5 Hacks to Turn Winter Boat Storage into Moneymaking Upgrades

Help boat owners during winter doldrums

Boat owners are reluctantly dry-docking for the winter. And they are coming to you, their trusted installer, for electronics upgrades. Take advantage of this less active time to suggest upgrading their boating accessories for better summer fun next year.

Recent advances in marine stereo systems and LED lighting make OEM fixtures obsolete. Upgrades in these areas will up the fun factor and “wow” quotient tremendously. Plus, if you’re already comfortable with marine electrical systems, these are relatively easy add-ons with great margins that also give you a chance to showcase your creative side.

1. Marine Head Units

Marine weather is unforgiving. So is the relentless advance of technology. Today’s watertight, marine head units like those from Clarion are not only extraordinarily rugged, they are designed for digital media and smartphone integration. And since satellite radio signals extend up to 200 miles offshore, many receivers are SiriusXM ready. Others may include a weather band along with the AM/FM tuner. If the boat is large, be sure to pick a head unit that is multi-zoned. That way, whether shipmates are in the cockpit, galley or on deck, they can adjust volume as needed. A remote placed at the helm allows the receiver to be mounted in a more protected spot, such as below deck. If the head unit must be placed in an exposed position, consider adding a marine cover like those offered by Boss, Metra or Pyle.

2. Marine Amplifiers

Even the best receivers may not come with the power needed to boost sound over the wind, waves and engine roar. Amplifiers like the Marine XC Series from Clarion meet or exceed UV and salt fog exposure tests and use conformally coated circuit boards. If a subwoofer or extra speakers are being added, you’ll need one or more amps to spread the audio signals throughout the boat. A subwoofer should have its own dedicated monoblock amp. Or you could install a 5-channel amp to run the entire system.

3. Marine Subwoofers

Even if your client isn’t looking for a whole lot of thump, let’s face it—powerful bass helps give music a special punch, especially on a boat. Even an OEM system will sound better when a subwoofer is paired with it, so encourage the addition of a woofer.

4. Waterproof Speakers

Speakers, like head units, have come a long way. With water-resistant with polypropylene cones, rubber surrounds, plastic grilles and stainless steel mounting hardware, quality marine speakers deliver excellent sound in harsh environments year after year. They are available at different price points and range from component speakers to coaxials to tower speakers designed to deliver the tunes to the end of a ski rope.

5. Marine Accent Lighting

Thanks to LED technology and manufacturers like Marine Sport, the possibilities for dazzling lighting effects are nearly endless. You can add an LED light bar or a spotlight, but accent lights can take the atmosphere to the next level. From surface-mount lights and drain plug lights that can be submerged up to 3 feet to strips of flexible waterproof LED lights that can hug curves to create spectacular glows, accent lighting adds safety on the water after dark, changes the entire mood onboard and presents an amazing sight from dockside or neighboring boats. Deciding how many lights to use and where to place them gives you a chance to sculpt with marine LED lights and create one-of-a-kind vessels that will spark one-upmanship for years to come.

The Takeaway

Now’s the time to capitalize on marine upgrades. Customers will love the quality, customized marine-grade audio and accent lighting upgrades that you can provide. Your marine installations will serve as a great advertisement for your skills and generate word-of-mouth customers for next winter! To find out more, go to petra.com and search our full line of Clarion and marine products. Petra is the exclusive distributor of Clarion Marine for the 12-volt aftermarket.

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