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herm

Install radio/cd...how hard is it?

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I'd like to add a basic radio/CD package to my fiberglass tiller. Advice and answers to these basic questions are appreciated.

1. How difficult is it to wire it? (There is a ton of wires in my boat now, which I bought used.)

2. What about cutting into fiberglass?

3. If I don't install, any ideas on what a marine shop might charge?

4. What am I not asking about?

I ask now because I have 4-5 months to think about until the boat comes back out of storage.

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If you're somewhat mechanically inclined, it should be a breeze. There's basically three wires plus a speaker wires. One goes to the negative terminal on your battery and two go to the positive. Of the wires to the positive terminal, one should be hard wired (to provide power all the time so it will keep the time, remember presets, etc) and the other should be wired to a switch so you can turn the power on and off to the radio. Remember to fuse it near the battery. I have not installed in fiberglass, but I would imagine cutting it would be no problem.

If you buy a new stereo, the installation instructions are usually pretty easy to follow.

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I agree with Ralph's comments in general. However, if not using your boat for a week or two is common I would wire a switch into the power side for both wires. The power draw from the memory (Radio, Presets, etc) over time will draw a battery down far enough that it won't start the motor.

Cutting into the fiberglass isn't too bad... just take it slow and mask off the areas you're going to be cutting ahead of time.

I don't know how much a marine shop would charge.. I would say it would take about 3 hours, so it's dependent on the shop rate... maybe $250 in Labor plus parts?

The other thing you'll need to figure out is where to put the speakers and how you're going to get wire to them. That's about it. If you do it, be sure to get a waterproof radio cover, unless where you plan on mounting the radio isn't exposed to the elements.

marine_man

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Pretty easy as Ralph said. Switch he mentions is a must, other wise the radio will drain down your battery when not in use.

If you don't want to cut into your fiberglass, they sell mounts that screw in to the top or bottom of your console.

I chose not to spend the premium price on a waterproof marine radio since my boat almost always stays dry - also have a mount that has a rain cover. 3 year and still seams to work great (Pioneer).

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Ours sits for about a week or maybe two at a time and I have never had problems with leaving just the "memory" wire draining the battery, but it could be a potential problem.

Unlike NCLaker, I have gone through 4 regular car stereos in the past two years, and I have a "weatherproof" cover on it. I am in the process of convincing the in-laws to splurge for the marine radio, plus my MIL finally bought a covered lift for the pontoon, so that should help with the problem. If you have a good location for the head unit and keep it out of the elements, a regualr stereo should be fine. Our situation is a radio-eater, though smile

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As always, great advice - including the link! Thanks to all, my confidence is building! A few more things:

* I assume I would need to install an antenna as well. Right?

* Any tiller owners have recommendations for locations of deck and speakers?

Thanks again!

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You can get by with a string antenna, but you won't get much for reception. I'd recommend a powered radio antenna, but a regular antenna at a minimum would be good.

marine_man

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Great topic. I bought a radio for my 16' Crestliner tiller this last summer and have yet to tackle the install. Next spring!

I figured I'd install my deck in the aluminum part of the boat right below the key and trim controls. The radio itself would sit inside the back compartment with the main battery. I also plan on putting the speakers on the back part of the boat, one on each side.

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