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  Stereo and Fixed VHF in a 13' ?

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Author Topic:   Stereo and Fixed VHF in a 13' ?
el capitan posted 04-08-2002 03:46 PM ET (US)   Profile for el capitan   Send Email to el capitan  
I'm in the process of buying a stock 13' sport, and was wondering a few things about my ability to mount a marine stereo and speakers and perhaps a fixed vhf to the underside of the console or the underside of the middle bench.

Has anyone done this with a 13'? What is involved with powering these?

Is it as simple as hooking it up to the outboards battery in the back, or will I need to provide a second battery to be safe? I was thinking I could mount a second battery and simply recharge between outings.

Second, as far as aesthetics, this 13' is in great condition, and I will want to hide the installations as best as possible. Im thinking I will custom make some mahogany boxes for the speakers, and mount them suspended to the underside of the middle bench facing back towards me. better ideas?

The reason I want a fixed vhf, is for ocean ventures further than a few miles, seeing I read that handhelds are only really good for 3 miles or so. Is that wrong?


triblet posted 04-08-2002 07:13 PM ET (US)     Profile for triblet  Send Email to triblet     
Forget the stereo -- the water should be a
quiet place.

You can just wire the VHF to your starting
battery. It's a small load (1/2 amp?) when
receiving, and not to bad (6A) when
transmitting, which isn't very often unless
you are a ratchet jaw.

Be sure to put a fuse at the battery. And
I'd run from the fuse to an accessory switch
on the console. And use good marine grade
parts. Electrical stuff that came from the
hardware store or the auto parts store has
ZERO business on a boat.

A real 8' antenna will make more difference
than handheld vs console mount. Three miles
range is a typical handheld range. Their
antenna transmits power in all directions,
including up to the sky and down to the fish.
The 8' antenna will increase effective power
by transmitting power in a useful direction,
that is, more or less horizontally.

Be sure to get a radio that is rated
"submersible" (that means 3', 30 minutes),
not just "waterproof" which means kinda sorta
splashproof (might keep fog out). This is
the voice of experience.


el capitan posted 04-08-2002 07:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for el capitan  Send Email to el capitan     
Thx for the info.

I think I will get a good 8' or 4' antenna. From what I read, it seems the antenna size and mounting height is just as importants as the broadcasting power, which agrees with what you said below.

-and yes, I will only get boating hardwarde, especially when mounting safety equipment such as a VHF.

-as far as the stereo, if I wanted a quiet place, I'd take my sailboat out. Otherwise some mellow tunes in the background make for some great cocktail cruising in the harbor..

Chris J posted 04-09-2002 11:42 AM ET (US)     Profile for Chris J  Send Email to Chris J     
The stereo will have to take an awful lot of abuse in a 13. If you have your heart set on an installed stereo, go with a cheap one and figure on replacing it every couple of years.

I considered that myself at one time and finally decided it was a lot less trouble to just bring along a boom box when I needed one.

As far as where, I never did do it, but the best location I could think of was a custom mahogany box mounted under the stern seat. As I recall the seats are wide enough, and there is much less bounce under there than under the console or middle bench.

tabasco posted 04-09-2002 12:28 PM ET (US)     Profile for tabasco  Send Email to tabasco     
If you install a VHF and a combo radio & CD player you will need an antenna for it as well. There is a solution. Defender Marine sells an automatic switch (they are the only one I know of that sells it West Marine have a manual A-B Switch) that uses your 8 Ft VHF antenna. That way you boat won't look like a coast guard sub station with all their antennas.
el capitan posted 04-09-2002 01:56 PM ET (US)     Profile for el capitan  Send Email to el capitan     
Tabasco, where have you seen these combo vhf/stereo/cd players? I was wondering if someone made one.

And Chris, I understand what you mean by the abuse. I know those 13's can really bang around with that flat hull. The easy answer is yes, to bring a boom box. But, I just love to custom install music equipment in my house and car, so I figured it'd be fun to try it in a boat also. Especially cause a boom box would take up leg room and slide around annoyingly.

triblet posted 04-09-2002 02:31 PM ET (US)     Profile for triblet  Send Email to triblet     
tabasco was talking about a switch, not a unit.

Shake has a combined VHF, AM, FM antenna, I


ratherwhalering posted 04-09-2002 03:57 PM ET (US)     Profile for ratherwhalering  Send Email to ratherwhalering     
West Marine sells an Shakespear automatic switch ($45.00) that uses your VHF antenna as a FM/AM antenna. It can recieve and transmit while plugged into both the VHF and the radio, I believe.

As for the radio, I seriously considered mounting one, but opted for a Sony portable CD player. I mounted a waterproof two prong Perkos Quick connect to a 3" square 1/2' Marine Plywood, and then mounted that inside the console, to the grab rail plywood, and hard wired that to a push/pull dash switch and fuse.

I then spliced the male end of the quick connect to a lighter plug extension cord (6.00)(with a female adaptor). I can now use my Stereo, portable GPS, cell phone, Handheld VHF charger, or Spotlight, using the female lighter plug adaptor.

This may sound a little complicated, but each one of those do hickies uses a differnt voltage and comes with a male lighter plug voltage adaptor. Pretty versatile set-up. You can also shut off the accessory with the dash switch.

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