I’m pissed. As you probably already know, I’m in the midst of mixing mad quantities of epoxy resin, hardener, and thickeners on my current cockpit project. I have but one beef, and decided to take it to Sailing Anarchy for some creative input. Here’s my post, word for word:
Since you are a forum sponsor here on SA, I figured I’d get a quicker response than if I e-mailed you directly through your website.
Allow me to preface this post by stating that I am an ardent user of your epoxy products. In the midst of a total re-fit of my 1977 Tayana 37, I chose your products over other readily available resin systems for the typical DIY boat fixer. 105 resin, 205 or 206 hardener (depending on temperature), as well as all the different thickeners you sell, depending on the application. G/Flex and G/5 also have their place in my arsenal of repair products, and more recently, Six10 has been added to my list of favorites. I’ve literally gone through at least a half dozen gallons & quarts of resin and hardeners, possibly more. I also purchase copious amounts of your syringes, spreaders, mixing sticks, and mixing pots. Which leads me to the point of my post…
Recently, in the last several months, is appears as though you’ve gone through some manufacturing changes in your 16 & 32 oz. mixing pots. The plastic feels thinner than the older cups that I still (re)use, and the cured resin no longer “pops” from the cup with a quick “flex” as it did in years past. Instead, after one use the pots crack while the cured resin stays intact, rendering the pot completely useless. Throw away garbage at $1.50 each. Granted, They only cost me about $0.70 each through Port Supply, but still, c’mon man. One use epoxy cups for $0.70 each? I can buy a bag of 40 Solo brand throw-away cups at the grocery store for $2.50. I used to get about six to ten uses out of each mixing pot. Now I get one. In my current fiberglass project, I estimate that I’ve tossed at least a dozen “re-usable” West-System mixing pots after only one use. None the less, the mixing sticks and spreaders are still good, and the epoxy “pops” right off after a little flexing. How come the mixing pots that you are now selling DO NOT perform in the same manor?
Please enlighten me as to the reason you have decided to change the quality of your mixing pots over the past several months. Is it economics? Is it cheaper for you to manufacture thinner, less resilient mixing pots? Is it more profitable to sell us one-use mixing pots in the hope that we continue to purchase more when our old ones die?
I’d love to hear what other members have to say, but especially the employees of West System who read and respond to these posts in the Fix It Anarchy forum. After spending $60 per gallon on resin and $25 a quart on cure, $0.70 may not seem like a lot of money. But on a 1-off boat project like I’m doing, it certainly adds up. Especially at the rate of my consumption.
I’m pretty sure that in the near future you’re going to hear some bitching & moaning from the commercial boat yards that you supply. They purchase way more of your stuff than I do. I just hope you go back to the old mixing pots. I’m more likely to continue to use your resin system as long as the “support products” continue to perform the way that they used to…