Thursday, July 7, 2011

Very bad experience with a New Zealand yacht painter

Someone emailed me and told me that Dale Pennington's Touch of Gloss is out of business.

What goes around comes around.

Written May 28 and scheduled to post July 7, 2011 -- allowing more than ample time for Touch of Gloss to respond if they chose to address their defective paint job.  We originally contacted Touch of Gloss to notify them of the paint problem on May 4. As problem has not been addressed in a timely manner as an ethical company would have done, we now identify the culprit.  Anyone doing business with Touch of Gloss should watch every step of the work performed and confirm that correct products and proper amounts of products are used and that all steps of the painting process are completed correctly.  Our experience with Touch of Gloss may have been caused by an employee without the knowledge of the owner.

When we had our previous haul-out in New Zealand at Gulf Harbour in Whangaparaoa, BeBe looked perfect.  We thought this was the best bottom job we had ever had done.  Time has changed that opinion.  We now consider this one of the worst bottom jobs we have experienced.

The company was Touch of Gloss and the manager's name was Sean.  We do not remember the name of the guy who actually painted BeBe, but he was a young blonde guy.  The painter had removed the paint and epoxy on our cast iron keel down to the bare metal.  Then he applied 2-part epoxy primer.  This is something that should be done every-so-many years as routine maintenance.  He did a fantastic job on this keel work.  Then he sanded the hull bottom and sprayed the hull bottom and the keel with Micron 66 anti-foul paint.  The boat looked great and we were very pleased.  Our next anti-fouling paint job would be in two years in Marmaris, Turkey.

Fast forward two years from March 2009 to April 2011when BeBe was hauled out of the water and placed aboard a transport ship destined for Marmaris, Turkey.  Within an hour and as soon as the paint dried while BeBe sat on the deck, the paint began flaking and peeling off in large sections.  It was a total mess!!

Bill contacted Touch of Gloss about the paint flaking off as it dried when BeBe was hauled out of the water in Male, Maldives.  The shop owner replied that this was probably due to incompatibility with the previous paint when we had them spray on the Micron 66.  NOT TRUE!!  Bill fired off a reply email explaining that the only bottom paint ever applied to BeBe has been Micron 66.  We have the receipts for every bottom paint job since the yacht left the Amel factory in January 2003.  The only difference is that all previous applications of Micron 66 had been rolled on.  Touch of Gloss sprayed the Micron 66.  The other difference is that all previous times the bottom had been wet sanded and wiped with thinner prior to the new application.  Touch of Gloss did not wet sand; the painter dry sanded before spraying the new paint.  We do not know if he wiped the surface with thinner or not.

Two weeks later when BeBe arrived in Marmaris, the painters we interviewed showed us where the remaining sprayed-on paint was shiny in appearance; whereas the rolled on paint had a dull appearance.  Each painter said that this shiny appearance was because thinner had been added to the paint.  Touch of Gloss denies using any thinner in the spray application.

Dale, the owner of Touch of Gloss, requested that the factory representative for International Paints (the manufacturer of Micron 66) inspect BeBe and evaluate the situation.  On May 17 the rep visited and inspected BeBe.  By this time most of the bottom had been scraped down to the gel coat and new barrier coats applied and Micron 77.  But luckily all the areas where the support posts had originally been located were still untouched.  So there were 13 sections spaced all around the hull that the rep inspected.

His comment to us:  "Obviously something went wrong during the application."  The rep said there has been no complaints anywhere in the world regarding this batch of paint, so this flaking was not due to faulty paint; it had to be something that happened during the application of the paint.  The rep said he would write a letter to Dale, owner of Touch of Gloss.

In our email correspondence Dale wrote that he has "never walked away from an issue yet."  We have correspondence several times via email from Touch of Gloss since the International Paints rep inspected BeBe, but thus far they still deny any responsibility for this paint problem.  They cannot identify what caused the paint to not adhere properly but are adamant that it was not due to anything they did.  This claim makes no sense because all previous Micron 66 applications were still in place.  Only the application sprayed on by Touch of Gloss did not adhere correctly.

We have learned 2 things from this experience:

1.)  Just because a paint job looks great does not mean that it is a good job.  The real test is how the paint holds up 2 years later when the boat is again removed from the water.

2.)  Even a company with an excellent reputation can give very bad service. 

UPDATE 6 August, 2011: International Paints, the manufacturer of Micron66, has issued us a $500 usd voucher to be used as when we next buy any International products.  We believe this is a fair settlement because we will use Micron again and this amounts to about 50% of the additional cost to remove the defective layer.

Touch of Gloss Invoice


  1. It cost us more than $1,000 to correct the problem caused by the incorrect application of paint by the painter working for Touch of Gloss. Touch of Gloss refused to admit any fault on the part of their employee.

    THAT is a load of crap.

    Thankfully, the paint manufacturer was willing to give us the $500 credit voucher for future paint purchase to help offset this additional cost caused by Touch of Gloss

  2. Bill Dale Here, just sighted your report as above. i will keep this clean as i wouldnt be surprised if you remove comments that would make you look awkward.
    just a few points if i may, firstly Touch of Gloss never worked on your boat, look at your invoice and get the correct company!
    the photos you sent showed a thickness of paint that would be thicker than our aplication!
    you didnt make any attemp to get anyone from the paint company to asses the boat(i did) you relied on some painters interpratation (to much thinners mate) we dont thin our antifouling down!
    the fact that you experienced little or no growth up to your lift date indicates that we applied the correct amount!
    the only infomation i got from the paint reps is that the only problem that they have had with the 66 is when it has been applied by roller. your boat had rolled coats previously. judging by the thickness of the antifouling and the fact the you had rolled coats it strongly indicates that this could infact be the cause of the problem(delamination at underlaying areas).this was relayed to you but you insited that if i didnt pay up you would post defamitory comments as in above.
    i would also note that as you know i was the one that got the paint company to give you the voucher as we are still not taking the blame for this but were happy to help in some way. hardly running away....more like blackmail and small mindidness from yourself.

    Your a prat and on my shit list hope you get alot of readers....i probably didnt need to say that as people that know myself and my companies would make their own conclusion on that when reading your windging posting.

  3. It is difficult to check the veracity of our statements or Dale Pennington's statements, so I will not get into an on-line argument, nor will I delete any of his comments unless he gets more vulgar than his current post.

    Who is being truthful:
    Dale Pennington, owner of Touch of Gloss said, "firstly Touch of Gloss never worked on your boat, look at your invoice and get the correct company!"

    I have uploaded and added a copy of his invoice to Bill Rouse s/v BeBe

  4. Dale Pennington gave me his assurance his account of $10K would be paid.
    "I'm not going anywhere" say's Dale. We shook hands and left the cafe where we had met. He put his company into liquidation, denies any debt and moves on. Like he has done before, probably more than once.
    I'm not into slander, I just want my money but hey, we all know, what goes around, comes around eh Dale.

    1. Someone emailed me and told me that Dale Pennington's Touch of Gloss is out of business.

      What goes around comes around.


  5. Based on the above posting, I have to conclude that the problem with TOG was NOT Sean or the employees, but the owner, Dale Pennington.

    Dale, I hope that this blog exposes you for what you really are. New Zealand is a small place and the number of visiting yachts is much smaller.

  6. Someone emailed me and told me that Dale Pennington's Touch of Gloss is out of business.

    What goes around comes around.


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