One of the primary reasons people enjoy boating is to escape from the everyday hustle and bustle of life. Getting out on the water to explore new places, participate in watersports, or go fishing is an enjoyable experience. While participating in your favorite hobby, listening to tunes jamming on the boat stereo makes the day even better. Boat stereo installation: what does it cost?

What Are The Benefits To Installing A Stereo On A Boat

There are numerous benefits to installing a stereo on a boat. While portable Bluetooth speakers are great, the range in which the operator and passengers can hear the sound is minimal. 

A boat hard-wired with a stereo system allows the sound to resonate for speakers in all areas of the vessel, including the bow, cockpit, helm, swim, platform, tower if equipped, and cabin space. 

Beyond the ability to transmit sound in all areas of the watercraft, a central control unit allows the user to manipulate the music selection and volume. 

The technology today allows the opportunity to toggle between different music playing selections, including Bluetooth, AM/FM stereo, USB to select music and charge phones, and lastly, an auxiliary connection.

With all of the different options, the user can select what they want to hear when they want to listen to it. 

The benefits of installing a stereo on a boat far exceed portable speakers. 

What Is Involved With Installing A Marine Stereo On A Boat

The process to install a stereo on a boat can be simple or complicated, depending on the layout of the watercraft. 

While moderately handy individuals can perform a boat stereo installation, you must feel comfortable cutting large holes in the boat. Large holes are required for mounting the speakers properly.  

In addition to cutting holes for the receiver and speakers, wiring runs in confined places. The wires should never remain exposed; therefore, each speaker is equipped with a negative and a positive wire leading from the receiver. 

Take into account that the goal is to obtain an even distribution of sound throughout. To achieve even sound, numerous speakers are necessary, which results in running wires throughout the entire vessel.

Lastly, power to the receiver is channeled from the marine batteries located in the stern. Additional wiring beyond the speakers is required to send power to the receiver. 

While the installation may sound overly complicated, it is, in fact, straightforward but requires time and patience. 

What Is The Cost To Install A Stereo On A Boat

We can break this down for you in a couple of ways. The first is performing the installation yourself, and the second is hiring a professional.

Do It Yourself

Cost varies significantly based on the quality of the package purchased. However, a four-channel which means a four-speaker system and receiver costs as low as 100 dollars. Remember to ask yourself, is four speakers enough, and do I want higher quality sound from a top-name stereo company.

Depending on your answer, the price will rise significantly. A do-it-yourselfer also requires tools and wiring.

The installation tools include a drill, sawzall, wire crimping tool, screwdrivers, and more, so be prepared to shell out dough when it comes to tools.

Regarding wiring, pick up crimps, heat shrink, a fuse, and other items. In the end, the cost adds up in addition to purchasing the stereo unit. Lastly, time is money, and the project will take a substantial amount of time.

Professional Installation

To save yourself from a headache, hire a professional to complete the boat stereo installation. Marine dealers and service centers are the places to call for an estimate.

Keep in mind; labor rates exceed $100 per hour in addition to the cost of the receiver and speakers. Therefore the price will be substantial.

One potential option to save a few bucks is to inquire if the installer will allow you to purchase the stereo unit independently of the marina. Going this route lowers the markup.

For a professional installation, expect to pay between $600 and $800 for a baseline boat stereo system.

So Will You Pay Or Install A Boat Stereo Yourself

Deciding to install a stereo and save money or hire a professional is challenging. For the do-it-yourself person who is well equipped with tools, the best option is to complete the work in house. Those who are not handy are best to leave the install to a trained professional to avoid irreversible damage. No matter which you chose, you and your family will be jamming to music on the water.