Water is known as the most dangerous and destructive force in the world. It is responsible for overflowing rivers, flooding cities, ruining foundations to buildings and eroding land masses. Let’s not mention what water will do to electronic devices. When it comes to music humans go to great lengths to enjoy it wherever they find themselves, like on a boat for example. This article will explain why we should use marine receivers in a boat and what makes them worthy to traverse the seas.

Kenwood Marine KMR-700U

Marine Digital Media Receiver Kenwood Marine KMR-700U
Your cars internal environment is relatively stable so most electronic devices are protected within the confines of its doors. The environment on a boat however is battered by the sun, rain, saltwater, UV rays and humidity. This is not ideal for electronics so the marine certified receiver was fashioned to save the day.  For starters, most if not all marine receivers have a special coating on the circuit board that protects it from moisture and provides resistance to corrosion. Wait one minute, this does not mean you can soak your radio in water; it simply means it resists moisture. Marine receivers are rated on a scale based on the IP (Ingress Protection) rating chart, which measures the degree of protection/resistance the unit has from water. An IPX-1 rating means your unit is protected against falling water equivalent to 3-5mm of rainfall per minute. Not all radios have a listed IP rating, but for those that do you can accurately gauge how it will handle in the environment you plan to put it in. IP ratings are not just for marine headunits, they are also found on speakers, subwoofers, amplifiers and all sorts of electronic devices and parts.
Below is a chart with all the ratings and their standards:

Test Level Definitions:
IPX-0: No special protection
IPX-1: Protection against vertically falling drops of water e.g. condensation.
IPX-2: Protection against direct sprays of water up to 15o from the vertical.
IPX-3: Protected against direct sprays of water up to 60o from the vertical.
IPX-4: Protection against water sprayed from all directions – limited ingress permitted.
IPX-5: Protected against low pressure jets of water from all directions – limited ingress.
IPX-6: Protected against temporary flooding of water, e.g. for use on ship decks – limited ingress permitted.
IPX-7: Protected against the effect of immersion between 15 cm and 1 m.
IPX-8: Protects against long periods of immersion under pressure.

Hold up, there is more to offer! If it does not have an IPX rating look for other forms of protection from the environment. For example,  UV rays not only ruin your boat and its interior but they also crack plastics…a.k.a. your radios faceplate. UV protection (ASTM G154/D4329) coatings are offered for some radio faceplates that will increase the longevity of the units’ outer components. Receivers that meet the ASTM (American Society of Testing and Materials) B 117 standard are resistant to salt spray and fog as tested in a salt spray apparatus. Whether you use your receiver all year round or only in the summer, it is important that you purchase a marine receiver that fits your boating environment.


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