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Author Topic:   170 Montauk stereo installation pictures
Camuyano posted 07-06-2004 04:20 PM ET (US)   Profile for Camuyano   Send Email to Camuyano  

I finally finished installing the new stereo system on my ’04 170 Montauk, just in time for the 4th of July weekend. You can see some pictures at:

Overall I am extremely happy with both the fidelity and power of the system. I don’t think I could have gone with a better sounding system even if I spent twice as much. The Sony car head unit and Pioneer speakers are powerful enough that I can hear it at planning speeds even without the volume cranked all the way up. The Sony unit also has some nice features such as MP3 playback, which allows me to leave my iPod safely at home. There is also an RCA auxiliary input in the back so that, if I did take my iPod along, I could plug it into the back of the unit and leave it inside the console. It also comes with a wireless remote that I carry inside a zip-lock bag so that I don’t have to open the stereo enclosure. It remains to be seen how well the unit will hold up to the moisture and heat.

I had some doubts about the SeaWorthy stereo enclosure since it doesn’t have a latch and it looked like there were small openings on the corners of the door; however, it was raining pretty hard as we left for the lake on the 4th but the inside of the enclosure was dry when I opened it. I am trying not to spray it directly with the hose during wash down just in case. I was thinking of trying to adapt some weather stripping to create a gasket but I haven’t had time to try it.

The project was more challenging than I thought. I borrowed a Dremel tool since I doubt that could have cut the holes with a jigsaw. I had never used a Dremel and it proved more challenging than I thought. It was slow going and the holes ended up rather jagged but that didn’t matter since the faceplates covered everything nicely. The hole for the head unit was small and took quite a bit of filing to get to the right dimensions. I calked everything heavily to prevent water intrusion.

I soldered all the connections, even to the crimp on terminals, to insure good strong contact and covered everything with heat shrink tubing. I also installed an automotive style fuse holder but this seems like a waste of money since the radio has its own fuse and I couldn’t find a 6 A spade type fuse for my VHF. A simple bus bar and barrel type fuse holder would have worked and would have been cheaper. I installed a cheap automotive antenna just so that I could tune in to local stations in case of emergency.

Organizing the wires proved quite a challenge due to the uncomfortable position in which I was forced to work. By this time I was pretty tired and ended up zip tying bunches of cable together in a sloppy looking mess. I’ll have to go back and fix some time in the future. It was also a challenge to make the speaker connectors to stay in place even after flattening out the channels on the female connectors. My console is quite full with life vests, foul weather gear, tools, spare parts, chart books, manuals, etc. and I had to be quite careful not to yank any cables off.

Well, that’s it. I hope this will help those attempting this in the future. Feel free to email me with questions.


Divedog posted 07-06-2004 08:51 PM ET (US)     Profile for Divedog  Send Email to Divedog     
Thanks for sharing your experience, looks like quite a job. I am rather jealous though. I spent 7 hours on my boat yesterday with no tunes! Hopefully this winter I'll have some time to add a stereo.
Maximus posted 07-06-2004 09:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for Maximus  Send Email to Maximus     
I would have suggested using a Shakespeare antenna splitter. It's a little $30 box that allows you to use the 3 foot SS whip antenna for AM/FM as well as VHF.

The install looks real nice and clean. Cutting through the half inch plywood is quite a challenge, huh?

I debated long and hard on which radio to buy for my Montauk 170. As you may be aware, I chose PolyPlanar's MDR-60 and have not regretted it. The first unit had some initial quality, water intrusion issues, but customer service replaced it and I have no complaints. The only thing I miss is MP3 playback.

The benefit of the PolyPlanar is the absolute watertight design and no need for a cover.

Camuyano posted 07-06-2004 09:56 PM ET (US)     Profile for Camuyano  Send Email to Camuyano     

I agree that it's a drag to have no tunes on the boat. That's why I was so anxious to complete this project. On my sailboat I kept portable speakers inside the cabin which I connected to my MP3 player but on an open boat this setup was impractical. Also the portable speakers lacked the power to be able to hear while the motor was running or when we were hanging out on the beach. This weekend it was nice to be able to crank it up and chill while we soaked on the lake and took turns riding my brother in law's jet ski.

BTW: This project took me about 8 to 10 hours plus the planning, which wasn't too bad considering. I worked exclusively at night from 7 or 8 until 10 or 11 spread out over four days. I am not an expert but I've completed my share of minor boat projects. Now I just need to get approval from the boss for the fish finder. That'll be the next project.


Camuyano posted 07-06-2004 10:08 PM ET (US)     Profile for Camuyano  Send Email to Camuyano     

I agree, the Polyplanar unit is nice and it is watertight. I took a gamble on the automitive unit since you couldn't beat the price. Besides that, the guy at Best Buy said that the $40 four year protection plan included moisture damage. We'll see if that turns out to be true.

If this unit breaks and Best Buy won't fix it, then I guess I'll have to cough up the cash and buy a real marine unit. My guess is that I'll go for the Polyplanar or MB Quart, which has MP3 playback.


Yiddil posted 07-07-2004 12:27 AM ET (US)     Profile for Yiddil  Send Email to Yiddil     
Nice job!!! Looks great!!!
AQUANUT posted 07-07-2004 10:32 AM ET (US)     Profile for AQUANUT  Send Email to AQUANUT     
great install..

music is nice option eh?...I love my sony
I opted for the tilt out keypad..due to the difficulty in seeing the graphics display...and easier to operate due to the fact i stand 90% of the far is your remote effective..I have the same remote...

I went with the 140 watt marine kenwoods..[no exposed metal except the spade connections}

we be jammin

Camuyano posted 07-07-2004 10:56 AM ET (US)     Profile for Camuyano  Send Email to Camuyano     

The range on the remote is pretty good. Saturday I was able to operate the stereo while standing chest deep in water right beside the boat as long as I aimed the remote at the radio. It will also work from the swim platform. You can't use from the bow since it is IR and the sensors need to be in view of the water.

I also looked at the Kenwood speakers but the price on the Pioneers was just too good ($81 per pair). I also liked the Infinity speakers since I've had good experience with the brand. Like I said, the Pioneers sound great even when compared to more expensive models. I hadn't thought of the exposed metal. Well see...


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