“We like boating and floating in the lake,” says Jeff Downey, “but we kept getting sunburned, being out on the open water.” He and his brother, Tom Downey, decided that “there’s got to be a way to float a canopy,” and a new product and business were born. Water-Shade LLC, Apache Junction, Ariz., manufactures floats that attach to the feet of most 10 x 10 canopies with a quick flip of a custom-designed clip.
The donut-shaped floats are shipped inflated, packed in a tote bag. The patent-pending design allows quick set-up of canopies over pools, lakes or even boats, with a separate anchoring system using either a lake anchor or weighted nylon mesh bags to prevent drift in a swimming pool. The fabric used is a black SunTex® 80 mesh from Phifer Inc., but the manufacturers are working on an updated version made from .75mm PVC and an 18-oz. reinforced PVC for the bottom. Water-Shade LLC would like to team up with canopy manufacturers to expand its concept into the resort pool market.