How to Install Marine Speakers
Installing marine speakers can be a great way to enhance your boating experience by providing high-quality audio entertainment on the water. However, installing marine speakers can be more complicated than installing speakers on land, as you’ll need to consider factors such as water exposure, humidity, and salt corrosion.
Tools Required to Install Marine Speakers
Make sure you have the right tools for the job before you start anything. These are the tools you’ll require. In case you are missing anything, we have provided a link to where you can buy these online. In order to be prepared when your new marine speakers arrive, you can order any necessary tools at the same time as your speakers.
- Crimp-on female spade terminals
- Marine-grade speaker wire
- Diagonal cutters
- Power drill with ½-inch chuck
- Wire strippers
- Crimping tool
- Screwdriver set
- Hole saw
- Heat gun
- Electricians snake
- Wire looms and zip ties
- Spool of cord
Planning Your Speaker Layout
You might want to think about purchasing more than one set of speakers, depending on the size of your boat. You should think about installing speakers on the bow and stern of even smaller boats. By doing this, it will be prevented that those in the stern and bow can hear the speakers on the bow and vice versa.
Position each pair facing one another and at a similar distance apart for the best stereo imaging and sound quality. Since most boats are almost symmetrical, achieving this shouldn’t be too challenging. For the best stereo effect, position the speakers as far apart as you can.
Make sure your speakers aren’t in the way or in a vulnerable position when you place them. Make sure the marine speakers, for instance, are not in a position where they could be kicked if they are low down. Additionally, if you mount your speakers close to the dashboard, be careful that they are not in a place where passengers could lean on them and possibly spill their drink, bait, etc.
Make sure to take into account the speaker’s surroundings as well. You wouldn’t want to, for instance, mount the speaker so that its back is facing a storage space. The speaker might become damaged as a result of objects moving around the compartment.
Start considering speaker cable runs once you’ve marked out your speaker positions. Wherever possible, make sure cables are located inside the transom, hull, or under the gunnels. Particularly where the wires enter the back of the speaker or amplifier, you want to make sure they cannot become tangled. Do this PRIOR to beginning to drill holes for your speakers. You might have trouble running cables and need to reconsider where you want your speakers to be placed. Your cable looms, zip ties and heat shrink can all be useful in this situation.
The cables from the amplifier to each speaker should be run once you are satisfied with their lengths and positions.
Installing The Speakers
- You’ll need to use a hole saw to cut a hole after attaching your speaker template to the desired location. An extensive article on how to drill holes in your boat’s hull can be found in the Boating magazine.
- After you’ve cut out the speaker position, drill the holes for each mounting screw.
- Position the foam gasket so that it fits the speaker hole on the speaker’s back.
- Make sure the positive and negative speaker wire connections are secure before connecting the speaker wires to each terminal.
- After positioning the speaker, fasten it with the supplied screws. To keep the screws in place, use a thread locker. To stop rust and corrosion, spray a small amount of anti-rust spray onto each screw.
Maintaining Your Marine Speaker
The work is not finished once the installation is done. If you own a boat, you are aware that there is constant maintenance to be done. The stereo system in your boat is the same. Here is a list of things you should do to prolong the life of your marine stereo system.
- Spray some fresh water over the speakers when you get home from a trip to remove any salt, especially if you were on salt water. Do this a few times each week if your boat is docked at a marine jetty or in a port to avoid salt buildup.
- Check the length of the entire cable run once or twice a year. Things have a tendency to move around and screws may even become loose from the constant pounding of the water. Additionally, look for any corrosion or rust on all screws and terminal connections. When necessary, clean and make repairs.