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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest Forums > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 09-24-2007
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Cockpit Speakers?

I have a 2000 Catalina 28 and would like to install a stereo system that includes speakers somewhere in the cockpit.

There doesn't seem to be an ideal spot or easy answer as I think this seemingly simple problem through. The two most likely answers are on the bulkhead on either side of the companionway or underder the sternrail seats.

Bulkhead position

Pros: ear level, facing aft, good separation, 6 ft away from compass, shorter distance from stereo unit, recessed speakers give better sound, protected under dodger.

Cons: need 5 inch cutouts through cabin then liner, back of speakers will stick though head (port) and galley (stbd) and be visable; surface where speaker grill will be mounted is very slightly curved (may be a small gap)

Sternrail Position

Pros: hole would be only big enough for speaker wire to pass through with proper through hull hardware, no liner to drill through in this position, protected under stern rail seats, speakers easily changed when they need replacing, about ear level with good separation, 4 ft away from compass.

Cons: poorer sound from box type speaker, longer distance from stereo, speaker wire must be run from through hull hardware at base of sternrails to speakers under seats (zip ties?), wires exposed to salt water and UV

Has anyone played this game before?
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Old 09-24-2007
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SanderO is an unknown quantity at this point
Our speaks are plugged into water proof receptacles at the top of the companionway as sit under the dodger. They are Maximus and sound OK. I don't like loud music in the cockpit as it is offensive to others. This also allows us the upgrade them, and we don't have to make huge holes in the boat to mount them. Of course they are not waterproof either.

It works for us.

jef
sv shiva
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Old 09-24-2007
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I have my speakers mounted in the aft end of the cockpit, with the wiring run through the cockpit coamings. None of the wiring is exposed to the elements.
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Old 09-24-2007
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Niles makes waterproof box speakers that are cheaper than Boze (sp?) and much superior.
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Old 09-24-2007
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What makes you think box speakers sound worse than bulkhead mounted speakers? I would suggest you listen to some good ones. (Check out Polk, Boston Accoustics and Klipsch models at CircuitCity and BestBuy)
That said, the notion of "good sound" in an open air cockpit of a boat is a fiction...what one would hope for is merely sufficient quality and power to enable the music to be heard without significant distortion.
It also seems to me that you have a 3rd possible location which would be in the cockpit well sides (where the back of your calves go when seated.) I don't know what the interior of your boat is like, but in many cases, this gives you the option to mount flush speakers without having to cut through cabin liner and/or/ ruin the interior look of the boat. If you go with flush speakers in either location, I would encourage you to look at 6-6.5" models in a coax configuration with plastic or composite cones rather than paper, and butyl rubber cone surrounds rather than foam, and of course, plastic grills rather than metal.

You didn't ask about radios, so I will assume you have that covered.
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Old 09-24-2007
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What I did re speakers

On my Catalina 30 - I bought 4 speakers from West Marine. They are box speakers. I mounted 2 inside the cabin on the forward bulkhead facing aft and 2 in the aft end of the cockpit facing fore. I ran the wiring inside the SS rail which was very difficult to do but looks nice. You need to take the rails off the boat for the job as its difficult to drill out and run the wiring.

The sound is great and in the winter I could just take the speakers off. You can also rotate them around if they interfer with your conversation. I have the stereo mounted in the cabin at the nav table and it came with a wireless remote so I could operate the unit from the helm. The whole set-up cost me about $250 with everything.

Rob
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Old 09-24-2007
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I mounted 2 sub-compact Poly-Planar box speakers in the cockpit coamings facing aft, and two large box speakers in the cabin, also facing aft. You can adjust the fader for more from the cabin to increase bass if required. I can have it quite loud in the cockpit and someone standing next to the boat on the dock can barely hear it cause the sound is all directed in toward the cockpit. The cockpit speakers are barely visible, the coaming forms a small echo chamber, probably not the audiophile's choice, but I like it.
http://www.defender.com/product.jsp?...0904&id=860156
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Old 09-24-2007
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Bose in cockpit

I have installed 2 pair of Bose in the cabin, and a pair of Bose in the cockpit.
The Bose 151 SE are saltwater proof.
Catalina 27
Romance
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Old 09-24-2007
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I have speakers mounted under the stern rail seats. They work well with no issues. If I was doing this on another boat I would do the same.
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Old 09-24-2007
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Under the stern rail seats..

NavPod actually makes a set specifically designed to fit under the Catalina stern rail seats but I used a set of Jensen Marine box speakers instead. The Navpod speakers have a 3.5 inch driver and a tweeter and the Jensen's are a 6.5 inch woofer with a tweet mounted in a coaxial configuration. While the Jensens are not a top quality speaker they served me well and had far more bass than the Poly Planar/Navpod speakers that came with the boat from the factory. I routed the wires through the stern rail so they were not visible. Mounting under the stern seat leaves no holes in the boat and will not hurt re-sale!!

Here's a pic of the Jensen's

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