By Holly O’Dell
In 2006, Ron Russikoff combined his background as a marine fabricator with his experience in product design, development, and engineering for a manufacturing business to develop accessible shade systems for boats. The result was SureShade, which designs and manufacturers patented shade systems for boat OEMs, as well as aftermarket customers such as boat dealers, yacht restorers, and fabrication shops.
The Philadelphia-based company “was born of the desire to provide additional shade on boats where once not possible, like center consoles of fishing boats, as well as to make shade handling easier on all other types of boats,” says Dana Russikoff, co-founder of SureShade. “The systems are self-supported and offer easy deployment and retraction with no need for side poles.”
The manufacturer produces four systems, which include all hardware and canvas components: ATF, an electric shade system that extends and retracts up to seven feet at the touch of a button on boats that are 30-plus feet; MTF, a manually operated retractable shade for boats 35 feet and under; M3, a three-stage automated shade designed for yachts longer than 60 feet; and the RTX, providing a manually deployable shade for sport and wakeboard boats shorter than 27 feet. For each product, the framework permanently mounts to an overhead structure; the shade material is typically a marine-grade acrylic.
SureShade hopes to partner with more marine canvas shops on its product offerings. “We would like to serve as a valuable resource for marine fabricators to meet boaters’ need for comfort, choice, and convenience when it comes to shade on boats,” Dana Russikoff notes. “With the ability to fully enclose certain SureShade systems, marine fabricators can offer not just a cutting-edge shade solution, but also a value-added upsell.”