShade manual shade, the lightweight design and non-electrical operation makes installation by the average boater a simple upgrade that boosts your boat’s value and comfort.

Our manual shade can easily be installed on many boat models with a hardtop, giving boaters the same quality shade product offered as a factory installation on new models by major boat manufacturers. And adding the latest shade innovation found on new boat models gives older boats an instant upgrade.

While aftermarket installations of our automated shade must be installed by a dealer or service technician due to the complexity of the electrical operation, the average boat owner can handle their own installation of our manual shade. The manual shade is lightweight, operates with a simple hand lever and only needs a few mounting brackets for most installations.

We asked a recent SureShade customer, Captain Tom Gilbertson of Fort Myers FL, to share his story about why he chose to add our shade and how easy the installation process was on his boat Serendipity.

SureShade: Tell us about your boat and where you go boating.

Captain Tom: SW Florida offers the best of all worlds for boaters. We enjoy the option of protected inland cruising with the proximity of the Gulf of Mexico for serious fishing. I have a 2006 Grady-White 282 named Serendipity and I love it because “It’s a Grady”.


SureShade: What made you choose the SureShade retractable boat top option as an upgrade for your boat?

Captain Tom: We were searching for an alternative to a Bimini Top and came across the SureShade website. After spending time researching the company, we made the initial contact and found them to be most accommodating. We were interested in an under mount for our T-Top and they worked with us to insure that it was doable on our model. We chose SureShade because the product was far superior to anything I have seen on the market.


SureShade: Tell us about the installation process – was it easy enough for you to install by yourself?

Captain Tom The install is quite simple… you only have to drill 8 holes.  The key, however, is to get the actuators parallel to each other.  Since my installation was to be an under mount, the measurements and drilling had to be very accurate.  I decided to lay out the various pieces on saw horses and a patio table and assembled the unit on my lanai.  I was then able to take accurate measurements and translated them to my boat. I then marked the center line of my T-Top, and proceeded to translate my measurements to the bottom of the T-Top.  From that point on the installation was very routine.

SureShade: So this was really a DIY install project that any boater can do?

Captain Tom: Oh yes. If I were to describe my mechanical skills I would rank somewhere between a total amateur and an average homeowner.  If I did the installation, anyone can.  And the support and customer service from the factory [SureShade] was outstanding.  Any questions were answered promptly and a piece that I accidentally damaged arrived at my front door the very next day.

SureShade: What has your experience been like so far with the SureShade boat top?


Captain Tom: The summer sun is quite brutal in SW Florida and the shade is appreciated by all passengers. The SureShade provides extra sun protection over the entire cockpit of my boat. The installed unit looks fantastic… a neighbor thought it was a factory installed option.

I am able to operate the unit with ease.  I also wanted to test the claim that the unit is durable up to 50 mph.  I never got that fast, but it held up well at 42 mph… no sign of stress on the unit due to wind or vibration.  Overall, it is a very sleek installation and it looks like it belongs on the boat.  There is no comparison to other tops on the market.  This certainly is the premier solution available.

SureShade: We are so pleased to hear that! And how is everyone else enjoying it?

Captain Tom: I had my grandchildren (ages 2, 5 and 8) out with the unit deployed and the additional shade was certainly appreciated by their parents.  We were able to stay out longer on the boat and still keep the children protected from the direct sun.


Learn more about the SureShade MTF manual shade that Tom installed on his Grady-White 282, and check out other Grady-White shade installations on center console, dual console, express cabin and walkaround cabin models.