Sound system for the boat

I’d been wanting a sound system for the Defined Benefit. We’d been using a battery-powered portable speaker system, but I really wanted something that was set up and ready to go at all times. The problem was that I didn’t want to mount one in the console (cutting a hole), nor cut holes for speakers, and pulling wires on a boat can be a real chore. So, what to do? I was browsing Overton’s and the solution jumped out at me! They had a Dual MCP420GH Bluetooth Receiver with a universal gimbal mount for a very attractive price. It came with a pair of 6.5″ speakers, but I didn’t want to use those (remember, I’d have to cut holes in something), so I just put them back for possible future use. I got a pair of waterproof Poly-Planar MA840 Sub-Compact 3″ box speakers, because what I planned to do was suspend them from the T-top. The receiver itself I mounted in the electronics box of the T-top, next to the VHF radio. I had plenty of open connectors and fuseblock slots there. The gimbal mount had a plastic front cover, which I removed, as the electronics box is already weatherproof. I drilled two small holes in the electronics box, one on each side, through which I ran the speaker wire, and sealed with marine caulking. The speakers themselves I suspended from rails on the T-top, holding them in place with heavy duty cable ties. This means that if at some time I want to reposition the speakers, or buy a nicer set of speakers with more sound, I can easily do so…or add a second pair, and reposition these facing a different direction.

The results are great! The receiver works well for Bluetooth pairing with my iThings 😉 for both streaming audio and hands-free calling (not that hands-free calling is something I honestly think will be very useful on a boat!) FM radio reception is good, with the flexible wire antennae coiled up behind the radio (it’s good enough to get eastern NC classic rock station WSFL which is all I want, other than Bluetooth from the iThings!). The speakers are decent. The reviews were that they worked well, but just didn’t have a lot of punch…but what do you expect for a pair of $55 speakers? The whole package was under $200, and I’m a happy camper.

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