Passion Guides Donk's Pursuit of Paint and Gel Coat Perfection

Providing the superior level of smooth perfection Vexus® owners expect in their boat’s gel coat or paint is about like trying to spread the perfect layer of honey across a slice of toast. 

It’s a sticky task, and it’s tough to achieve perfection. But if there’s one man in America you’d want for the job, it’d be Kevin “Donk” Cooper, paint and gel coat supervisor for Vexus Boats.

Given the nickname “Donk” -- short for donkey -- by a physically large co-worker he jokingly referred to as “Shrek” -- the Southern Arkansas native started painting cars at age 17 and has spent the past 15 years applying his gift with a spray gun to premium fishing boats.

“My job is to make sure my team and I coat boats for fishermen with the same level of quality I’d want a boat to be built for myself to fish out of,” says Cooper. 

And man, does he love to fish. Seldom is a school of Bull Shoals crappie safe from “Donk” and wife Patty when they launch their AVX1980 aluminum Vexus, armed with live minnows and cricket-colored 1/16-ounce jigs tied to 4-pound line.

But when they’re not jerking crappie from bluff walls, they’re tending to hives as avid beekeepers, and recently took it upon themselves to sell honey for a fellow beekeeper who was suffering poor health and unable to distribute the golden nectar for income. 

In short order, “Donk” and his bride raised hundreds of dollars by selling his friend’s honey to folks at Vexus and around the Flippin, Arkansas community. 

“That’s the epitome of “Donk,” always working with passion to do the right thing, and be the best at whatever he’s doing,” says Vexus leader, Keith Daffron. 

“Whether it’s gel coat, paint, honey, catching crappie, or simply treating people right, everything “Donk” does is based on a passionate desire to please our customers and the folks in his life,” adds Daffron. 

Daffron’s description of “Donk” seems spot on. 

When asked what the key ingredient is to the superior coatings he and his team of 15 experienced craftsmen achieve at Vexus, “Donk” responded, “Determination. The determination to get it right. To do our jobs extremely well. It’s hot and sticky work that ultimately comes down to having the right mindset,” he says. 

A mindset not unlike spreading the perfect layer of locally raised honey across a slice of toast before heading out to catch crappie with Patty, or to lead a committed team at Vexus in their daily pursuit of passion driven perfection. 

To learn more about the premium boats “Donk” and his team pour their best talents into, please visit

Story by Alan McGuckin

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