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CL Bimini vs GL bimini


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I visited both manufacturing facilities in April and got to see the production process and compare materials, etc. Everyone has their own opinion, but here's what I observed and my personal preference. Not all of the data is relevant, but it's data for you.

Great Lakes Boat Top

Currently make Malibu "factory" mooring cover

Use Sunbrella; lots of colors

Computerized templates for support structure; If they made it once, they can pull the data and make it again.

Invented/Patented mooring cover to tower ratcheting support

Located on Mastercraft's driveway

very friendly customer service

Apex/Commercial Sewing

Don't use Sunbrella; not sure the name of the fabric they're using. Only saw black material while I was there

CNC cut bimini pieces

Manual "old school" support bending process (hydraulic press with wood template blocks)

Innovation around tower attachment system; how to fold down tower w/bimini attached

Excellent warranty service

Located on Malibu's driveway

I have a bimini by Apex/Commercial Sewing with top pockets and without surf pockets/straps; I have a mooring cover by Great Lakes Boat Top. I would buy either one again, but I don't believe that I would switch manufacturers.

My bimini is will secured to the frame, the frame is well secured to the G3.2 tower. The rope pockets are very useful. The only area that needs some improvement is where I mounted a tower mirror bracket needs some reinforcement, but that's on me since Apex/CS can't anticipate what I'm going to do with my mirror. I can easily set up the bimini from the storage (boot) to fully deployed in less than 5 minutes. Mounting the bimini on the tower is a 2 person task.

My mooring cover fits snug, and tightens with a well placed rachet strap. The cover gets a good (not perfect) seal around the tower. There are well placed cleat pockets. There aren't any cover to trailer straps. I can easily put the cover on the boat in less than 5 minutes.

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If you have garage door clearance issues the GL Bimini will allow storage without complete removal. The CS Bimini due to the fact that the arms extend straight up often times has to be completely removed in tight clearance situations. The GL Sunbrella material does not fade as easily as the CS material. The only drawback is the fact that the GL Bimini is more of a pain to deploy. After getting used to it it is easier but the Bimini design is simply not as user friendly as the CS design. I have had both Bimini's and currently I have the GL Bimini on my 15. I had to have it for clearance reasons.

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