grady white marlin

Protecting your crew from the sun’s dangerous UV rays with proper sunshade is an important safe boating practice

Getting too much sun while having “fun in the sun” on a boat can ruin your day… and your skin.

Boaters know that having adequate canvas and shade coverage on a boat is important for comfort, but often overlook the fact that sun protection is also an important element of boat safety.

For your comfort and your skin safety, proper shade is essential for boaters

Seeking more shade is an important part of a
comprehensive sun protection and
boat safety plan for boaters.

Think about it. How much time do you spend in the sun while boating?

Fishing, cruising, anchoring, lounging, entertaining…the time you spend on your boat adds up quickly. And it only takes 20 minutes of sun exposure to get sunburn if not properly protected.

To make matters worse, prime boating times typically correspond with peak UV exposure times (10 a.m. to 3 p.m.). UV rays can reflect from the water and fiberglass boats and damage your skin – even on cloudy days!

Sun protection and sun safety needs to be taken seriously by boaters. Each time you sunburn, it creates long-term, compounded damage to your skin leaving you at risk for developing skin cancer.

And the numbers regarding skin cancer are staggering.

In the United States alone, the Skin Cancer Foundation estimates more than 2.1 million people contract skin cancer every year and more than 3.5 million cases of skin cancer are diagnosed. And even more worrisome for boaters, approximately 90 percent of non-melanoma skin cancers are associated with exposure to the sun.

While the risks may be high, you can certainly improve your boat safety when it comes to sun protection with proper precautions.

At SureShade, we are obviously big advocates of seeking shade for sun protection without interfering with enjoyment on the water. Our retractable canvas systems offer more shade coverage options on boats where shade was once not possible (like an open cockpit area of a center console boat where you spend a lot of time).

More shade is a very important step in sun protection. In fact, making sure you have proper sunshade protection is as important to boat safety as making sure there are enough PFDs on board. Without shade, you are left completely exposed to potential sun damage.

Our sunshade systems also utilize marine-grade canvas materials with a 50+ UPF rating – significantly cutting down on the amount of UV exposure you receive on a boat. But we also recognize that shade offered by more canvas is just one important preventative measure you can take on a boat. Because UV rays can bounce from reflective surfaces (like a fiberglass boat or water) shade protection should be combined with other sun protection methods like sun-protective clothing and sunscreen.

According to SunAWARE, an international non-profit educational organization for sun protection and skin cancer awareness, there are five simple steps you can take to prevent and detect skin cancers.

A- Avoid unprotected exposure to sunlight, seek shade and never indoor tan

W- Wear sun-protective clothing, including a long-sleeved shirt, pants, a wide-brimmed hat, and sunglasses year round

A- Apply broad spectrum sunscreen with a sunburn protection factor (SPF) 30 or greater to all exposed skin, and reapply every two hours or as needed

R- Routinely examine your whole body for changes in your skin and report concerns to parents or health care providers

E- Educate your family and community about the need to be SunAWARE

SureShade is committed to safer boating by offering sunshade products that provide better shade coverage as part of a comprehensive sun protection plan for boaters. Our mission is to help more boaters – regardless of boat type or style – be comfortable, safe and protected while on the water.