A longtime client from Chiefland recently contacted the marine audio experts at Sound Depot and Performance to inquire about installing a sound system on his new 2018 Contender 28T sportfishing boat. The client loves to be able to listen loud and wanted a system that would sound great whether he’s fishing or breaking through the waves. After inspecting the boat for speaker, amplifier and source unit options, we designed an audio system that would be easy to use and sound amazing.
JL Audio 8.8-inch Marine Speakers
Reproducing music with clarity at high volume levels requires a speaker that’s up to the task. Almost every marine entertainment system we install uses JL Audio speakers, and for this client, the class-leading M-Series 8.8-inch coaxial speakers were the perfect choice.
Our technicians started the project by installing a total of four M880-ETXV3-SG-WH Sport Series enclosed speaker systems on the welded tubular hard top. The four speakers face rearward so that everyone at the helm or fishing from the rear of the boat can hear the music clearly. We added a set of M100-CT-SG-WH 1-inch tweeters in MTPOD-M100-CL pods on top of the helm and aimed them directly at the captain’s seat for added clarity when the throttle is pinned.
JL Audio Marine Amplifiers and Rockford Radio
We installed a pair of JL Audio M-Series marine amplifiers in the storage compartment on the back of the helm. To give the boat enough power to let the owner enjoy his music at high volume levels, we used a four-channel and an eight-channel amplifier that were bridged to power the bow and overhead speakers with 200 watts each! The top amp is an M400/4 and the bottom amp is an M800/8v2.
We mounted the amplifiers to the access door using stainless steel hardware and ran 4-AWG marine-grade power and ground cabling directly to the pair of batteries. We used a 150-amp marine-grade Stinger circuit breaker on the power wire for protection. All of the wiring we use on boats is designed specifically to handle exposure to saltwater conditions without corroding.
The system is fed by a Rockford Fosgate PMX-5CAN marine-grade digital media receiver that we mounted at the helm. This radio includes an AM/FM receiver as well as Bluetooth audio streaming, a USB port for MP3 and WMA file playback and an auxiliary input for an analog audio source. We added a Scosche USB and Aux Input extension beside the radio to make it easy to connect a smartphone or portable media player.
Contender Marine Audio System Wiring
Speaking of marine wiring, the owner had purchased the boat without an audio system of any kind. As such, our technicians had to run speaker wires to each location, as well as cut out the front of the cockpit to mount the 8.8-inch coaxial speakers. Running wires through the hull and the tubular hard top so that they were as invisible as possible took time and patience, but the results were well worth the investment.
Custom Boat Accent Lighting
The last step of the project was to add a custom LED lighting solution to the cockpit of the boat. We used three Metra HE-B55068 blue LED light kits for a total of 50 feet of lighting. All the wiring for the lights was concealed inside the hull of the boat for a clean and tidy look. We used one of the spare switches at the helm to control the lighting.
Custom Marine Entertainment System
After four days of work, our team had the audio system and lighting installed on this amazing Contender fishing boat, and everything was set up and tested. The client returned to Sound Depot and Performance in Gainesville to listen to the system and loved it! It gets incredibly loud without breaking a sweat! If you’re interested in a marine audio system upgrade or custom lighting for your boat, drop by our store and speak with one of our product specialists. Alternatively, give us a call or send an e-mail using our online contact page for more information about any of our products or services.