I get asked often about how I got into the business of making Bimini tops. Well for starters, I'm a boat lover at my core. I love waterskiing, fishing, or just riding the swells and enjoying the spray. But that's not how the saga began...
It wasn't boats that got me into Bimini tops, it was my other line of work [as Palo Alto Upholstery] in classic car renovation specifically reupholstering their often worn interiors or canvas tops to original specs - that led to Johnson Bimini Tops. Many of my customers with classic cars also owned boats. Since I was already canvassing their cars so to speak, I thought making Bimini tops for their boats might go over well. Boy did it!
In 1980, after researching the best sun, water & weather-worthy materials, I began making Bimini's to custom fit. After looking at the competition - in mail order catalogs and trade shows - it was clear that what boat owners wanted was the ability to customize their Bimini, not just have 3 or 4 to choose from.
We (yes we're now an 8-person company) now make over 400 completely customized tops per year for customers. They get their choice of colors, materials, patterns, and fit - we're the only Bimini maker to offer such custom options. Then, in our shop of 8 people, we make EACH Bimini one-at-a-time, by hand, to their request.
We're proud to have such devoted customers who've kept us busy with word of mouth advertising - the best endorsement of all. We're proud to be the only Bimini maker to offer such customized options. We're proud to have the American Cancer Society's endorsement. The sun's not going anywhere, nor are the oceans, lakes, and rivers, so I think we'll be doing this for a long time. ;-)