Halcomb was hired by Grow and Dilschneider to promote the new product, and the next year he managed to get the America’s Cup defender Courageous and its tender painted completely with Awlgrip. Soon the new paint was the talk of Newport, RI, and word of the product spread from there.
US Paint (owned by Grow Group) manufactured and marketed the product from its headquarters and factory in St. Louis, MO. The brand continued to grow, but at a slower than expected rate during the 1970s. There was an attempt to adapt the technology to many different markets, but this shotgun approach was hampered by limited marketing funds and certain characteristics of the technology. In 1979, a decision was made to concentrate on the pleasure marine/yacht market. Growth took off, built on an expansion of the product line to include a varnish and an anti-fouling line in addition to more surfacers and fillers alone with expanded distribution. During the 1980s, Awlgrip began the process of truly becoming a global brand.
The Grow Group began to suffer from growing pains in the late 1980s. In 1989, US Paint was sold by Grow to NOF (Nippon Oils and Fats), a Japanese chemical company with a large coatings division that had been looking for a manufacturing facility in the United States. NOF brought in new money for R & D, and the Awlgrip brand’s growth from a topcoat to a complete line of products for fairing and finishing yachts was completed during the NOF ownership.
In 2000, NOF decided to divest itself of its coatings businesses. As a result, the Awlgrip and Alumigrip brands of US Paint were sold to Akzo Nobel, with the sale being completed in June of 2002. Alumigrip went to Akzo Nobel Aerospace and Awlgrip to the Yacht Coatings Division of Akzo Nobel. As a part of Akzo Nobel Yacht, Awlgrip was now part of a business where yacht and marine coatings were the focus, not just on the sideline. Under the Akzo banner, the Awlgrip brand continued to flourish, spurred by improved management of its traditional products along with innovative new products such as Awlwood – a revolutionary new varnish introduced in late 2013.