While the two situations may seem similar, installing speaker systems in a bowrider is very different from installing them in a building or car.
The acoustics of the boat can have a bigger effect than the speakers themselves or how they are positioned. But of course, speaker position is paramount to good sound.
In a home or car, the speakers’ sound can bounce off the walls before returning to the listeners’ ears. While this can also be experienced in a bowrider’s cabin, the sound does not reverberate back on the deck. This implies that speaker placement on a boat is considerably more crucial.
Choosing speakers whose wattage rating does not exceed that of the system to which they are attached is crucial. The speakers are often damaged or even destroyed when the stereo is turned up loudly if the speakers don’t have a higher rating.
Types of Speakers
Your option will mostly depend on the amount of space available. There are two major mounting types for maritime speakers: boxed or flush. Let’s look at this.
The speaker, normally shaped like a circle or an oval, will be fixed into the bowrider’s paneling or another flat surface.
Make sure there is sufficient depth so that the speaker can fit and that there is space for air to travel behind the speaker. At the same time, the space where the speaker is located needs to be completely sealed off, with no gaps that may let air enter or exit the room or space.
A flush mount is appealing, uncluttered, and doesn’t take up any extra space in the main boat area. The only real negative is that you must make a hole in your bowrider to accomplish it.
A great example of some top flush speakers are Wet Sounds REVO 6-XSS
- 6.5″ 200W Silver LED Coaxial Full Range Marine Speakers
- Power (RMS/Peak): 100 / 200 Watts
- Frequency Response: 40 – 20,000 Hz
- Sensitivity: 90 dB
The speaker will be mounted to a box when it arrives, and the box will then be fitted on your boat. You may avoid cutting into your bowrider and get excellent sound quality. The disadvantage is that it could appear ugly and take up more room.
A great example of some top boxed speakers is the Rockville WB65
- Pair Rockville WB 65 6.5″ 600w Metal Marine Wakeboard Tower Speakers
- Power (RMS/Peak): 150 / 300 Watts
- Frequency Response: 50 – 20,000 Hz
- Sensitivity: 90 dB
A bowrider owner who intends to listen to music while at sea should think about where they wish to spend time because speakers only project sound in front of them.
The loudest and clearest sound can be heard immediately in front of the speaker, even though speakers typically emit sound in a 120-degree cone. As a result, you should position the speakers so they are facing straight at the locations where the passengers are seated.
In standard stereo setups, we hear noises approaching from all directions. Even though both speakers can be situated to one side of us, we nevertheless hear music from both sides whether we listen to a stereo at home or in the vehicle.
When placing speakers, you should ensure that listeners can hear the sound from all sides. It is preferable to position the speakers on the right and left sides of the boat so that passengers seated in the center may hear the two stereo channels through different ears.
Marine speakers are often waterproof, or they feature grilles that offer some protection from water spray. Ideally, they will stay in better condition the less contact they have with water.
Choosing the Number of Speakers to Use
Stereo systems typically include two speakers—a right and a left.
Some more recent stereo systems have 5.1 sound. These speakers have a subwoofer and five primary speakers. 5.1 Surround sound speaker positions are as follows;
- Front right
- Front left
- Front center
- Back right
- Back left
Avoiding Bad Connections While Wiring the System
The first consideration when wiring a stereo system in a boat is that it is likely not made of metal but fiberglass, which acts as an electrical insulator.After being routed to a ground lug, they must be linked to additional ground wires.
The second issue with bowrider wiring is that the environment is quite corrosive, mainly if the boat is utilized in salt water. Typically, copper, which corrodes readily, is used to make wire. To prevent corrosion, you should ensure that no wires are exposed.
Preventing exposure entails that liquid electrical tape or heat-shrink tubing must be used to cover all connections. Regular electrical tape is insufficient since it frequently includes openings that allow air or water to pass through.
Solder all electrical connections for the best connections possible. Then, even if corrosion occurs, it cannot penetrate between the solder and the wire’s copper. There is a chance of corrosion between the crimp terminal and the copper wire when crimp terminals are utilized.
Wire made for ships is tinned. This means that a thin layer of solder, a mixture of tin and lead, is applied to the copper wire. Tin and lead are less corrodable than copper. Therefore this significantly lowers the danger of corrosion.
To protect them, you should still place liquid electrical tape or heat-shrink tubing over the connections.
Use stainless steel mounting hardware on a bowrider wherever it is practical. The majority of boat hardware is constructed of rust-resistant steel. Although it is possible to make stainless steel rust with enough salt water, stainless steel hardware is virtually rustproof.
On fiberglass, never use sheet metal or wood screws. Bolts with nuts should be used in their place. Metal or wood screws, particularly those inserted with an impact driver or drill, may readily pull through fiberglass.
Rivnuts, sometimes known as rivet nuts, can be used to install nuts if you cannot reach the area behind the panel. Rivnuts, a type of pop rivet, has an interior thread that allows them to function as nuts.
Although installing a radio system on a bowrider may appear similar to installing one in a car, there are important distinctions.
Most of these variations are brought on by the boat’s fiberglass construction and the issues that moisture may create for the parts. However, you can reduce these problems with the right parts and installation.
When placing a stereo system in a boat, speaker placement is crucial. Unlike a vehicle body, which reflects sound back to the listeners’ ears, a boat does not. Instead, most of the sound is lost in the ambient noise.
As a result, speakers must be positioned to face the audience directly. Although speakers emit a 120-degree sound cone, the speaker’s front is where the loudest sound is heard.
Correct wiring is crucial. When exposed to moisture, particularly when that moisture contains salt, copper wires corrode. Tin plating is used on a marine wire to lessen the danger of corrosion.
Nevertheless, liquid electrical tape or heat-shrink tubing should completely enclose all connections. Soldering produces the best electrical connections. Even when rusted, these remain durable.
Choosing the proper hardware is important to prevent corrosion and harm to the boat’s fiberglass hull. Wherever feasible, corrosion-resistant hardware – often stainless steel – should be used since it does not rust like other hardware.
In fiberglass, sheet metal and wood screws may readily pull out. Bolts with nuts should be used in their place.
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