Troy sent in this wonderful report form Maine regarding his experience with The Kirby family.I also spent all weekend with several qt’s of the Kirby’s and man oh man. Troy is dead on. Take it away Troy.
As you know American Beauty did not sell last year, so we decided that she should be launched this year for some Atlantic NothEast (ANE) cruising. Like with any wooden boat she was/is in need of some TLC, so I decided to paint her from gunwale to gunwale. This of course includes the white top sides, the boot stripe, and bottom paint. I started with the boot stripe since it was high in the bow and low in the stern. Got it all evened out and proceeded to the bottom. My friend Mike recommended a product called Aquagard that is a water based anti-fouling bottom paint that is pleasant to use and works GREAT.
Now it was time to do the white topsides. I had decided that I wanted a semi-gloss paint and quickly realized that my options were limited. After talking with a couple of yards I landed on a nationally known brand that was easily accessible. Well let me tell you. I have never used a paint that was so thin and difficult to work with. It was not even covering anything well. In a panic I called Mike and described what was happening as I was attempting to roll and tip the sides of AB. Without me telling him what I was using he said “You are using XYZ paint aren’t you? I have stopped using that and am now using another brand.” To which I replied “I thought you recommended this stuff.” Mike’s response was “Oh, that is right you were looking for a semi-gloss paint. There aren’t many choices in semi-gloss.” (this is probably paraphrased a little). At this time I remembered that I had spoken with Shari Kirby a few weeks earlier and learned that the George Kirby Jr. Paint Co. offered a semi-gloss white topside paint. Using my “Smart Phone” (yes, I got rid of the flip phone) I Googled Kirby paint and called. Guess who answered! Sure enough, George Kirby. Now of course this is George Kirby IIII who is like 6th or 7th generation in the paint business. “George, can you ship me out a gallon of white semi-gloss today?” “Sure thing! My wife, Shari, is at lunch, I will have her call you back to get the details.”
All this was going on Monday and I had a hard launch date of Friday. I knew I had to get paint on my topsides so I continued applying XYZ paint. To be fair to this paint, by the time I got to the port side of American Beauty I had figured out how to lay it on pretty well and make it look much better.
After working Tuesday morning I got home around 1PM to find that UPS had not been there yet. I was actually a little relieved that my new paint had not arrived since I did not want to make the decision on which paint to continue with. (Sometimes it is better to work with the devil you know than introduce a new one) As I headed to the storage building I saw my UPS truck about 2 miles up the road. Since I had a package for him and was expecting others I stopped and sure enough one of the packages he had for me was from the George Kirby Jr. Paint Co. Dang, that is less than 24 hours delivery using UPS ground shipping. Cudos to both UPS and Kirby Paint on that one. Drove to the boat barn, did a light sanding on the top sides (that is a job in itself when you are talking about a 38′ Connie) and now it was decision time. Do I stick with a paint I am not happy with or try a new one. Heck, I might as well at least open the Kirby can and see what it looks like. Ya, it looks a little more full bodied but with all the new laws and rules around oil based paints can it really be that different. Oh, what the heck, I’ll give it a try.
Let me tell you! This was like night and day, flip phone vs smart phone, Century and Chris-Craft, use whatever analogy you want this Kirby paint is FANTASTIC! Went on smooth, tipped out nice, and covered like I could have only dreamed of. I would suggest to anyone looking for a GREAT paint to give George Kirby Jr. Paint Co. a call. 508-997-9008
One last thing I want to make clear is that you may or may not see Kirby Paint start to advertise in The Brass Bell. I purchased my paint and wrote this story as a regular, paying, very satisfied customer. There was no exchange made for this endorsement. I simply wanted to give a pat on the back of a small American family run company who has a GREAT product and wonderful customer service. BTW, same here at WoodyBoater, I buy, pay and use NO TRADE with Kirby paint.
Thank you George Jr and Shari!
Troy in ANE