R 22

Rhodes 22



Blew Daze has a Standard AM/FM CD player mounted above the ice box and next to the VHF radio. Speakers are in the cabin (2) and out in the cockpit. The cockpit speakers are mounted under the seats and up high on the cabin bulkhead. ONe interior speaker is mounted on the head wall facing aft and the other is mounted on the port aft interior wall facing fwd. They are bracket mounted, as is the sterio receiver.

If I were equipping the boat today, I would get an automotive/ car sterio system with CD player or cassete tape and provision for connecting a CD changer. Jensen makes some decent stuff but the downside is you need an enclosure for mounting it or forfet a storage space in the cabin. I would get catalogues from Defender, Boat US and West Marine and do some comparison shoping, then go to Circuit City and Best Buy and compare the auto stuff. Radio Shack has some stuff that might be worthwhile. I noticed that they had some speakers built into enclosures that might be worth a look.

17 Feb 2001

Audiologic Boombox - CD player & AM-FM radio. Cost $29.95 at Circuit City. It works well, on 6 C batteries. I usually, keep it in my sailing equipment bag with the extra sweatshirt, windbreaker and towel, until I'm ready to use it. Then on the back seat jammed into the cushion.

17 Feb 2001

A boat is both a physically and aurally hostile environment for a sound system. It is important not to over buy insofar as performance and features and to be sure to buy marine grade components. There is a difference. Standard gear is not protcted from the humidity constantly present in a boat. And since a high powered, feature laden unit is overkill and likely to be less reliable, the prices for marine units at places like West Marine and Defender are competitive and worth it.

I use a Jensen 8320 AM/FM/Cassette receiver with a CD jack. The feedback I get is there are problems with built in CD players on boats so I use a portable CD unit which is only on the boat when I am. The Jensen performs well and is available for about $100 - $120. The 60 watts is more than enough power. Actually too much power is a problem since the environment tends to cause distortion which only become worse as sound levels increase.

The Jensen is a DIN plug-in unit which makes it easy to remove if the boat is in a location where theft could be a problem. West Marine sells an Under Dash Housing (#273789) for $15.00 It fits neatly in the cabin in the upper right corner above the counter and it fits the Jensen perfectly. Makes for a very neat installation. I mount my VHF radio on the bottom of the housing.

Two speakers are mounted on the starboard cabin wall by the windows and as far apart as possible. They face the seat and are aimed at the back cushion level. This keeps reverberated sound to a minimum. Two speakers are in the cockpit on either side of the companionway, just under the seats. They are attached to the cabin wall. These are 5" Poly Planer 4000 Series marine speakers. (The 5" fit better than the 6" also available and are just as good.)

I got two watertight, PVC electrical junction boxes from a local supply house and installed the speakers in the cover. They are cantered slightly inward toward the center of the cockpit to project sound into the area. (Don't let them face each other or they will cancel out.) By connecting the cockpit speakers to the front speaker connections on the Jensen and the cabin speakers to the rear speaker connections, you can use the fader control to control the level in each area.

BTW, I am a speaker builder, as a hobby, and was able to get a deal on some speakers for the cabin so, unfortunately I can't tell which ones they are. However, the Poly Planar MA840 ($49.89/pair) will do well. You can also find some decent units at Radio Shack, but they may fail in a few years due to the moisture. (If you go that route, be sure they are 4 ohm.)

Both the VHF and the Stereo are connected to the same antenna through a Shakespeare splitter (#4357). The antenna is at the top of the mast. There is a tradeoff here. The antenna is a VHF unit and the splitter favors the VHF signal causing some compromise in the FM signal. But FM is line of sight and the height of the antenna gives you a better shot at getting signals. Since my lake is in the mountains, the height seemed more important to me. I felt it was better than running a separate FM antenna on the rear pulpit or cabin roof.

This system provides surprising good sound for a boat at a reasonable price. If you have any further questions give me a holla.

17 Feb 2001

The humidity on the boat is highest in the cabin. Marine grade is really a good idea! Clarion's high end products are among the best you can buy, but I hear their low end stuff leaves something to be desired. I am not even sure it is made by Clarion. Personally, I think high end Clarion is overkill for the boat.

One of my buddies scoffed at using marine grade and put a Sony car unit in his boat 4 years ago. Guess what he replaced last year? After the cassette ate some tapes.

18 Feb 2001

I got my stereo in August of 1989 by mail order from West Marine. For whatever the information is worth this many years later because of the speed of change in the electronics industry, the stereo is a Maxim Marine model CSC-705WB. My unit developed a problem in the cassette drive mechanism & was replaced under warranty in the 1st year. The replacement has been absolutely bulletproof for 8 seasons & counting.

The 4 speakers are Maxim Marine weatherproof wedge speakers model CSS- 5575W. The cabin speakers are mounted by thru bolting to the trim piece just below the deck on the port & starboard side at the rear of the V-Berth. The cabin speakers utilize the entire wedge housing assembly.

The cockpit speakers utilize only the front panel of the speaker assembly & are mounted on the cockpit side of the transom, port & starboard side facing towards the cabin. Note that all 4 of these locations get the big powerful speaker magnets about 8-10 feet away from the cabin bulkhead mounted ship's compass!

The stereo itself is mounted under the starboard side deck just above the ice box. I used a Maxim Marine model 273789 radio installation housing + a Maxim Marine weatherproof opening cover model 273771 for for the mount. The speaker wires are 18 gage shielded twisted pairs.

Remember to connect the shields on the speaker wires to ground at the RADIO end only, or you may introduce ground loops! I use my ship's Metz Manta masthead mounted VHF radio antenna for the AM/FM/WB radio antenna. This gets the antenna something like 28 feet above the water.

I use a VHF signal splitter switch & a small "rubber ducky style antenna to share antennas with the ship's VHF radio. The signal splitter switch allows the operator to connect one radio to the VHF masthead antenna & the other radio to the rubber ducky antenna & instantly switch both antennas back & forth. I installed the system myself. This antenna switching system allows relatively private low power local VHF radio communication & longer range 25 watt distance communication while still allowing the AM/FM/WB radio to have an antenna.

My stereo plays cassettes. If you get a cassette player, be sure to get a model with autoreverse. It's a real pain to have to pop your head below deck to flip the cassette at the end of each side. As far as CD's, they seem a little too delicate for use on a small boat. Even the high priced Sony Discman personal CD players with buffer memories can be made to skip by a hard jolt. I have an adapter to play my Discman personal CD player thru the cassette player on the ship's stereo. At the dock or in calm weather, it works all right; but, in rough weather the CD player skips a lot. The cassette player can take an incredible amount of rough weather without missing a beat & the cassettes themselves seem more robust as well.

The nice thing about built-in stereos is that you can get the speaker separation required for good stereo effect. Plus, being built-in, you don't have to find a place to safely stow it when you put to sea. The good marine stereos use components which are either waterproof to begin with or can stand up to the harsh marine environment. I would imagine most boom boxes wouldn't last very long aboard a small boat.

We enjoy the music at the dock, sometimes under sail, & very much swinging on the hook in some deserted cove at sunset. I like to listen to the radio or music when I'm working on the boat.

Roger Pihlaja
S/V Dynamic Equilibrium

I can handle this one. I have a 250 watt amplifier mounted in the opening alongside the ice box. I have a car mount for a portable CD player directly under my VHF above the ice box. The speakers are mounted inside the lazzerette facing toward the bow. Get good, really good speakers that can handle the wattage of the amplifier.

I have the Nautica Maxxial speakers from Pioneer that are rated at 120 watts per channel.For an antennae if you choose to go the route of a formal stereo, if you already have a VHF radio, you can get a splitter for the stereo that will feed the AM/FM signals.I've been eyeing a new stereo this year in the BoatUS catalog that has a wired remote that I would place somewhere cenvenient in the cockpit, but that's only on the wish list for now.

18 Feb 2001

Regarding the remote for stereo, Rummy.When you get, it is most handy to use the velcro somewhere in cockpit so you can keep track of it. I've been on several larger boats where that worked wonderfully. I considered a battery Bose complete with remote) but it was just too large.Now have one of those tiny sony CD/radio things that uses merely 4 AA batteries and I also found a solar charger for 4 AA batteries in an odd catalogue. Have yet to use it.

I am trying to avoid getting into all that power and boat battery stuff. Trying to keep it simple. Am a major music buff and so fussy about my collection of CDs. I do not have a CD in my car by choice because I fear losing one. I make cassette copies for car. I paid my friend's 10 yr nerd-kid to burn copies of 30 favorites for the boat. This machine's power and bass is not loud or heavy.

I have found it fine for me sailing alone and anyhow, when folks are in the cockpit, they are all jabbering away (or hanging on for dear life).Anchored, it is sufficient for now. Anne

We have been looking at some big boats and just about all of them are using something like a Sony or Clarion or Jensen or even Radio Shack radio that are not marine grade. I don't think you need the extra expense of a marine quality unit when instlled in the cabin. One nice feature of one of the units sold by West Marine (forgot which one) is the weather alert feature that allows you to listen to NOAA weather reports and I think it will cut in when NOAA issues an alert. Nice feature and one reason to look at "Marine " radio's.

18 Feb 2001

I've always been impressed with Roger's ability to recall make, model, serial number, purchase price, sales tax, where he bought it and everything else for equipment he's had for 10 years. Sure is helpful when it comes time to take a peek at something he's describing.

When the stereo thread popped up I had to hop over to the Boat US website to get the model number of my stereo that isn't quite a year old. It's a Jensen MCD 9424. It has a CD player and AM/FM/Weather band radio. It does have an optional remote control that can be installed in the cockpit as Rummy mentioned, but I don't have it yet. I've thought about it a little and it still might make it onto the official 'to do' list for the boat. I'm sure we've all got one of these lists that expands and contracts a little over time but never disappears...

Here's a link to the boat/us site. They do a better job of describing it than I would: http://www.boatus-store.com/MC_Online/Browse.asp?ShowItem=17874.

I have four 4" round waterproof Poly Planar flush mount speakers. 2 are mounted in the transom facing forward and 2 are in the cabin on the forward bulkhead facing back toward the companionway. Using the fader I can turn off the cockpit speakers if I'm somewhere neighbors would be disturbed.

I don't consider myself to be an audiophile, but I've been very happy with the features and sound quality of this unit. It's plenty powerful with no supplemental amplifiers (I think it has a plug where one could be added), and even these small speakers seem sufficient for good sound. I can't offer any Rhodes-specific mounting recommendations; my boat isn't a Rhodes. The stereo is mounted down below, but it is pretty weather resistant.

Brian Jernigan
19 Feb 2001

I use a Cambridge Soundworks computer sub-woofer speaker system connected to portable output devices. The system runs on 12 volts, stores in it's own carrying case, and puts out more sound than anything I've ever heard on a small boat.

I keep the system between the cabin step and the ice box. It fits exactly while still allowing the ice box door to open fully. There is a zipper compartment on top in which I store portable devices with long output cables so I can run them from my captain's chair while single handing.

When I'm feeling lazy I leave the system where it's stored and just crank up the power. For excellent stereo separation I mount the small speakers on the pop-top tubes using Helm clamps. (The speakers have very long connecting wires -- I could put one in the bow and the other in the stern.)

I take the system off the boat during the winter months.

Bill Effros
24 Mar 2001

PS -- I noticed in another post from you an offer to photograph the new boom room on Bulldog after you finished your homework. Have you finished your homework?

I've been running my $49 CD player attached to my system for years without a problem. It's been so trouble free I plan to try a CD-R MP3 player on board this year just to reduce the number of CDs on board. I sail on Long Island Sound, usually within sight of the World Trade Center so I have no trouble picking up strong radio and television signals on the walkman sized AM/FM/Weather/TV no antenna required (the cable to the speakers is the antenna) receiver. The beauty of an unmounted, undedicated stereo system is that you can easily change with times and circumstances, and you can test your theories before you have to permanently commit. Also you can replace only those components that break, and you can move things around if you discover your compass is always pointing toward your system.

In my home I have 2 Bose 901 speaker systems and 3 Cambridge Sound Systems. For my money and my ears there is nothing I like as well as these 2 systems. The Bose won't fit on the boat so I put in the Cambridge Sound System. Don't let the $79 price fool you. It is an outstanding system that just happens to fit perfectly into dead space on the boat. I keep mine zipped up in its carrying case. It can be played without unzipping. To date it has not deteriorated in the marine environment, but if it goes after 3 or 4 or 5 years at $79 a pop it's been more than worth it and I would go right out and get another.

Bill Effros
24 Mar 2001


Cambridge Soundworks was founded by Henry Kloss, the "K" of KLH. Like Bose, he really understands sound.

I believe the item I have is called "Soundworks" -- I note it is now selling for $69.99. I also have the carrying case ($29.95) and the 12v adapter. Mine is black in a black carrying case because when I bought it that was all you could get. I originally got it for computer clients and was simply blown away when I tested it. My computer runs through one of my Bose systems ($1800), but when I first got the Soundworks (then $129.99) I felt they were very close. The Bose system sounds a little better, but the Soundworks is a much better value.

Bill Effros
24 Mar 2001

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