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I think it's worth having a meter with a clamp on RMS ammeter so you can check alternator output, etc. I got a fairly compact one from Sears.
As far as finding your trouble, keep it simple and most importantly be systematic. Is the stereo wired to a switch on the panel? If so I'd start there and work your way along the circuit.
I'd highly recommend taking a class on boat electrical systems. Most find them very helpful.
Last edited by SteveInMD; 09-27-2009 at 12:40 PM.