- Paint. From my last boat, which had a similar shade, I learned that cloth shades often let too much heat through. If they are light-colored cloth too much penetrates there is too much bottom-side reflection. If they are dark, they absorb heat and re-radiate it downward. I have painted awnings with white latex paint and had fair results. In this case, I did not let it dry long enough and some of the pain stuck to itself; let it dry for several weeks and this should not be a problem. Perhaps there is a better paint choice, but I am sold on the bi-color results. Additionally, paint reduces fabric stretch, which is a help.
- Genoa sheets. By setting the shade over the sheets, you can get more height and a wide range of shapes. Experiment.
- Setting it lower on the rear edge, just above the open hatches, directs more air below. Yes, you have to duck under it, but it seemed worth it.
- Cabin shading. Even if you are at the dock with the AC running, the shade reduces the load and makes it possible for the AC to keep up. If I were going to use AC a lot or going to the tropics, I would make an extension to cover the cabin behind the mast.
A prior post described carrying the AC unit on deck: Keeping Cruise-N-Carry AC Unit On-deck
Would a more permanent version that could be kept up during squalls make sense? I don't think so. Nothing is going to withstand a 60-knot gust and still fit in a stuff sack. Ease of setting more important, and this minimalist shade takes only a minute with practice.
Simple side extensions for the dodger help too, but in this case to keep out the rain. I have no wish for a full enclosure, particularly in the summer, but the short sides let too much spray in during heavy down pours, soaking the cockpit. I made some simple wings that solve the problem and roll up into nothing when not used.
I love sitting in the cockpit during a downpour after a hot day.