Zyrex was actually discovered accidentally. In the mid 1980’s a chemist was working on making an adhesive for fiber optics and found what had then become Zyrex. After a few years of working with the formula he then enlisted an investor by the name of Lee. The chemist had invested in brochures, labels and even a trade show or two. In 1994 Zyrex was at the IBEX show in Ft. Lauderdale Florida which is where the current owner Steve Mika had first found it. At the time he had been an application center for one of the larger bottom paint manufactures who had come out with what they had thought to be a solution for boat bottom blistering problems. Unfortunately, that coating was not working and there were several thousands of boat bottoms that re blistered. Their insurance company went bust; Steve had several boats that he needed to find a solution to the problem. Steve decided to take a several seminars at the IBEX show in Ft. Lauderdale on bottom blistering problems, solutions and new epoxies. There had been information on new epoxies how they work and when to use them. Between seminars Steve perused the isles at the show.
Being that he was a small business owner he had been very happy to find another small business that was offering such a phenomenal product but like most he was skeptical. He was suckered in to a bet about the water proof cardboard box like many others that year. Steve would go back day after day to see if the cardboard box was leaking, that was when he knew he had found what he was looking for, Zyrex.
He then did what most due, he went home and thought about it. He then did what many boat repair shops do, he put it on his own boat. Before he knew it by the end of the summer he had over half a dozen boats to apply Zyrex to in addition to applying it to all the boats that he had been responsible for repairing for that larger company that had the insurance company that cancelled the policy, not one of those boats came back to him with blisters. He has used Zyrex ever since and refused to use any other bottom coating.
Over time the Zyrex Manufacturer would call Steve to ask him questions about fiber glass, bottom blisters and gel coat. Many would think “why would a chemist ask a boat repair guy questions”. Steve unlike many boat repair and maintnance guys is certified, yes after collage he decided he wanted to work on boats. Just like the chemist knew many things that Steve didn’t know; Steve knew a few things the chemist didn’t know. This also gave Steve a better understanding of the product.
Sadly, the original chemist became ill and passed away. Lee was left to carry on the product name. Lee being a Metallurgist had not planned on being a salesman during his retirement. Many people lost track of Zyrex, many thought it just went under like so many do. Lee had placed panels in the waters in California, spoke with companies in Texas and worked with air boat boaters in Florida in efforts to promote Zyrex. During this time Steve had been in contact with Lee while using the product in the Chain of Lakes area with great success.
In 2009 Lee and Steve had been discussing Lee wanting to retire and looking to sell Zyrex. Steve had always been interested in purchasing Zyrex being it is such a quality product that he had been using since it’s early years. Steve discussed this with his wife Michelle who had encouraged it since he had told her of this dream since they had met. After meeting in Freeport Illinois where it had been manufactured for many years the deal was made final.
In 2010 after much research and discussions with chemists Zyrex came out with a longer lasting white. Being that Zyrex is a true-two part epoxy it will naturally have a yellow cast, all true epoxy’s do, it took some time and research to formulate a longer lasting white.
Currently we are working on a red that does not need so many coats. Many colors are more translucent then others so this is a process in itself. We are constantly researching to improve Zyrex whether it be translucency of colors which would offer new colors and testing on additional surfaces.