Install Your Stereo in Your Boat With Ease

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Installing Your New Boat Sound System Doesn’t Have to Be Difficult

Suggestion: You can network the Clarion CMS4 along with an MFD using the optional MW6 NMEA 2000 interface adapter. It ties the sound system right into an onboard NMEA 2000 backbone to manage the audio on compatible MFDs from Garmin, Lowrance, Simrad and other popular brand names.

A marine stereo can be as easy or sophisticated as you like. Systems such as those from Clarion, Fusion, JL, Polk, Prospec and Rockford Fosgate provide lots of room for expansion. Beyond a head unit and speakers, you can add functions like amplifiers, subwoofers, tower speakers, remote controls, SiriusXM and speakers with LEDs to produce a rockin’ audio/visual experience.

However a lot of today’s aftermarket setups prove less ambitious, including a source unit, control/display and four marine speakers. A few include an amp and NMEA 2000 networking to control the sound through a multifunction display screen.

Here we outline DIY steps when it comes to a basic yet cutting edge Clarion Marine Bluetooth- and SiriusXM-enabled stereo that provides the versatility to add components later.

Ability Level: 4 of 5
Finish Time: Approx. 12 hours

Tools and Supplies

Clarion CMS4 digital marine source unit and display/controller
Clarion XC2410 marine amplifier
Clarion CM1623RL 6.5-inch marine coaxial speakers
16-gauge marine duplex speaker wire
Marine-grade cable for powering amplifier
Various butt and terminal connectors along with heat-shrink collars
Diagonal cutters, wire stripper and crimping tool
Heat gun
Drill motor and drill bits
Phillips screwdriver

Install Source Unit

Clarion’s CMS4 black-box source unit has a footprint of 7.5 by 9.75 inches. We used the four supplied self-tapping screws and washers to secure the module to a bulkhead on the inside of the helm console to keep it completely dry. Check behind the mounting surface area prior to drilling. Using the pigtail wires on the female portion of the Molex-style plug, attach the fused yellow wire to a 12-volt DC positive source of power. Link the black wire to ground.

Install Amplifier

We added the compact (3.23-by-7.17- inch) four-channel, 400-watt Clarion XC2410 marine Class D amp in order to enhance audio, installing it inside the helm console. Connect the red fused 12-volt DC positive power line directly to the output terminal on the battery selector switch, and connect the black wire to ground, making use of the properly sized cable for the length of both of these runs.

Set up Display/Controller

The water resistant 4-by-6-inch CMS4 display/controller flush-mounts. Use the provided template and jigsaw to make a cutout at the helm in order to drop in the display screen, after that use the supplied bracket to secure the system from the backside. Direct the control cable from the back of the display screen (together with the display controller USB cable and video cable) through the cutout and tighten the two provided nuts over mounting studs so as to secure the brace.

Install and Connect Audio Speakers

We set up two sets of Clarion’s new CM1623RL high-performance marine coaxial 6.5-inch-diameter audio speakers– one pair in the inwales of the bowrider area and one more in the inwales of the aft cockpit– marking holes and after that cutting all of them using a jigsaw. Once the speaker holes are definitely cut, run aquatic duplex speaker wire from the source unit to every location, connecting the speakers making use of the supplied water resistant Deutsch connector plugs.

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