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Author Topic:   Options To Cutting Large Holes in Center Console To Mount Loudspeakers for Music Reproduction and Entertainment
hc803 posted 08-16-2010 03:00 PM ET (US)   Profile for hc803   Send Email to hc803  
Got stage fright over the weekend when I prepared to cut the holes in the sides of my console on my Montauk. Had the Rotozip in hand, but couldn't make the first cut without thinking there's got to be some other alternative to making two "giant" 5.75" holes in my boat. I know there are surface mount speakers available, but I was just seeing if anyone had suggestions on setups. If you have a photo, please link it. Thanks.
SC Joe posted 08-16-2010 03:58 PM ET (US)     Profile for SC Joe  Send Email to SC Joe     
I'd get a hole saw to make that cut. The Rotozip will do it, but youll probably go through several bits, and its easy to make a sloppy cut with it.
jimh posted 08-16-2010 04:53 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Buy an inexpensive cooler. Cut holes in the cooler. Install the speakers, the amplifier, and the playback devices in the cooler. You can even throw in a small 12-volt deep-cycle battery to run them all.

Cut big holes in a console for music speakers? No way. Save that console from ruin!

contender posted 08-16-2010 08:42 PM ET (US)     Profile for contender  Send Email to contender     
I have to agree with Jim, I just carry a portable, and if it takes a dump no big deal, also if you go island hoping or on the beach you can take the music with you. I could never cut holes on my boat for speakers...Take care
davej14 posted 08-17-2010 04:20 PM ET (US)     Profile for davej14  Send Email to davej14     
Just cut the hole, once the speakers are in your anxiety level will subside.

If you really can't bring yourself to make the cut, consider an ipod or just put in a headphone jack and use headphones.

nats posted 08-17-2010 05:36 PM ET (US)     Profile for nats  Send Email to nats     
Just Do IT. I recently put speakers in my 06 Montauk, It was tough cutting on her. I didn't even like drilling holes for my dept-finder. I mounted the stereo inside the console door, now I don't have the clutter of a portable bouncing around. And the sound and reception are great. Again Just Do It!!!!
Liteamorn posted 08-17-2010 06:33 PM ET (US)     Profile for Liteamorn  Send Email to Liteamorn     
IF you do it make sure you use masking tape. This will save on chips and splinters.

I really like Jimh's idea.


Bella con23 posted 08-17-2010 07:54 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bella con23  Send Email to Bella con23     
I bought my used Conquest with speakers already cut in. I replaced them once and I am very happy with the sound quality with all that empty space behind them.

That said, I don't know if I would cut the speakers in if they weren't there, but I'm glad they are there.

meridian posted 08-17-2010 08:08 PM ET (US)     Profile for meridian  Send Email to meridian     
I mounted my speakers in the cooler and the amp in the console. works great. I can always replace the cooler..
contender posted 08-17-2010 10:28 PM ET (US)     Profile for contender  Send Email to contender     
Jims idea is pretty good, got me thinking and gave me another one, just make your own box out of some plywood/door skin. Then you could make the size you want/need. Could possibly make it fit somewhere/ on something in your boat...
hc803 posted 08-18-2010 09:54 AM ET (US)     Profile for hc803  Send Email to hc803     
i'm looking at getting the enclosed box speakers and mounting them on the dash on either end for rear-facing and building a speaker box out of Starboard for the 6.5" front-facing. just have to figure out how to mount the speaker box...
Chuck Tribolet posted 08-19-2010 12:15 AM ET (US)     Profile for Chuck Tribolet  Send Email to Chuck Tribolet     
But, please don't share your music with everybody else on the
water. The water should be a peaceful place.


hc803 posted 08-19-2010 09:25 AM ET (US)     Profile for hc803  Send Email to hc803     
no, no, i'm not a wakeboarder/Donzi owner!
BBS posted 08-19-2010 03:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for BBS  Send Email to BBS     
I did the front cooler trick - although this turns it into dry storage only.
jimh posted 08-19-2010 09:42 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
BBS--Nice work on that beautiful classic Boston Whaler OUTRAGE 18. The cooler with speakers is very nicely done.
Russ 13 posted 08-25-2010 09:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for Russ 13  Send Email to Russ 13     
I would measure many times to maks sure you have the needed
space outside & inside the console.
Then use masking tape on the outside, before you make the hole. A hole saw makes the cleanest hole.
The speakers in the console will provide much better sound.
And should stay out of the water/spray better than the cooler.
contender posted 08-25-2010 09:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for contender  Send Email to contender     
BBS, Nice Boat, I like the clean look and no rails...Nice...
jimh posted 08-26-2010 01:01 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Re the suggestions for methods to cut holes in the console, I believe the initial inquiry was looking for alternatives to cutting holes in the console, not for advice on how to cut them.

To avoid cutting holes in the console, a speaker system that employed a common low-frequency driver and two small high-frequency drivers could be used. The high-frequency drivers can be easily mounted atop a helm console without making any large holes. The common low-frequency driver can be mounted inside the console.

nitro vinny posted 08-26-2010 08:43 PM ET (US)     Profile for nitro vinny  Send Email to nitro vinny     
Music on the water should be at a low volumn. Music at a high volumn on the water carries forever and irritates alot of folks who don;t want to hear it. If you want loud music (giant speakers), go back to your apartment and anoy your neighbors.

Boats with loud music are one notch above PWC. Whalers with loud music are one notch under PWC.

glen e posted 08-26-2010 10:58 PM ET (US)     Profile for glen e  Send Email to glen e     
I really wish people would stop preaching about the volume of stereos - some of us find cruising long distance in open ocean a situation where "amplified music" is appreciated. We don't all boat on Walden pond with a ukulele.... You might want to ask the factory rendezvous whaler owners that just went to Bimini if they like "amplified music", as it is called here.
Boston Whaler1965 posted 09-12-2010 06:09 PM ET (US)     Profile for Boston Whaler1965  Send Email to Boston Whaler1965     
Hi. I am laughing while reading this post - Imagine you are me right now. Maybe this will help you to feel better about making the holes! I have a 1965 Whaler that belonged to my late father. He bought it when my mom was [pregnant] with me. I am now 41 years old. My entire family is watching the restoration project. I have a brand new mahoghany seat and console ready to fasten, and guess what? I have to cut a hole not only for the steering well and controls, but for the electrical as well as a possible radio. My problem with all this is my [unclear] and the fact that these wooden pieces where probably about $5,000 combined. So, I know how you feel. Cut the damn holes. Just try to use a template to get them right the first time. - there is nothing like a permanently mounted audio - but the gentleman did have a good point about island hoping! Good luck either way Paul
jimh posted 09-12-2010 06:25 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
If you paid $5,000 for the wooden components for a 1965 Boston Whaler, you paid too much. You should have purchased them from NAUTICAL LUMBER.

There is nothing wrong with making a hole in the console for the steering wheel. That is a mandatory item. You can't really have a helm without the steering wheel. The same goes for the helm dash panel or instrument panel; you have to cut those holes. There is not much question or discussion possible about them.

Should you cut a 12-inch diameter hole in a helm console to mount some loudspeaker for music reproduction? No, that is obscene. It violates the helm console. I have already mentioned two better ways to accomplish the provision of decent reproduction of recorded music on a small Boston Whaler boat.

What I have found is that as people mature, they come to realize that it is possible to spend a few minutes on the water enjoying the boat, enjoying the water, enjoying the environment, without having to have a public address system playing recorded music at high volume. Try listening to the boat, listening to the water, and listening to the trees, birds, and other parts of nature, instead of listening to recorded popular music.

Most boats do not provide a very good environment for the reproduction of stereophonic recordings of music. The listener's orientation to the loudspeakers is typically very poor, the background noise level is high, and the overall effect is not particularly good. On top of this, sound carries well across the water, so if you are listening to your recorded music on your public address system at a level loud enough to overcome all the background noise, it probably means that anyone else within 100-yards will be hearing it, too. Among boaters there is a nautical term for people who come into anchorages or other places were boats are gathered and who listen to recorded music at loud levels on a public address system: slob boaters.

Boston Whaler1965 posted 09-12-2010 08:09 PM ET (US)     Profile for Boston Whaler1965  Send Email to Boston Whaler1965     
Thank you for being knowledgeable of the universe - I did happen to buy these from naughtical lumber. So - everyone has something to learn i guess
Boston Whaler1965 posted 09-12-2010 08:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for Boston Whaler1965  Send Email to Boston Whaler1965     
This whole conversation started with the guy wanting to cut a hole for a speaker - and instead you turned it around to become music being played too loud and having input about how he shouldnt be playing music at all on the water. I agree with the other reply to you about not preaching about what other people do. If you dont want a radio - then dont bring one. your business - not your business to tell anyone else not to have one.
jimh posted 09-12-2010 10:56 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I already gave the guy two good suggestions on how to install loudspeakers on his boat so he can have a public address system and blast music across the water--just don't ruin a nice new Boston Whaler console with the lunacy of cutting holes in it. It is particularly silly to cut holes in the console to install loudspeakers in about the worst possible orientation for reproduction of stereophonically recorded music. Anyone who know the basics of musical reproduction in stereophony knows you don't mount the speakers where most of these guys put them in their center consoles--aimed sideways and away from the listener.

This forum is intended to discuss electrical and electronic problems--if no one ever brought up the silly topic of installing big ugly (and bad sounding) speakers in their center console again, there wouldn't be a tear shed.

Fishmore posted 09-12-2010 11:59 PM ET (US)     Profile for Fishmore  Send Email to Fishmore     
I agree with Jim and Vinny,
Only an irresponsible boater plays their music so loud that it interferes with others enjoyment of the water and only an irresponsible boater plays their music so load that it drowns out the VHF radio. This is especially true on the ocean where the rules state...

"Vessels not required to carry a marine radio (e.g. recreational vessels less than 20m length), but which voluntarily carry a radio, must maintain a watch on channel 16 whenever the radio is operating and not being used to communicate. Such vessels may alternatively maintain a watch on VHF channel 9 (156.450 MHz), the boater calling channel. Note however that urgent marine information broadcasts, such as storm warnings, are announced on channel 9 only in First CG District waters (northern New Jersey , New York and New England )."

How would you feel if a person died because you failed to maintain a watch on channel 16 only because you wanted to listen to loud music and did not hear the mayday call? It could also be possible that you save your own life by monitoring channel 16 rather than listening to loud music.

I use a small battery powered portable speaker system with an ipod that fits inside the speaker case. I place it on the dash and run it at a low volume so as not to drown out my VHF radio. I usually only listen to it at anchor, when drifting or when slow trolling. I also have a small battery operated portable radio I use to listen to broadcasts of sporting events.

jimh posted 09-13-2010 09:29 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I have to laugh, too. The original inquiry was seeking options to cutting holes. I give the guy two options--that's no good? Instead Boston Whaler1965 tells the guy to go-ahead, cut holes willy-nilly in your new boat console. Who's off-topic and preaching now?

I never said the original poster should not listen to music on his boat. I gave him two very good ways to listen to music which will produce better stereophonic reproduction from loudspeakers than cutting up his console for them.

I made no prior remarks about playing loud music which were rebuked by others. In my last posting, I simply mentioned that among boaters--at least among the boaters I know--there is general appreciation for the sonic environment when on the water, and boaters who blast their music in quiet anchorages are seldom highly regarded. I do not find that to be preaching but rather just stating a few facts of boating.

I know the current generation were brought up in the everyone-gets-a-prize environment where there is never any judgment of right or wrong, and perhaps they think that anything goes on the water, too. Sorry, loud music does not win friends on the water. Yes, it is judgmental, but that is how life really works. You do stuff that annoys other boaters and other boaters get annoyed by it. This anything-goes notion does not belong in boating. You usually get a better grade of person in the boating community.

Gep posted 09-13-2010 05:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for Gep  Send Email to Gep     
I had to laugh also. I find it ironic that you don't like stereos on boats because this is a picture you took of me on our North Channel/Georgian Bay rendezvous back in 2004. We were waiting for everybody to regroup and you were yelling something at me, but I'll be damned if I could hear you. current=DSCN1058.jpg

I say cut those holes and don't worry about it.


jimh posted 09-13-2010 08:11 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Gep--Nice rig there. Looks like a diaphone from a fog signal.
jimh posted 09-14-2010 08:53 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
We have been at this discussion for almost a month, and so far only three alternatives to cutting holes have been offered. Does anyone have any other alternative to cutting holes in the console for installation of loudspeakers for reproduction of stereophonically recorded music besides:

--mount loudspeakers in cooler
--use small HF drivers atop console and put LF drivers inside console
--mount speakers built into their own enclosures atop the console

For those who want to argue that the playing of loud music on your boat when in close proximity to other boaters is of no concern and should not be discouraged, please take up your cause in THE GAM. Thank you

hc803 posted 09-14-2010 04:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for hc803  Send Email to hc803     
I went with enclosed speakers atop the console (Fusion MS-BX402 speakers-13/msbx402-88-product.aspx ) with a cool Deep Blue Marine drink holder/caddy ( ).

It takes up the whole top of the console pretty much, but I like knowing I can remove everything if needed without leaving more than screw holes.

Finally, I shouldn't have to say this, but I'm not planning on playing the stereo more than a few clicks loud. 99% of the time we are pulled ashore on an island, and removed from other people, so it doesn't take much for us to hear the music, being right beside the boat. Anyone who plays their music loud enough for everyone to hear doesn't deserve a Whaler to begin with.

I didn't need anyone telling me to not put in a stereo at all because it bothers other people. If that ever becomes the case, I would hope they would let me know themselves.

Thanks for the input.

jimh posted 09-17-2010 09:53 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Your solution to providing loudspeakers for reproduction of stereophonically recorded music for entertainment on your boat was a good solution--you avoided cutting large holes in the center console. The reproduction of the music will likely also be much better with the loudspeakers in the location you chose, as the orientation to the listener will be much more favorable. You have a double bonus: no big holes in the console and better reproduction fidelity. Good solution. Enjoy your music recordings.

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