Use “Not Marine” Car Stereos?

Someone on Yahoo Group’s World-Cruising mailing-list asked whether it is really necessary to have a ‘marine grade’ car stereo. Here are some of the replies to that question.
S/V Aquarius says: “we have a 40 footer that we cruise 24/7. Bought a Pioneer car stereo (XM ready) from Crutchfield with no external or added amp (draws too much power). Have ADS bookshelf speakers (great sound) that have been on board 15 years and still going strong…five years on another boat before that.”
David B adds to that: “the real problem is with speakers. It’s worth getting some marinized speakers (if you’re putting speakers in the cockpit)….and to install them so you can screw in a deckplate or cover when the spray starts to fly, not to mention getting pooped or something. Speaker holes are very big and can let in a lot of water!”
And, again, Mike from S/V Aquarius sums it up: “in my estimation, marine stereos for cruisers are either overkill or a marketing triumph over technology!”
Oh, and Bryan Genez makes a comment that I have seen many times before: “FWIW, I installed a new stereo last year because I wanted satellite radio capability. I’ve since subscribed to Sirius, and am delighted. Almost completely eliminates the need for CDs.”

2 Responses

  1. boatsandiego says:

    Installing a standard car stereo in the protected cabin of a 40′ motor yacht may be OK. But, the family runabout, ski boat, and/or fish boat needs a marine stereo. Especially if it has a CD player. Marine stereos are water resistant and have a stronger chassis and drive motor(s) than the auto counterpart. Also, most marine units have water-proof face plates and remote control features. It is still a good practice to install the unit in an enclosure or use a water resistant splash cover if the unit would be subjected to direct water splashing on the unit face.

  2. Anonymous says:

    One problem is that for the stereo to retain its memory, a second positive lead needs to be connected directly to the battery bypassing the circuit breaker and battery selector switch.

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