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Cockpit music

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What is the issue?
Drilling large holes to mount speakers in the cockpit is structurally not prudent. As a result most yachts use a portable stereo for cockpit music. Yet this is far from ideal as an active cockpit rarely affords a secure and solid place to set down a portable stereo system.

Why address this?
A convenient and secure music solution will add to sailing pleasure and dramatically extend the likely service life of a music system.

How to address this?
There are many approaches to this. The first is to make a convenient mount for the portable stereo by attaching a replica of the bottom companionway washboard (plus shelf if needed) to the stereo as illustrated in figure 1. This provides a neat and completely secure position for a portable stereo. An alternate point is to slot it into a special track and slider board in the main hatch rail above.
When selecting a portable stereo look for a system that will both meet your music needs and runs off 12V. This will enable the system to run directly off the vessels 12V DC feed by soldering a feed into the battery compartment, as presented in figure 2. Note you should not have batteries in the portable stereo when connected to the ship power. Having a 12V DC system, or six batteries, has the added benefit of offering a long battery life when the portable is not running off the yachts power.
It is not worth investing in an expensive portable system. Although the system may be securely seated utilising the above approach it will inevitably receive salt water splashes, scrapes and bangs.
The other approach is to relay an onboard cabin music system out to the cockpit. This is typically achieved by placing water resistant speakers into the spray dodger where special pockets may be set in place to host them.
An alternate approach is to again utilise a bottom washboard replica, as with figure 1, but cut two speaker holes into the replica board and fit the speakers into it.
Speaker connection in both these instances may be achieved by a rigging a headphone jack plug connector for the external speaker. This may be set in place inside the cabin or externally if a protected covered panel exists.

With thanks to:
Michael Harpur, Yacht Obsession.

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