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How to Add a Fire Hazard to Your Boat

Prout Catamarans decided to use high temperature halogen lighting where it does not seem appropriate: In the back of the saloon bench where they could be covered by curtains. During a boat show, someone left a pillow on top of one unit, which burned a hole right through the cover. Prout Catamarans kindly duct taped the hole for us and expressed regret that they could not find a new matching cover. I suppose finding someone to patch it would have been too customer-centric.

As far as I am concerned, these halogens are another "flash, not substance" item that Prout Catamarans threw on the boat in order to make it look more appealing to potential clients (the Cats PJ's was their US show boat after all). While the curtains do afford some privacy for those in the bed/Playpen forward of the saloon, the curtains can come to rest right on top of the halogen lights! If the curtains were made of fiberglass, maybe I wouldn't mind so much... However, the halogens would still be a heat/fire hazard due to other objects coming to rest on them (like my hand for example).

Since these halogen lamps lost their purpose (and the overhead lights we purchased fill the room with light) we have embarked on finding a new role for the holes that were drilled into the saloon couch for the halogens. We finally decided to install a pair of car stereo speakers that fit the cutouts, after we reinforced the woodwork below (we thought the woodwork had some sort of structural purpose). The speakers didn't require larger cutouts though, as the hole size of 3.5" is pretty standard in the automotive world. 3.5" is plenty for a mid-range/tweeter combination, such as the Kenwoods I bought.

Hole in cushion on Prout Escale catamaran
Burnt holes in cushions...
Halogen Light location on Prout Escale catamaran
... and curtains ready to burn
Stereo Amplifier Installed on Prout Escale Catamaran

Here is a picture of the new infrastructure under the saloon bench: A crunch 150W amplifier feeding into a crossover, which then feeds into a distribution block. The amplifier has been pre-set to work well with any head-phone jack, and only draws .5 amperes when "idling". The large pair of yellow-electrical tape wound conductors in the picture is the windlass supply.

Subwoofer installed on Prout Escale CatamaranSubwoofer installed on Prout Escale Catamaran

Here is a picture of the bazooka subwoofer we installed. It's 6" driver is more than enough for our purposes and the high inherent efficency allows us to enjoy our music with very little electrical energy required.

We reinforced the area around the cutout with three additional layers of wood. The carpeting was surprisingly easy to cut - the dremmel tool cut and melted it at the same time, very convenient. The front of the woofer is located in the saloon, with the rear sticking into the compartment where the amplifier, cross-over, and bilge monitoring system share space.

When we activated the system for the first time, we were incredibly pleased how well it sounded, even though the 3.5" speaker locations had not been chosen for audiophile reasons.

Best Estimate of Time Spent Fixing Halogen Defects:
Disconnect Existing Halogens, remove associated wiring 0.5 hours
Make, install Reinforcements; Install Speakers, Amplifier, Splitter, Sub-woofer 12 hours

Total 12.5 hours