Boaters Like Sat Radio More Than Vehicle Owners Do

New-boat owners are more likely to subscribe to satellite radio than are new-vehicle owners, according to J.D. Power and Associates in a report about marine audio.
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New-boat owners are more likely to subscribe to satellite radio than are new-vehicle owners, according to J.D. Power and Associates in a report about marine audio.

The report measures owner satisfaction with audio systems supplied in new boats of various types. Six areas are examined to measure satisfaction: sound clarity; speaker location; ability to hear the stereo at cruising speed; effectiveness of CD anti-skip mechanism; radio reception; and ease of use.

While 28 percent of new boat owners who have a marine audio system report having satellite radio, only 19 percent of new-vehicle owners do, according to J.D. Power.

The percentage of boat owners with satellite radio playing capabilities has increased 33 percent from 2006. Owners with MP3 capabilities have also increased from 3 percent last year to 7 percent in 2007. MP3 players are particularly popular among owners in the ski/wakeboard boat segment.

Among marine audio manufacturers, Clarion, Kenwood and Sony perform particularly well in satisfying new-boat owners. These companies receive particularly high ratings from owners in the ski/wakeboard segment, which not only has the most high-end systems, but also achieves the highest sound system satisfaction across segments.

The report also finds that 90 percent of bass boat owners and 50 percent of coastal fishing owners do not have a marine audio system. Conversely, nearly all large runabout and express cruiser owners report owning a sound system.

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