Waterskiers, wakeboarders, jetskiers and racers excepted, many prefer precious power boating time to be a peaceful experience, yet ironically, need noisy engines to go where one wants to go.
But does one have to put up with that engine noise penetrating into living spaces aboard?
Not according to Pyrotek, who make the proven Soundguard range of soundproofing materials capable of confining noise to where it cannot harm eardrums and put passengers’ nerves on edge.
So why are so many boats built without the benefit of such effective soundproofing? The answer appears to be that, as boaties, we get bluffed by many in the boatbuilding industry into believing that there is nothing to be done about noise and vibration, or, if there is, it is too costly.
Indeed if a power vessel is typical of those built over the past decade, the noise in the cockpit or saloon would almost certainly return a test result in decibels at a level exceeding that permitted in the workplace by Occupational Health and Safety authorities around the world.
However, according to Pyrotek, who has been making materials for controlling noise for everything from ships to fire engines to locos for three decades, there is much that can be done about it, and it is far from too costly.
To prove the point, the Pyrotek people have produced their Guide to Peaceful Boating, a cutaway schematic showing nine different products for use in every part of a powered craft to subdue its every noise in places where quiet should reign.
The schematic, which can be found at the soundguard website by going to the product selector for the marine industry, reveals suitable products as one passes the mouse over the various zones within a vessel, where soundproofing has proved effective.
And the cost? As a rough rule of thumb, 1 to 2% of the built cost of the craft in the water. Hardly too much when one compares it with what is spent on fancy fish-finders, radar systems and/or GPS, all essentials of diminishing satisfaction, if outings give family and friends such a headache that one gradually loses the urge to put to sea.
But, many builders will tell, the cost of cutting and shaping the insulating material to fit all those intricate nooks and crannies in boat will be prohibitive.
Wrong again. Because Pyrotek provides larger boatbuilding operations with kits of ready-shaped pieces of the right materials, factory cut to template and marked up to make installation about as easy as paint by numbers.
So the message is: stand up for the rights, and demand peace and quiet as part of the performance specifications for next boat back at the design or scope of works stage. If, on the other hand, one already has a noisy boat, retrofitting is still an option that Pyrotek will gladly discuss with the user or the boat builder, although it will be more costly and entail more work than if it had done, when it should have been done: back during construction.
Over two dozen of Pyrotek’s Soundguard many solutions are used in boat construction. Included in the range is a construction-grade barrier board to soundproof against airborne noise; vibration damping tiles and vibration isolation materials; non-combustible metallic acoustic barriers for the engine room; fire-rated acoustic insulation for bulkheads and deckheads; decorative-faced acoustic foam for cabin linings; underlay for soles and decks wet, dry or carpeted; and paint-on noise and vibration damping material. All are easy to install and are affordable.