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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 03-17-2010
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Cockpit Speakers

I'm thinking about adding speakers to my cockpit. I'll probably put them on each side of the companion way, which is under my dodger, thereby giving them some protection from the elements. My compass is on a binnacle so should not be affected. Any other thoughts? Anything I need to worry about other than putting in another two holes into cockpit?

Thanks,
Calypso
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Old 03-17-2010
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Just keep in mind that wherever you place them, the weak link in that bulkhead/surface will now be the speaker cones/surrounds. They break down incredibly fast in the UV and then allow water intrusion. When I installed my new cockpit speakers last year, I couldn't find a single company that made speakers with optional covers. I now use a pair of small rubber dog frisbees to protect the speakers from UV degradation when not in use after a pair of Clarion marine cockpit speakers completely disintegrated in only 6 months.

Also, I would not expect a binacle to eliminate magnetic interference.
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Old 03-17-2010
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Another worry is if the speakers are mounted in an area that opens to the bilge. If the boat gets pooped, will water get into the hull that way? If the space opens to the bilge, it would be wise to mount the speakers under deck plates that can be closed off in bad weather.

As for the binnacle, I believe the OP is referring to the distance the compass will be from the speakers, since it is mounted on a binnacle... not that the binnacle would shield the compass.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Groven View Post
Just keep in mind that wherever you place them, the weak link in that bulkhead/surface will now be the speaker cones/surrounds. They break down incredibly fast in the UV and then allow water intrusion. When I installed my new cockpit speakers last year, I couldn't find a single company that made speakers with optional covers. I now use a pair of small rubber dog frisbees to protect the speakers from UV degradation when not in use after a pair of Clarion marine cockpit speakers completely disintegrated in only 6 months.

Also, I would not expect a binacle to eliminate magnetic interference.
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Old 03-17-2010
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I have used Polyplanar. Sound is not great, but we are 4-5 years and going. THey are mounted under my seats on the stern rail.

Use a good watertight connector. Should you mount them near a rail, you can run them through the rails and minimize UV on the wires.

The better speakers (oh... that Camaraderie were here) are the Bose outside speakers. I thought they had a better sound. We had those on our previous boat a the same location and they worked without incident for 3 years. I sold the boat not long after that so I can only guess tehy are still working??

Brian

PS I cannot imagine sailing without cockpit speakers. Really makes things enjoyable and drowneds out things like, "Brian.... could you go check on the kids???"
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Old 03-17-2010
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Here is a pic of them mounted under our seat.

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Old 03-17-2010
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I like that Idea CD, do you have another pair forward?
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I like that Idea CD, do you have another pair forward?
I don't. Just one pair under the seats.
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Old 03-18-2010
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Thanks for the feedback. SD was right about the binnacle comment.

I found some box speakers that will fit in my jib sheet/winch handle storage cut outs (is there a name for these?) in my cockpit. I'm thinking that may be a better solution. I have two concerns with that layout. One, the speakers will be facing each other across a narrow cockpit. I think if I angle them slightly toward the front this should not be an issue. Second, they will likely take some abuse from winch handles and jib sheets.

On the positive side they will be fairly well protected from the elements and other than screws and holes for wires no additional holes in the fiberglass.
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Old 03-18-2010
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We installed a sound system last summer and also when through this thought process. I wasn't willing to cut large holes in the cockpit, so we were left with two options. First, however, we decided on two speakers wired to the rear channel of the head unit - that would leave the front channel for two speakers in the cabin. The first mounting location we considered was similar to what SD did. If we when that route, we were going to mount two outdoor box speakers to the bimini frame with plug connectors so we could take them down. Being under the bimini would also keep them protected from UV. The second option we considered was mounting the speakers inside the companion way - one near the top on each side. The speakers would be mounted on brackets that would allow us to aim them toward the cockpit and toward the interior, depending on where we wanted the sound. Ultimately, we scraped both these ideas and wound up mounting box speakers in the cabin. The two forward speakers are mounted near the bulkhead separating the saloon from the v-berth, and are aimed aft. We have found that this produces plenty of sound in the cockpit, and has the added benefit of keeping the sound directed only toward us rather than every boat around us. We also thought about combing boxes, like you mention, but ultimately decided we did not want to give up the storage space.
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Old 04-20-2010
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Finally did it!

Well, I finally got around to my speaker project. I ended up buying PolyPlanar 4" subcompact speakers. I was hoping I could get the 4" speakers into my combing boxes which have a 3.5" opening by angling them a little. Unfortunately they would not fit. So what I ended up doing is taking them apart and putting slits into the speaker box which allowed me to squeeze the speaker box into the combing boxes. (Once the speaker was taken apart the speaker itself could be slid into the opening. I then filled the slits with 5200 sealant and put the speakers back together inside the combing boxes where they sit on the brackets that came with the speakers. I was also able to angle them forward a little without them being to deep into the combing boxes.

Sound is pretty good, I was not expecting concert hall sound from a pair of $60 speakers. The reason I used them was because they were the smallest ones I could find.

I had found a pair of surround sound speakers that were smaller but I was told they do not have the sound range that regular speakers.(thanks Cam!) I also found a couple of small winch covers that I will use to keep them even more protected from the elements.

Thanks for everyone's input and comments!
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