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Old     (hunter660)      Join Date: Aug 2007       02-13-2009, 5:42 PM Reply   
I need to build an amp rack to go in my Maristar. What is the preferred material? I was thinking about 1/2" HDPE. Is it stiff enough? Any other options?
Old     (liljohn)      Join Date: May 2007       02-13-2009, 6:03 PM Reply   
abs comes in 5/8 and is more than enough for an amp rack.Just make sure to take abs glue and run it around the edges.
Old     (murphy_smith)      Join Date: Dec 2005       02-13-2009, 7:25 PM Reply   
You can get away with wood. I just built one with 3/4 inch birch plywood and sealed it with a an epoxy resin. You can apply carpet if you want once the resin dries.

Cheaper than ABS and much easier to cut and sand.
Old     (liljohn)      Join Date: May 2007       02-14-2009, 6:12 PM Reply   
murphy- why do you say wood is easier to cut and sand? abs cuts and sands just like wood and will never rot. you can glue to it, drill it, screw to it. It acts just like wood only your glue dries in about 5 minutes and there is no need to resin coat.
Old     (rvh3)      Join Date: Jul 2003       02-14-2009, 7:12 PM Reply   
Old     (brucemac)      Join Date: Dec 2005       02-18-2009, 10:55 AM Reply   
where can I get a small sheet of 5/8in ABS? I need to find some place local. i don't have time to ship something in.

I searched home depot online, but it doesn't come up. I need some for an install and would love to not have to mess with sealing plywood.
Old     (acurtis_ttu)      Join Date: May 2004       02-18-2009, 12:49 PM Reply   
^^^ try local stereo shops...the bigger ones, that do high end cars. OR try a marine store--they may have star board. More expensive but will perform the same ( if yrou in a time crunch)
Old     (liljohn)      Join Date: May 2007       02-18-2009, 12:55 PM Reply   
try your local sign shop or look up tap plastics.
The other thing you can use is a cutting board which is basicly marine board. the trouble with it is you can not glue to it.
Old     (brucemac)      Join Date: Dec 2005       02-18-2009, 1:13 PM Reply   
thanks fellas. i just got back from home depot and struck out. i'll see if there's any sign shops around here. thanks!
Old     (brucemac)      Join Date: Dec 2005       02-18-2009, 1:29 PM Reply   
okay, again sorry for the thread-jack, but i'm still striking out. i found a place about a half hour away, it's a plastic's company, but they want over $50 for a 2x2 piece and it's only 3/8in thick. the starboard from west marine is even more expensive. looks like i'm stuck with the mess of sealing plywood. so with that said, where do i find epoxy/sealant to do that with? namebrand, or point in the right direction is much appreciated. the stuff is probably never going to get wet, but i may as well do it right.
Old     (wakemikey)      Join Date: Mar 2008       02-18-2009, 1:48 PM Reply   
sorry for the newb question but can't i just screw my amps to the floor? Why do you need a board?
Old     (malibuboats4)      Join Date: Sep 2008       02-18-2009, 3:29 PM Reply   
cheap option: big cutting board at walmart. works awesome!
Old     (brucemac)      Join Date: Dec 2005       02-18-2009, 3:47 PM Reply   
yeah, i was thinking cutting board, but liljohn says i can't glue to that. i'm trying to get some backing on the inside wall in the passenger compartment and the wall actually has a little bit of a jog in it (where the walkway goes into the bow), so i'll have to fir out part of it to make it flat. there's some sort of backing in there now, but it's not wide enough for one of my amps.
Old     (john211)      Join Date: Aug 2008       02-18-2009, 3:55 PM Reply   
Old     (liljohn)      Join Date: May 2007       02-18-2009, 4:19 PM Reply   
bruce you can use liquid nails to glue a vacker to the hull and the screw the marine board to that. Or another option is to use wood and coat everything with a couple coats of epoxy paint. Epoxy paint can be found at home depot in the paint section. It is comonly used for garage floor and can be tinted in various colors.If you chose to do tha make sure and fill all the voids in your ply wood with bondo first. Alos give it a couple good heavy coats. As a builder we have been using it in wet locations (IE soffits facia boards et) and have had no issues with it. Are idea of a tes was coating an mdf board and sticking it in a bucket for a few days. the sample showed no signs of moisture. Personly I would try not to put wood in a boat but I also know some times it is not a viable option..
Old     (murphy_smith)      Join Date: Dec 2005       02-18-2009, 4:53 PM Reply   
DO NOT USE is much more difficult to cut and sand than HDPE.

Plus it is hard to find HDPE...evidently

Old     (brucemac)      Join Date: Dec 2005       02-18-2009, 4:56 PM Reply   
thanks for the info. i'm trying to avoid mounting on the outside/hull side because i have a vent directly above where the amps would be and it has potential to leak in extreme conditions (i'm told). it's a vent that has 4in plastic hose that goes down into the floor back to the motor box. with the heater hose over there as well, there's really just about as much room on the inside wall so i'd like to try and stick with that. i'll have to see what i uncover when i pull that carpet back. i pulled enough to see where they glass'd in something, but it's not all that wide. it's fills the void until the jog basically. if that makes sense.
Old     (hunter660)      Join Date: Aug 2007       02-18-2009, 6:20 PM Reply   
I can get HDPE locally, plus it looks like it will be about 1/4 the cost of ABS. If anyone needs help getting some let me know.
Old     (liljohn)      Join Date: May 2007       02-18-2009, 8:59 PM Reply   
bruce- what the heck I just relized your in my back yard. get your behind to tap plastics in bellevue and pic up some plastic. If you dont want to drive that far call in your order and will call it. I can grab it on my way home and you can pick it up from me(im in sammaish also). shesh all this debate and your in my back
Old     (brucemac)      Join Date: Dec 2005       02-18-2009, 10:53 PM Reply   
lol, thanks for the offer liljohn, that's super nice. i have a good friend helping me saturday and it's hard to explain, but we don't really know what we need until we rip out what's there and i want him to see everything as is and how it's wired before i tear it all out and we start over. :-) i looked online at tap, an issaquah sign shop referred me, but online they wanted like $40-60 for a 2' x 2' sheet of abs or hpde and it's only 3/8in thick. i don't even know if that would do it either. does that sound right?! i mean, i want it to look nice and all, but it's going to probably be covered by carpet anyway! i thought it was cheaper than that. i'm also dealing with two uneven surfaces that need to be made flat. one has backing and one does not. anyway, i'm sure we'll get it and again i really appreciate the offer.
Old     (liljohn)      Join Date: May 2007       02-19-2009, 7:38 AM Reply   
Bruce I just re did my rack. I used a 24x30 piece of abs 5/8 thick and it was less then $50. as for the un even surfaces when your at tap they have a scrap bin grab a bounch of abs scrap in a couple thiknesses and you can glue them to the back of your board to get it flush. while your at it consider thru bolting all your amps to make it hard on the crappy people in the world.
Old     (03suprassv)      Join Date: Jan 2009       02-19-2009, 7:45 AM Reply   
I used a cutting board from walmart to mount my amps and onboard batt charger. You can get a 15x20 piece for about $10. They are about 3/8 thick. I didnot not drill any holes to mount it. I have a supra and used the bolts coming in from the bow seats to mount it. Here is a pic of the charger. Dont have one of the amp yet.
Old     (thespleen)      Join Date: Feb 2004       02-19-2009, 8:31 AM Reply   
Why are you so worried about using wood? If you're mounting electronics on it I hope it's not getting too wet...
Why don't you think a coat of lacquer or whatever will be adequate to protect plywood?
Old     (brucemac)      Join Date: Dec 2005       02-19-2009, 10:31 AM Reply   
liljohn, thanks again

i'll try to get over to tap tomorrow at lunch and see what they've got.

stop by and say hi out on sam this season. i'd do the same, but there's a lot of bu's out there! :-)
Old     (liljohn)      Join Date: May 2007       02-19-2009, 11:53 AM Reply   
Bruce I am the only one with a naked blue and black bu. feel free to pull up any time. Good luck with the project. If you look around most mastercraft people are mounting the board on the walk way side of the observers compartment. something to think about.

Spleen- I personly stay away from wood when I can. malibu has managed to eliminate all wood from the boatand I would like to keep it that way.
Old     (brucemac)      Join Date: Dec 2005       02-19-2009, 12:18 PM Reply   
thanks liljohn. yeah that's where i'm planning, but here's what i'm up against (not my boat, but same as mine). notice that little nub next to the glassed in backing?

Old     (acurtis_ttu)      Join Date: May 2004       02-19-2009, 12:33 PM Reply   
check out for some other mounting ideas. they did one of the early wetsounds company boats
Old     (liljohn)      Join Date: May 2007       02-19-2009, 7:45 PM Reply   
bruce supper easy use a straight edgeto figure out how much the nub sticks out then buy a chunk of abs that thickness and the size of your backing. mount it first then put the abs that is the size you need for your amps over the top of both. walla one smooth amp rack ready to go. remember that card board is your friend. use it to make templates so you only have to cut the abs one time.
Old     (wakemikey)      Join Date: Mar 2008       02-21-2009, 10:59 AM Reply   
Why do I need a rack at all?? Someone please give me the 3rd grade overview.

And what is the point of a battery charger on a boat? Not trying to be smart here...
Old     (03suprassv)      Join Date: Jan 2009       02-21-2009, 11:41 AM Reply   

It is an onboard dual bank 3 step charger. Since the batteries are optimas d34m cranking/deep cycles i just plug it in when I get home and it ensures they are fully charged. Its not good on a deep cycle to only get a 80-90% charge. Also it is a battery maintainer. You just plug it in and you can leave it all winter. Come summer the batteries are still ready to go.
Old     (hunter660)      Join Date: Aug 2007       02-22-2009, 12:39 PM Reply   
Would there be any reason not to use aluminum?
Old     (wakemikey)      Join Date: Mar 2008       02-22-2009, 6:51 PM Reply   
Oh sorry I didn't know it was for plugging into regular city power supply I thought it ran when you were on the water hehe...
Old     (99_slaunch)      Join Date: Oct 2005       02-23-2009, 3:24 PM Reply   
Cutting board works great and painted pvc to hide the wires. here is how I did mine. I plan on moving the batteries some time soon so it will look cleaner in there.

Old     (liljohn)      Join Date: May 2007       02-24-2009, 7:55 AM Reply   
bruce wheres the up date? did it go well?
Old     (brucemac)      Join Date: Dec 2005       02-24-2009, 9:20 AM Reply   
getting there! :-)

not really going to qualify for an "amp rack" rack thread though. ;)

we spent all last saturday ripping everything out, trying to understand what was there, the relay especially and then got it all wired up. the tower was a bear. not really the tower so much, but pulling the wire into the compartment was incredibly difficult. the pre-drilled hole was maybe 3/8in thick had to call it a day about 5:30 or so because the wives were getting impatient. :-)

i have a new found appreciation for professional installers. stuff takes some time! i worked last night late and got the amps mounted, wired and will spend the evenings this next week tuning it and cleaning up all the wiring. i'll post up some pics when i'm done. we ended up using wood behind the carpet, sealed it up and put the carpet back. it will look clean, but you're going to see the power/ground, disti blocks and the circuit breaker. couldn't really do it any other way on that inside wall. it will look clean though when i'm done.

it sounds awesome. :-)

(Message edited by brucemac on February 24, 2009)
Old     (hunter660)      Join Date: Aug 2007       02-24-2009, 12:25 PM Reply   
Will I notice a major improvement if I upgrade the existing 16ga in my tower to 12ga?

It is going to involve removing the tower, pulling out all the wire, drilling all holes larger in the boat the boat and tower, then reinstalling it all.
Old     (ralph)      Join Date: Apr 2002       02-24-2009, 1:47 PM Reply   
I used Marine ply for my amp racks, I prefer to run all the wires through the sheet itself so they are hidden. It is in a Sanger tho, so a little more wood won't hurt, ha ha.
This is an old photo, I have since replaced the board with a higher one which goes right up to the gunnel to allow a third amp for the interior speakers.
Old     (brucemac)      Join Date: Dec 2005       02-24-2009, 5:11 PM Reply   
that's nice and clean darren
Old     (brucemac)      Join Date: Dec 2005       02-24-2009, 5:13 PM Reply   
here's mine

Old     (99_slaunch)      Join Date: Oct 2005       02-24-2009, 5:31 PM Reply   
Is that little copper top running the whole boat or do you have dual copper tops??
Old     (brucemac)      Join Date: Dec 2005       02-24-2009, 5:32 PM Reply   
1.5 volts baby!
Old     (99_slaunch)      Join Date: Oct 2005       02-24-2009, 5:44 PM Reply   
HAHAHA!!! I just put my Wet Sounds EQ in a couple of weeks ago and it kicks a$$!!
Old     (hunter660)      Join Date: Aug 2007       02-24-2009, 5:54 PM Reply   
Well, after some thought, I'm just going to use wood this go around. I plan on upgrading amps later this year or next winter anyway. I'm also going to wait and pull new wire in the tower then too. I'll post pictures soon.

Can we start a thread on stereo installs? I know there are a few on towers, but I want to see how the everyday Joe mounts his amp and subs to get a few ideas for my system.
Old     (99_slaunch)      Join Date: Oct 2005       02-24-2009, 5:58 PM Reply   
I'm a every day Joe.
Old     (hunter660)      Join Date: Aug 2007       02-24-2009, 6:00 PM Reply   
And there is nothing wrong with what you have. I would just like to be able to scan though a thread and find pictures of other people with an x-10 and see what they did.
Old     (ralph)      Join Date: Apr 2002       02-24-2009, 11:43 PM Reply   
Thanks Bruce, I see the stuff G does and it makes me try harder to think about how to do things "properly"
Here is the update of the extended board to fit the third amp. It extends right up under the gunnel so you can only see the wires if you are lying on the floor.

(Message edited by Ralph on February 24, 2009)
Old     (hunter660)      Join Date: Aug 2007       02-25-2009, 6:47 PM Reply   
Got started on mine for the X-10 tonight. I cut and test fit the amp rack, then started a test fit of the amps to the rack. For now it is made of wood. I plan to upgrade amps later this summer so I figured I would use a $9 piece of treated plywood for now instead of a $50 piece of plastic. I should have another Soundsteam amp by this weekend to mount and hope to pick up another amp for the sub. Leaning toward a class D Pioneer right now, mainly because the price is right and it is small.

Old     (wakerider42)      Join Date: May 2002       03-10-2009, 10:42 AM Reply   
I'm looking for some amp rack material, but man these plastics are hard to find and expensive! I'm in SoCal, so I can't physically go into TAP Plastics. I suppose I could order it to ship.

San Diego Plastics quoted me $256 for a 2'x4' sheet of 1/2" ABS. Don't have in stock (have to ship). I almost fell over. So, I'm looking for other options.

I will not be gluing the material against the wall, rather making sort of a free-standing structure that will hold 3 amps staggered kind of floating out. The material will need to be drillable and screwable. I'll just need to anchor at the top and bottom. I could resin-coat a chunk of MDF for the mounting point at the top and glue it to the inside of the port wall. At the bottom, I could just use a chunk of whatever plastic-ish material I end up with and butt it against the foot of the rack and screw it down into the floor.

The sales guy suggested a couple things:

1) 1/2" solid PVC, $78 for 2'x4'. Is this stuff drillable/screwable? Glueable? The guy said it is, but I wanted to check.

2) 1/2" Marine Board (polyethelene), $75 for 2'x4'. According to the guy, not glueable, but again, with my mounting plan, that shouldn't be a problem.

3) 1/2" PVC foam board. $37 2'x4'. I questioned whether or not you could drill/screw this stuff. The guy said you could, but I'm not sure. Sounds like it might not be dense enough.

What do you guys think? I'm kind of leaning towards the Marine Board. They have all 3 options in stock, and I'm going to be literally 1 mile away from their place this Saturday, so I could pick up and avoid shipping charges.

Old     (wakerider42)      Join Date: May 2002       03-10-2009, 10:52 AM Reply   
Just got off the phone with TAP Plastics to get an idea for comparison. The guy I talked to insists they don't carry 5/8" ABS. Said they only carry up to 3/8". He said sometimes a TAP branch will special order a piece of something they don't normally carry.

I swear I'm on like a different planet. I can't believe how difficult it is to find this stuff. I figured it's 2009, I should be able to wave my magic wand and the stuff would just appear at my doorstep!! HAHA.

I asked about solid PVC, he said they only carry up to 3/8".

He did have the Marine Board stuff. 1/2" 2'x4' = $99.60 + about $15 shipping. So about $115.

So it's looking like San Diego Plastics is my best bet. I really am surprised how difficult this has been!

Old     (wakecumberland)      Join Date: Oct 2007       03-10-2009, 11:02 AM Reply   
why not just get some marine plywood and coat it with some CPES? I mean this is inside the boat where the electronics are! Its not going to rain in there.

marine plywood + = ALL GOOD!

(Message edited by wakecumberland on March 10, 2009)
Old     (wakerider42)      Join Date: May 2002       03-10-2009, 11:22 AM Reply   

How much is the marine plywood? Is it available at like Home Depot?

The epoxy would be about $25 ($15 + tax + shipping). So, if a 2'x4' piece of marine ply is going to cost me $50 or more, then it makes more sense to get the Marine Board stuff. In fact, I would even be willing to pay a bit more for the Marine Board if I can avoid having to coat anything.

Like you said, I'm not too worried about the main board surface itself getting wet...I mean, my electronics are there, so if it's getting that wet, I'm in deep poopy. But I do know from experience that every now and then the floor of my boat will just get soaked (maybe the cover didn't shed, or the cover allowed water to pour through because it needed to be re-ScotchGaurded, or you take a huge wave, etc.). I want something completely impervious to these possibilities.

Old     (hunter660)      Join Date: Aug 2007       03-10-2009, 12:15 PM Reply   
I bought a 4'x4' piece of 3/4" marine plywood for $17.
Old     (wakecumberland)      Join Date: Oct 2007       03-10-2009, 12:25 PM Reply   
not sure if HD carries marine grade plywood. It sounds like the plastic stuff is just too hard to come by and expensive. If by chance you have a local wooden boat restoration shop they can supply you with what you need including the CPES. You can get a crap load of plywood for $100!
Old     (liljohn)      Join Date: May 2007       03-10-2009, 12:40 PM Reply   
wow. I feel bad for you guys I am in seattle walked in to tap and said wht do you have thats 1/2 inch or bigger he said heres 5/8 abs and how much do you want.. I was out the door for less than 60 bucks.
Old     (wakerider42)      Join Date: May 2002       03-10-2009, 1:12 PM Reply   
Liljohn: I know, it's freakin' weird! I told the TAP guy that people I've seen online have been able to get this stuff, and for cheap. I'm getting bent over here, I don't know what the deal is!

Jon Hunter: Where from?

Old     (hunter660)      Join Date: Aug 2007       03-10-2009, 1:21 PM Reply   
Local Do It center.


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