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  • Can I leave the umbrellas up all the time?
    Deckhands™ clamps were designed with the idea of leaving umbrellas mounted all the time, at least seasonally depending on climate. Always close down the umbrellas when not in use or when high winds are present. Remove umbrellas during extreme winds of 50 MPH or higher. It isn't recommended to have the umbrellas open with wind gusts over 20 mph.
  • How do I rotate the umbrella once mounted?
    If you need to rotate the umbrella, first loosen one Deckhands™ clamp knob. While securely holding on to the umbrella pole, loosen the 2nd Deckhands™ clamp knob and rotate as needed. Tighten the knobs.
  • Can the bottom of the umbrella pole rest on the deck?
    Yes, but it isn't necessary. It is ok to place the pole directly to the deck if the geometry of the support and any toppers along with any crank mechanisms of the umbrella allows for the clearance of all components. There still needs to both an upper and lower Deckhands™ clamp used for proper lateral support.
  • Do the Deckhands™ clamps have to be mounted to the railing support post?
    Deckhands™ clamps were designed to be mounted to the support posts of a deck railing or other similarly strong support. They each need a 3 inch tall x 3.5 inch wide area to be screwed into. A standard 4 x 4 post is the usual placement. If there are other structural elements which are of sufficient size, strength, and meet the proper clearance and height geometries they can be used. It is important to have sufficient separation of the upper and lower Deckhands™ for good leverage.
  • Why are the size adapters called Shaft-R-Dapters?
    Because they are shaft adapters, but that sounded boring.
  • How many Deckhands™ clamps do I need?
    Deckhands™ clamps are always sold and used in pairs. It takes 2 Deckhands™ clamps to support one umbrella, installed high and low for maximum strength. Determine how many strong supports you have for an umbrella. Keep in mind where the shade will be cast, and don't forget to consider using tilting umbrellas. Consider how close the umbrellas are to each other. small overlap is ok, about 1 foot or so. Consider the sizes of available umbrellas. 6 - 9 foot aluminum umbrellas are recommended. Add up all the locations you want and purchase that many pairs of Deckhands™ clamps. We offer discounts for higher quantities.
  • How high do I place the Deckhands™ clamps?
    It is best to have the umbrellas you will mount available. Consider the clearance needed for the arms of the umbrellas, and any caps or lights on the deck posts. Make sure the crank mechanism and moveable parts clears the post and any toppers. It is recommended that the Deckhands™ clamps be mounted at least 24 inches on center (21.5 inches apart). Refer to the installation instructions.
  • Do I need to install Deckhands™ clamps on all my posts?
    Consider the geometry of your deck and how the sun tracks throughout the day when considering where to install your Deckhands™ clamps. Install where you would benefit from shade.
  • Can I use 1 Deckhands™ clamp per umbrella?
    No. Deckhands™ clamps are designed to use in pairs. It is critically important that a Deckhands™ clamp is securely fastened at both a low and a high position on the supports, and high and low on the lower portion of the umbrella pole. It is important that the 2 Deckhands™ clamps are places at least 24 inches on center (21.5 inches apart) to provide good leverage against the forces that will be transferred via wind and weight.
  • Should I mount to the inside of the deck or outside?
    As long as the support post , railing, post toppers, and the umbrella geometry fit in either place, it is your choice. You might consider that the outside will be around 6 inches further away from the deck. Consider the ease of reaching the knobs. Also consider if they will impede traffic by making it harder to walk without hitting them.
  • Can I use these to hold a pole for a shade sail?
    No, The Deckhands™ clamp system is designed for weight to be carried mostly straight down with only occasional lateral forces pushing sideways from breezes or wind. Pulling sideways on a pole through the clamps is just a giant lever and will damage the clamps.
  • The Deckhands™ clamps look very thin. Are they strong enough?
    Deckhands™ clamps are made from 20 gage Stainless Steel, 2.5 inch tall. They are rated to hold 20 lbs. The material is designed to conform and tighten around a 1.5-inch pole. They are not designed for misuse, for off-center loads, or for high winds. They are intended for 6 - 9 ft round patio umbrellas with 1.5-inch poles. Lightweight aluminum models are recommended. The larger the umbrella, the higher the force from wind. The umbrella pole is a large lever and can easily bend the Deckhands™ clamps with large lateral forces. Only use as recommended.
  • Can I use a wood pole or a wood umbrella?
    Yes, however wood tends to swell over time with exposure to water. Sometimes it also shrinks depending on conditions. It can also warp over its length. This means it isn't dimensionally stable and may be more difficult to use with the Deckhands™ clamp system. Wood umbrellas are also much heavier. They can be used, but may not work as well as a lighter aluminum umbrella would.

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