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Electrical & Electronic
Component Speakers
~ Component Speakers ~
Stereo & Speakers
Travelin' with Tunes
All men come equipped with at least one of three accessories – a reclining chair, a big screen TV, and/or surround sound. With no room for a recliner or monster television, Don claimed he wasn't feeling a bit dispossessed. But all I had to say was "Wouldn't it be nice to have speakers in the cockpit?" to give him the excuse he was waiting for to install surround sound.

We checked out some Bose® speaker systems, but couldn't quite justify the space required for the base. Our next thought was to purchase some high quality speakers from an automotive audio store, but upon further research we discovered these mobile boom-boxes require high-powered amplifiers, and often need to have backup batteries to handle the amperage. It was back to the internet for more research.

Don uncovered a set of component speakers by Polk audio. The tiny 1" tweeters are barely visible, and the woofers and sub-woofer fit nicely in the salon and settee. Don did not display the same amount of hesitation over cutting big holes in the teak that he had for the Tank Tender. I guess it's all about motivation because he got all this installed in record time.

Cockpit Speakers
~ Cockpit Speakers ~

We moved all our music to an iPod to free up space, and everything got wired into our Jensen® car stereo. I settled into the settee to enjoy some music, and was surprised to feel vibrations up my back when the tones of the song went low. It turns out Don had snuck in yet another speaker – a big bass tube that required lots of power. He wired it to a switch that allowed us to bypass it if we needed to conserve power.

Eventually, Don got around to the cockpit speakers. These were a little trickier, because we wanted to be able to listen to music below without having it play outside, vice versa, and both below and above deck. Once again we had requirements that were unheard of in the home and the auto stereo industry. It was all very frustrating. Eventually, Radio Shack came to the rescue with a switch box that redirected the power as needed. With the tunes turned up on our 11 speakers, we were capable of calling whales!

Bazooka Speakers
~ Bazooka Speakers ~
Refit: 16 May 2012
In due time, the saltwater ate the exterior Bose® speakers, leaving our cockpit in silence. But the new Bazooka Tubbies that replaced them were a great improvement in that, not only are they designed for boats and would hopefully better withstand the elements, they also had forward and back facing speakers. That meant we could hear our tunes while hanging in the hammock. And the speakers were so powerful, our neighbors in the anchorage could enjoy our music as well! Hey, if they didn't like it they shouldn't have anchored so close!

Sadly, the stereo was also going on the fritz. While shopping for a new one at the big-box store, we discovered some waterproof remotes on clearance that we'd seen at the marine chandlery for a pretty penny. The little fobs were for a specific stereo not available at this particular store – but we knew it could be found elsewhere so we jumped on the deal and went shopping for the new stereo elsewhere.

The stereo replacement was fairely easy, though more and more wires seem to be coming out the back of the newer models. At least we can now enjoy the advantages of Bluetooth wireless connection. Now we have full control the music from the hammock, the cockpit, the berth – anywhere on or off the boat within a 50' radius!

I was recently asked by a land-bound individual what the most important thing was for me when traveling by our boat. I gave a fleeting thought to all the safety equipment, and for a few moments some of the modern marine equipment came to mind. But in the end, my answer was music. Because the philosophical/psychological question is never "If stuck on a deserted island, what one bilge pump would you want to have?" It's more along the lines of "What record would you wish to have?"

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