Awlgrip founder announces retirement


AkzoNobel's Awlgrip business announced the early retirement of David Halcomb, an industry legend and an Awlgrip founding member.

David, or “Dr Grip,” as he is affectionately known in the industry, finally decided that, after a career spanning 40 years in leading the way in topsides systems it is time to hang up his spray gun and indulge his other passion in life, traveling in his motor home with his wife, Christi.

Halcomb will remain as a consultant with Awlgrip, passing on his extensive knowledge and skills to the next generation.

From humble beginnings in 1973 when an as-yet-unnamed topside paint was used on Halcomb’s father’s boat, interest steadily grew until the following summer, when Halcomb somehow got America’s Cup winner Courageous and her tender painted completely with Awlgrip.

During that summer, Awlgrip became the buzzword in Newport, and the phrase “get your boat Awlgripped” was coined. As the brand grew, with Halcomb and other Awlgrip colleagues leading the way, Awlgrip launched even more innovative products, such as the repairable Awlcraft 2000 topcoat, industry-leading 545 Epoxy primer and the much lauded Awlfair filler range.

To this day, with continued expert guidance from Halcomb, Awlgrip continues to lead and innovate.

“I have known David for many years, and what and who he doesn’t know in this industry just isn’t worth knowing,” Awlgrip global brand manager Chris Toole said in a statement. “Of course we are sad to see David retire, but we would like to take this opportunity to thank him for his immeasurable contribution to Awlgrip, from his tireless efforts getting Awlgrip out there in ’73 right through to the present day and his continued enthusiasm for the brand. It’s not only Awlgrip, though, who would like to thank David; on behalf of the entire yacht industry we would all like to thank and applaud David for the past 40 years in the yacht industry, and we wish him many happy miles of RV traveling.”

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