About a week ago I called Lee Spindler from Schiada boats to find out when we would start production on my new 12' Schiada mini boat. We got to talking and he said the words "There's no gel in the world right now." To which of course I asked "What are we talking about here?" What I didn't
This isn't a "huge" problem for new boat builds as there are other gel coat manufacturers out there, and if a customer wants a "red" boat they will just use the new existing red. However if the customer is very particular and would like this new boat to be the exact red of his old boat, this is where things get a little more complicated. Note not impossible, just more difficult. In the case of a repair though, having a shade of red that is a hint off isn't an option so things get exponentially more difficult because it has to be exact.
After having this conversation with Lee I called up two of the top tier fiberglass repair shops to ask how this was impacting their business, and what they were doing to overcome the problems. The answers were borderline startling! First I called "Pats Fiberglass" www.patsfiberglass.net as they are a very highly regarded long term shop in Southern California. I spoke with the owner Don Heydon and asked him more or less if Valspar going out of business had an effect on his shop and what was it.
I asked Don
Next I called Rick
For the last four years Rick has been playing with a proprietary method of making "custom" colors in gel. When Valspar folded it lit a fire under him to dial in and perfect the process. He has been working on that quite a bit lately and has told me as recently as today that he can now create any color in gel. He actually said there is a color spectrum in gel, and he has surpassed it and can now match any paint color in gel coat materials, offering the colors of paint with the durability of gel.
So how does this affect us the end consumer? Generally it means