In the past decade, MP3 players came onto the market, and file sharing from computers and ripping tracks from CDs became rife with the launch of Napster in 1999. Today, the digital age means that it is possible to store huge quantities of music tracks and videos on small portable devices such as ipods. The audio visual marine market has seen huge advancements in technology in recent years. One of the leading suppliers over the past 15 years has been MarineAV; they supply and fit equipment to the likes of Sunseeker and Princess as well as custom yachts and RIBS.
H2O Audio products provide personal entertainment for individuals who are walking around a yacht or taking part in water sports. The range of housings and accessories such as waterproof headphones are designed to keep your ipod safe and dry but still allow you to take control of your tunes, even when you are under water!
Highly advanced built in audio systems are also available from a simple on deck 3.5mm MP3 jack and volume knob to very sophisticated systems which can play different audio in various areas of the boat.
For example an MP3 docking station can be fitted to the cockpit of the boat which has a remote control. Your MP3 player sits inside a waterproof housing, it is charging up while you listen to music and can change track and volume via a waterproof remote control that fits in your pocket.
For large vessels with many different areas occupied by different people, there are systems that can play different choices of music and video to different areas. Even if someone has already started watching a film in a part of the vessel, you can watch it, from the start, at the same time. On deck the guests may be listening to Jazz sipping champagne but in the galley, Soul music is helping with the food preparation. These systems are incredibly advanced; for example, a remote control device in your pocket can trigger any part of the yacht to play the music of your choice, so that your tunes follow you around the yacht.
The same functions can be applied to video; servers can store thousands of films and can be watched on demand in different areas. There is also a range of waterproof and drop down TVs. The drop down TVs are designed for use where space is a premium such as cabins or in a galley and the waterproof flat screen versions go as large as an eye-watering 42 inches. Pop up on deck or removable TVs are ideal for presentations or for viewing to large numbers of people in the open air. It is also pretty cool to be sitting on deck at night watching a movie rather than down below.
The mood of people on board a yacht can be easily affected by music and video, and the new range of AV products means that the choice of entertainment can be almost limitless. The cost is quite reasonable as well, an entry level waterproof CD/MP3 Tuner Audio Pack with remote control and waterproof speakers for about $500.
Louay Habib is a freelance yachting journalist. For the past twenty years, he has competed at yachting regattas and offshore events all over the world and represented England in the 2004 Rolex Commodore’s Cup. Louay writes for a variety of clients including; the Volvo Ocean Race and the Royal Ocean Racing Club.