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Installing a Marine Stereo

Marine Stereo Systems for Sportsboats & RIBs

If you have a RIB or sportsboat and are considering upgrading or fitting a marine stereo system, but have limited space, then here some recommendations that have a small footprint and are relatively straightforward to fit...

Why not just buy a car stereo?

 

  • Marine stereos are designed for the harsh marine environment 
  • Waterproof  to at least IPX5 – Can resist a sustained, low-pressure water jet spray
  • UV stable – the materials used in construction will not deteriorate when exposed to the sun
  • Shockproof – designed to be continually jarred and banged
  • Coated PCBs – a waterproof coating is added to the internal circuit boards to prevent any moisture damage.

Which Stereo To Choose?

 

Choosing a stereo can be a tricky business, there's pleanty of choice and some of it depends on your boat. We've picked our three best selling models below and compared them so you can see what the key differences are.

Entry Level - Fusion RA55

Why this stereo?

Lower cost, super compact for consoles where room is an issue. A simple to operate standalone stereo

Sources: AM/FM Radio, Auxiliary & Bluetooth Streaming

Speakers: Can connect to two pairs of speakers (zones) with independent zone control

Available as a bundle with a pair of 6”speakers

 

Mid Level - Fusion RA70N

Why this stereo? 

Standard (DIN) car radio size, Bonded screen so no fogging up, ANT wireless connection for use with wireless remote (pic of 200494) DAB+ Ready – Compatible with Fusions DAB module & Antenna (pic of 200368)

Sources: AM/FM Radio, Auxiliary, Bluetooth Streaming, USB interface, DAB+ ready

RA70N version has NMEA2000 so can be connected to a NMEA200 compatible chart plotter (via NMEA 2000 backbone) for control

Speakers: Can connect to two pairs of speakers (zones) with independent zone control

Both models are available as a bundle with a pair of speakers

Top End - Fusion RA210

Why this stereo?

Superior sound quality with Digital signal processing technology, Bonded Colour screen so no fogging up, ANT wireless connection for use with wireless remote (pic of 200494) DAB+ Ready – Compatible with Fusions DAB module & Antenna (pic of 200368). NMEA2000 so can be connected to a NMEA200 compatible chart plotter (via NMEA 2000 backbone) for control

Sources: AM/FM Radio, Auxiliary, Bluetooth Streaming, USB interface, DAB+ ready

Speakers: Can connect to two pairs of speakers (zones) with independent zone control

 

The 4th Option - The BB100 Black Box Stereo

Why this stereo?

Waterproof black box unit can be mounted inside a console or locker ,  65mm diameter space saving wired remote , ANT wireless connection for use with wireless remote( pic of 200494) DAB+ Ready – Compatible with Fusions DAB module & Antenna ( pic of 200368) NMEA2000 so can be connected to a NMEA200 compatible chart plotter ( via NMEA 2000 backbone) for control

Sources: AM/FM Radio, Auxiliary, Bluetooth Streaming, USB interface, DAB+ ready

Speakers: Can connect to two pairs of speakers (zones) with independent zone control

Marine Stereos for Sportsboats & RIBs

What’s the difference between car speakers and marine speakers?

Waterproof cones – most car speakers have a paper cone and this will absorb moisture over a period of time- resulting in poor sound quality. Fusion speakers have cones that are made from materials that offer a high resistance to moisture absorption

UV stable materials – The plastics used are designed for exposure to direct sunlight with no discolouration or deteriation.

 

See below for our guide to our 3 best selling ranges of speakers...

Entry Level - EL Series (6.5")

Why these speakers? 

Shallow mount with a depth of only 43mm so perfect for areas with limited back space, Waterproof Polypropylene cones, LED backlit version with adjustable colours (optional remote control required for adjusting colour) (side view pic showing shallow depth)

Peak power 150w

Available in Black or White classic models or Grey with adjustable LED backlighting

Mid Range - FR Series

Why these speakers

German 'CURV' Cone Technology and a titanium tweeter dome for clear, powerful sound, Waterproof composite cones, engineered to minimize magnetic interference to navigational equipment.

Peak power 120w 4”, 200w 6”, 280 7”

Available in 4, 6 and 7.7” models – 4” model are supplies with white grilles. 6 and 7.7” models include both black and white grilles

Top End - Signature Series (6.5", 7.7" or 8.8")

Why these speakers? 

German 'CURV' Cone Technology and a silk tweeter dome for a better frequency response and range giving the best sound quality, Waterproof composite cones, Sports models have LED backlighting that can be set to blue or white, 

Peak power 230w 6.5”, 280w 7.7”, 330 8.8”

Available in 6.5, 7.7 and 8.8” models in Classic White or Sport White, Sports Chrome with LED backlighting

Tips for Installation

What tools will you need to fit a stereo and speakers

Tips for Head Unit Installation

  • Remember to use the drill templates that are supplied with the documentation pack
  • ​Keep away from the magnetic compass at least 15cm
  • Use a silicone sealant instead of the gasket supplied if the unit is to be mounted outside
  • Seal off the cut fiberglass by painting on a polyester resin ( pic of 450135) this will protect against delamination and moisture ingress.
  • Wear a dust mask when cutting fiberglass

Tips for Speaker installation

  • As with the head unit - Remember to use the drill templates that are supplied with the documentation pack
  • If you can’t get a hole saw that is the correct size then drill small holes around the cut out and then cut with a handy saw ( pic of DR83135)
  • Keep away from the magnetic compass at least 5ft+ (depending upon size of speaker)
  • Use a silicone sealant instead of the gasket supplied if the unit is to be mounted outside 
  • Seal off the cut fiberglass by painting on a polyester resin this will protect against delamination and moisture ingress.
  • For better bass performance, you should select mounting locations that provide the appropriate space behind the speaker (details can be found in the speaker user manual). Too small an area restricts bass, and too large an area compromises bass performance. 
  • Wear a dust mask when cutting fiberglass
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