Oceanmax launches Lightspeed anti-fouling coating


(FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla.) — Marine coatings company Oceanmax held the stateside launch of its new product, Lightspeed, at the 59th annual Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show. The first transparent foul-release coating specifically formulated for underwater lights, Lightspeed will be distributed in the U.S. by West Marine and Land ‘N’ Sea.

Following the success of Propspeed, Oceanmax’s industry-leading foul-release system for propellers and running gear, the company adapted its proprietary coating technology to maximize the long-term performance of underwater lights. Like Propspeed, Lightspeed is an eco-friendly alternative to conventional antifouling, which has recently come under regulatory scrutiny due to its toxic biocidal content.

With practical applications including underwater photography, fishing, nighttime navigation, and security, underwater lights have become a desirable feature on boats, both inland and in coastal communities. Lightspeed offers an easy and affordable way for marine enthusiasts to reduce maintenance, protect their investment, and maintain lighting system performance.

Lightspeed’s technological advantage comes from its proprietary silicone base, which enhances luminosity by increasing emitted light organization while decreasing its scatter. Unlike current competitors, which are opaque and use toxic chemicals to kill marine growth, Lightspeed repels growth by creating a nontoxic, “super-slick” transparent coating that prevents barnacles and algae from colonizing on underwater surfaces in first place.

Underwater lights are just as susceptible to marine fouling as any other underwater surface — perhaps more so, as the light and heat they generate can create conditions that favor marine growth. Efforts to remove barnacles in particular can damage delicate lighting components, given that barnacle glue is the most powerful adhesive in nature and six times more powerful than any man-made glue.

The global market for marine coatings is expected to surpass $15 billion by 2024 at approximately 7 percent annual growth, and antifouling in particular is projected at 13 percent annual growth. Similarly, the market for underwater lights has exploded, driven by the range of uses for marinas, commercial fisheries, and recreational boaters.

By Professional Mariner Staff