Stowable Top Deck Sunshade (Revised)

The top deck on any of the Alcan/Alwest/Alloy boats is a great place to lounge about . . . but definitely needs a sunshade in the heat of the summer.
There are many versions of sunshades, from simple umbrellas, to formidable fixed frame bimini tops . . . some even have screened in side panels.
Obviously wind is also a consideration, so the design has to be easy to take down and stow, or substantial enough to withstand heavy weather.
There is an additional design consideration as well. A permanent sunshade or even a permanent sunshadeframe definitely changes the look of the boat.

Design Criteria for the Top Deck Sunshade on Catherine Ann

  • Had to be stowable ( my personal opinion is that the lines of the boat look better without a permanent sunshade or frame).
  • The frame could not block the aft or side ladders when folded. (Catherine Ann has a side ladder not found on most of these boats)
  • The sunshade should be adjustable to block the sun on either side of the boat while minimizing the obstruction of the view from the topdeck.
  • Construction should be substantial enough to withstand moderate wind gusts but be easily taken down for heavy weather or when underway.


Sunshade should move from side to side on the frame as the position of the sun changes.


Sunshade should collapses on to posts on the port side for storage.

As Built


The sunshade is shown collapsed onto two short posts on the port side of the deck. The end hoop frames come apart and can be stowed in the flybridge.

Construction Details


The horizontal ribs of the sunshade are light weight aluminum tubes.
Teak end pieces allow the sunshade to slide back and forth on the frame.
The frame bases are permanently attached to the deck and store the sunshade along the port side.

In Use


The sunshade material blocks most of the sun but is an open enough weave to let the breeze through and allow some visibility.

Storage When Underway


The sunshade collapses on to the two posts on the port side of the deck and has its own cover.

Rob Farrow
Catherine Ann
Summer 2012