Choosing a pool shell

Shell on beach

Fiberglass pool shells come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but are broadly similar in their construction. They generally consist of a number of layers of fiberglass and other materials and a final "gelcoat" finishing layer that is the finished surface of the pool.

Our requirements

  • Entry area on one long side (given deck on one side and retaining walls on the other three).
  • Deep end to the right when entering the pool to follow the contour of the existing site.
  • Customizable skimmer location.
  • Support owner install.
  • Dark blue color available.
  • Reasonable price.

Always afraid of a missed option, I did some extensive online searching for potential (Australian) shell manufacturers. In case anyone's in the market, here's the list I came up with:

Manufacturers
Resellers

It's important to note that pool manufacturers are typically completely separate companies from their installers. For every manufacturer, there are tens of independent installers. Many people have terrible experiences with a particular installer and go on to trash the manufacturer online. One would hope the manufacturers police their installers, but I guess there's only so much they can do if they want wide distribution.

We went with Narellan. Their 9 meter Symphony model fulfilled all of our requirements and they were quick to respond to questions. Unfortunately it's not possible to purchase the pool directly from the manufacturer and they instead direct you to their local installer/reseller, who tends to be a litte less responsive. Thankfully I was able to contact the manufacturer directly when requests to the reseller were answered in a less than stellar fashion.