Where 2 Buy West System?

I’m ready to switch to West System 105/205 (quart kit) from Fibre Glast after reading many posts here. In searching to buy, many marine distributors offer it and prices (including minimum order & hazardous shipping charges) vary. Any testimonials on best deal/vendor?


Hi Bud -

I try to purchase locally at a small marine dealer. I pay about $2.00 more per item for resin or hardener, but pick it up and ready to use the same day. Probably the extra cost is from the hazardous shipping label.

Here is one place with pretty good product pricing and mail order capability. [SEE BELOW EDIT] Stay away from West Marine and similar - also power boat dealers, since they tend to raise costs on product that leaves them outside looking in on repair work. (not all - but a good number seem to do this).

Don’t forget the mini-pumps. You can clean them in alcohol about once every three years and they will last quite a while. I’m still on my original set of pumps purchased back in early 1980’s.


Alternatively - another decent priced product is from RAKA INC. It isn’t WEST but I was able to use it for some strip canoes our Parks Department had a class on, and found it to wet out nicely. I usually purchase my glass from them, as they have some really lightweight stuff I haven’t found at other sources.



I must post a retraction to the above, earlier recommendation. I can ( and will) no longer recommend Marine Discount Supplies as a supplier for WEST System products. This is based on a few exchanged emails between myself and the company (owner?). While there are two sides to every story, this company has taken an attitude which I find unprofessional - even if warranted. As a purchasing agent/buyer of 32 plus years, if this was a supplier of mine, they would be done and gone. I try to provide references for the good of the hobby/sport. In this case, and the “tone” of emails I received because of recommendation, I must remove my support for this company.

yeah, local marine store, or, (horrors) West Marine… they’re crooks, but they will always have it…:rolleyes:

You could try mail ordering it from Lee Valley tools at /www.leevalley.com/ worth a try.


I went ahead and ordered from discountmarinesupplies.com. What a disappointment. I filled out their forms, made a point to check UPS Ground, and paid for it, $15.99. They went ahead and sent it by USPS Mail. That’s a different address so it won’t get to me. And they charged me $15.99 shipping when the banner at the top of the shipping notification says “$6 Every Item, Every Order $6”. They don’t reply to emails and they’re phone number says customer service is only by email.

Any other vendor is better.


OUCH !!!

I’ve purchased twice - but it was some time ago. Never ran into this issue/problem, but certainly think it is worth a look and an email to find out if this is unusual - or standard operating practice. This is what I hate about internet references and use. :mad:

I buy all my camera stuff from a company that always seems to tick off someone, but in 8 purchases, I have never had a problem. Hard to explain. I will have to remove discount marine from my recommended sources. Thanks for the feed back.

I know you realize that in no way am I faulting your suggestion to use them. Their name came up during my searches before and after you mentioned them. And they looked OK. I liked not having to register (username, password) to buy.

Part of the problem lies in my small town where shipping is always a problem and this is not the first time a company has switched shipping methods - always with the customer in mind (faster), yeah right.

Anyway, this thread has to be getting pretty boring to most… we’ll get the West System 105/205 in time and, let’s just say, if you DON"T find customer service valuble, then keep DMS.com on your list… did I mention I ordered Monday, shipped Thursday?


I own the company, that’s why I don’t have to put up with jerks like you. If
the items come back here you will be refunded.

Have a good time building your toys. All further communications from you
will be immediately deleted so don’t waste your valuable toy building time

Chris Gray

Defender has turned out to be a great source after starting the order process with Pyacht but the shipping cost turned out to be quite high.


I have dealt with Fiberglass Coatings in St. Petersburg Fl for 30 years. Their products are excellent and the service is as good as you are likely to find. They have some of everything including 3/4 ounce glass, CF, and several types of Epoxy as well as polyester, Klegecell and more. I recomend their filled epoxy called Superbond. It is conveniently filled with whatever they use to make it thick and spreadable. We have used it extensively in our factory where we bond Stainless steel to aluminum. Handy stuff for the modeler as well as for industrial use. 1-800-272-7890 www. fgci.com.

I am told that epoxy resin does not require a hazardous label charge. Alas the hardener does. In any case you are going to get stuck with that charge if you buy epoxy or polyester from any mail order source.

I was quite pleased to see that someone else gets their stuff from Fiberglass Coating Inc. in St. Pete, Fl. They are THE people to get your epoxy products from. The cost savings is significant compared to West Systems and the products are every bit as good. There is one common resin base & 5 different activators/hardeners. The activators have different mix ratios. There’s a 1:1, 2:1, 3:1, 4:1 and 5:1 available. The 3:1 activator gives the best resistance to water absorption and is commonly used on full sized boat bottoms for barrier coating. The 5:1 product used to be the king of resistance to water absorption but the chemical makeup was changed when they switched to a non-corrosive activator chemistry. The 1:1 is somewhat unique in that it can be mixed slightly off ratio to provide either a flexible or really hard final cure (full sized boat decks benefit from the flexible mix to avoid cracking). For model boats I always use the 3:1 ratio activator, it’s a little bit more expensive than the 1:1 & 2:1 activators but the teeny amounts used in models (compared to a full sized boat) makes the cost difference inconsequential. A quick check of the current prices for a 1 quart kit of the 3:1 stuff lists the resin base at $10.19 USD for 3/4 of a quart and a half pint of activator at $7.75 USD. The more you buy the cheaper it gets. A one gallon kit gets you 3/4 of a gallon of resin base for $31.23 USD and a quart of 3:1 activator for $18.65 USD. With the switch to non-corrosive activators you shouldn’t have to pay the increased hazardous shipping fees (I’m not 100% positive of that, so it would be a wise idea to check for sure). My absolute favorite of all epoxy products is their Super Bond Adhesive. It is fabulous stuff that I can whole-heartedly recommend without any reservations. It’s a 1:1 mix with a common resin base & 3 different activators (slow, medium & fast). Be wary of the fast activator as it produces a lot of exotherm. The goo itself (both resin base & activator) has the consistency of petroleum jelly. It’s very good about staying where you put it without dripping off & making a mess. They’re also a good source for fairing puttys, release agents (PVA, TR-102, etc…), laminating rollers & anything else fiberglass related. Make sure you get a copy of their printed catalog, it’s chock full of all kinds of interesting stuff. If your truly dead set on West System products for whatever reason, I’d go with Defender Marine. I’ll stop rambling now. Happy yachting to all!!
Dang it!! I spelled absorption wrong. Good thing all my English teachers are deceased.