Your boat sound system is crucial to entertaining guests while on board and listening to music on the water can be a very surreal experience when captaining your vessel on an adventure. But what should you do when your boat’s sound system is no longer working? Read through this stereo troubleshooting guide to figure out why the radio won’t turn on, speakers malfunctioning or, in general is stereo is not getting any power.

If your boat stereo doesn’t produce sound or screen wont turn on, try this guide first and then contact the professionals for further support or new installations!

The stereo system is strictly an entertainment system that can provide music to areas on the boat where the speakers are installed. Some vessels have a single stereo that runs sound throughout the boat or through different zones of the boat.

If your system looks like a traditional aftermarket car stereo system, then more often than not, these systems fail internally due to the high humidity or direct water they have to endure being in the marine environment.


Steps to Diagnose and Repair Your Boat’s Stereo System

All Stereo systems on most vessels are running on the battery system onboard (the DC system). Because of this, it is important to figure out if this system onboard is working as it should.

  • First we would want to confirm that the onboard DC system is working as it should be onboard. To do this simply look at your main DC electrical panel and identify the voltage monitor for your batteries. This normally should be between 12.5v-14.5v for a 12 volt boat or 24.5v to 28v for a 24 volt boat.
  • If you don’t have a meter onboard you can simply turn on all the cabin lights or freshwater system onboard to identify if these known working systems are operating as they should. For lighting systems make sure they are the standard brightness and not significantly dimmer than normal.
  • If the power system onboard is working as it should the next task is to find where the main circuit breaker for the stereo system is. If the system is on, power it off for a minute and power it back on. If you don’t know which breaker it is please power on all breakers and test system response.
  • If the system still doesn’t power on, the next step is to pull out the stereo unit and figure out if the unit has power to the rear. Most stereos either have a single car style fuse installed in it directly or a couple inline fuses coming off the main power feed. Check these system for being blown and replace if necessary.
  • If all this has been checked out so far and you still don’t have power you will need to unplug the stereo and test for power with a multimeter. If the system is getting 12v power then it can be safely assumed that the stereo unit has been damaged in some way and is internally broken. At this time It’s recommended to remove and replace the stereo with a marine rated brand.


When Do I Hire a Boat Stereo Repair Technician?

It is recommend that you do not do a new stereo installation yourself.

Stereo wiring can be complex and is best left to the professionals. It is important for you to try and troubleshoot on your own to determine the issue and whether a professional should be called to repair your boat’s sound system. It will save you time and headaches in the future to call us.

Contact our marine electrician service for quick and effective solutions to all your boat radio troubleshooting.