Boat insulation offers integral noise protection for those who enjoy being on the water. By learning how to soundproof your boat and what products to use, you can better prepare for loud noises avoid potential guest complaints. Explore the benefits of soundproofing and insulating your engine room.
- How to Soundproof a Boat
- Reasons to Consider Marine Soundproofing
- Benefits of Boat Soundproofing
- What Parts of the Boat Need Soundproofing
- Boat Engine Soundproofing
- How to Soundproof the Boat Engine and Products to Use
- Other Soundproof Cow Products to Reduce Boat Noise
Boat Soundproofing Products
Quiet Barrier™ HD Soundproofing Composite$349.99Shop Now
Quiet Barrier™ HD Soundproofing Composite (w/PSA)$434.99Shop Now
Quiet Barrier™ LD Soundproofing Composite$229.99Shop Now
Quiet Barrier™ LD Soundproofing Composite (w/PSA)$279.99Shop Now
Quiet Barrier™ MD Soundproofing Composite$265.99Shop Now
Quiet Barrier™ MD Soundproofing Composite (w/PSA)$325.99Shop Now
Quiet Barrier™ Specialty CompositeShop Now
Quiet Barrier™ Specialty Composite w/PSAShop Now
Silent Running Soundproof Coating (5 gallons)$549.99Shop Now
Silent Running SR-500 (1 gallon)$129.99Shop Now
Boat Sound Absorption Products
Echo Absorber Acoustic Panel (Natural Blend – 1″x2’x4′)$29.99 – $389.87Shop Now
Echo Absorber Acoustic Panel (Natural Blend – 1″x4’x4′)$45.99 – $275.94Shop Now
Echo Absorber Acoustic Panel (Natural Blend – 2″x2’x4′)$40.99 – $245.94Shop Now
Echo Absorber Acoustic Panel 1″ (Case of 14)$839.86Shop Now
Echo Absorber Acoustic Panel 1″ (Case of 6)$359.94Shop Now
Echo Absorber Acoustic Panel 2″ (Case of 3)$209.97Shop Now
Echo Absorber Acoustic Panel 2″ (Case of 8)$559.92Shop Now
Quiet Board™ Acoustic Panel 1″ (Case of 13)$1,143.86Shop Now
How to Soundproof a Boat
You bought your boat to enjoy time with family and friends. Is your boat a place of peace and relaxation, or has a noisy motor made it hard to hear the conversation?
Distracting and annoying noises reduce the quality of a boating experience. Boat owners commonly receive noise complaints due to noise from the engine room disturbing people in the cabin or upper deck. Shouting to be heard is not the perfect picture they had in mind when buying the boat.
The generator or air conditioning system can cause annoying noises even when the boat is still. At night, the sounds of lapping water can bother those trying to sleep. With Soundproof Cow marine soundproofing products, you can take advantage of all the peace and relaxation your boat offers.
Reasons to Consider Marine Soundproofing
There are many different types of boats, from cozy houseboats to luxurious yachts. Although you might not be concerned about soundproofing a canoe, soundproofing can make a big difference in your maritime experience on an engine-powered vessel.
Motorboats are loud. Boat owners face noisy engines, wind sounds and water hitting the hull simultaneously. Any noise reduction can significantly improve your experience. The top reasons to soundproof your boat include the following:
- Reduce noise in the cabin so you and your guests can enjoy each other’s company and not be bothered by the distraction of noise coming from the engine
- Provide a more enjoyable stay for your guests by reducing noises when docked
- Improve the sound quality of the boat, so you don’t have to shout to be heard by others
- Reduce noise for other nearby boaters
Benefits of Boat Soundproofing
When you maximize sound quality and reduce noise through soundproofing, you and your passengers can enjoy all the benefits of the water. Being on or near water is great for the body and mind. Research shows that being on a boat brings peace, calm, unity and happiness. It releases feel-good chemicals in the brain, like dopamine and serotonin and reduces stress levels. For example, 72% of Americans feel healthier after being on the water. Perhaps this is the reason millions of Americans go boating every year.
However, if extreme boat noise causes stress and anxiety for you and your passengers, you cancel out the therapeutic benefits of cruising blue waters. If your boat is too noisy to enjoy a soothing sail, it’s time to consider boat soundproofing materials. By reducing noise levels on your boat, you’ll enjoy the following benefits:
- Increased hearing safety: Boating Magazine says boat engine noise can reach over 100 decibels (dB). This is a dangerous level of noise. Sounds over 85 dB can cause hearing loss after prolonged or repeated exposure. The higher the dB, the less time it takes for hearing damage. How do you know if your boat is dangerously loud? If you have to raise your voice to be heard or can’t understand someone standing three feet away, it’s time to consider noise reduction.
- Better operational safety: Noise is distracting and masks other sounds that might point to danger. For example, the typical smoke detector emits 85 dB of sound. You need to be able to hear smoke detectors no matter where you are on your boat at all times. By soundproofing the boat engine compartment, you can maintain safe noise levels and be able to hear alarms.
- Reduced noise-related stress: Noise causes stress, defeating the purpose of a relaxing cruise with family and friends. One study from 2016 found that annoying noise increases depression and anxiety. Noise also triggers your body’s stress response, which can eventually lead to the risk of heart disease and high blood pressure. Just a 10 dB increase in noise can negatively impact mental health. When it comes to noise, it’s just not worth dealing with if you can soundproof your boat.
- Improved insulation: Marine soundproofing insulation can reduce noise and help insulate your boat for a more comfortable experience. Many soundproofing materials like wool and fiberglass can help keep a boat cool in the summer and warm in the winter. With marine sound insulation panels, you’ll be able to enjoy your boat more year-round.
- More peaceful water for sea life: A quieter ship makes everyone happier — including sea life. Soundproofing your boat allows you to cruise along without disturbing marine life as much as before. Consider a study published in the Marine Pollution Bulletin investigating the effects of noise from a cabin cruiser. They concluded that a cabin cruiser negatively impacts the communication of resident fish. Although you can’t make a boat engine completely silent with soundproofing materials, you can make a difference by reducing noise.
- Meet Sound Ordinances: Some states have a maximum noise level for motorboats. For example, in Alabama, noise cannot exceed 86 dB, measured at 50 feet from the vessel. In New Mexico, boaters must be careful not to generate complaints from other boaters in state parks. Soundproofing is one way to keep your boat in line with state regulations and make other boaters happy.
What Parts of the Boat Need Soundproofing?
Certain boat parts might need more soundproofing than others. The amount of noise your boat generates may also depend on its materials, quality and age. For example, newer boats tend to hold new parts, meaning the machinery will generate more noise. On the other hand, a very old boat may be on its last leg, producing more noise due to faulty parts. The boat’s materials and quality may also influence how the boat conducts noise.
Some engines on high-quality, expensive boats may have existing soundproofing features, while others require you to purchase soundproofing products in your own. Whatever kind of boat you choose to invest in, be sure to consider the materials, quality and age of the boat and remain educated on what types might produce more or less noise.
For those who want to learn what parts of a boat need soundproofing, the boat’s engine, doghouse and compartment area are a great place to start. These areas and machinery need the most soundproofing out of the entire boat. Before you begin soundproofing, you might want to educate yourself about sound. Simply put, sound is a vibration that can travel through solids, liquids and air. Your goal as a soundproofing DIYer is to focus on reducing the transmission of vibrations through air and solids.
For example, you might find noise from the wind as you sail, or from the vibrations of water hitting the boat. However, a loud engine is the number one cause of the noise, meaning that soundproofing your engine room can increase guests’ boating experiences and make it easier to hear others during your trip.
Some benefits of boat engine room soundproofing include the following:
- Pleasant experience: With less noise, you and your guests can focus on your surroundings. You can explore different rivers and lakes without distractions from noisy engines.
- Increased health: A noisy engine can produce sounds that may damage hearing over time. With soundproofing, you and your guests will be safer.
- Happier guests: Many guests complain about loud engine noises when out sailing. After soundproofing the engine room, you will improve your guest’s experience and reduce noise complaints.
A boat’s engine might be loud for a variety of reasons. Most likely, the engine has the wrong propeller pitch or a malfunctioning exhaust. Improper or malfunctioning parts could lead to increased revolutions per minute (RPM) and rising noise levels, which have adverse effects on the engine.
If you’re ready for a nice quiet ride, asking an acoustics expert for help is easiest. An expert can determine which parts of the boat need soundproofing and the best materials to use. If you’re a DIY boater, you can purchase boat engine sound insulation and other easy-to-install materials to quiet your boat. Soundproof Cow products come with simple installation instructions, and many only require a few essential tools.
Boat Engine Soundproofing
If you’ve ever spent time on a boat, you know the engine can be extremely loud and is likely your boat’s greatest source of noise. There is a tremendous amount of vibration noise due to the action of the engine reflected by the metal frame of the boat.
The result is that guests on your boat often need to shout to be heard, and you and your fellow boat passengers could even be sustaining long-term hearing damage without even realizing it.
Marine engine soundproofing can make boat trips much more pleasant and desirable for all involved. Since soundproofing a boat is not all that difficult and quite inexpensive relative to the cost of the boat itself, there is virtually no reason not to soundproof your boat engine. Here are three common boat engines that may need soundproofing:
- Inboard drive: An inboard drive, sometimes called an inboard motor, is an engine enclosed inside the boat.
- Outboard motor: Outboard motors are a common type of boat engine mounted to the rear wall or transom of the boat.
- Sterndrive: A sterndrive is an inboard drive and outboard motor combined.
You can use soundproofing materials to reduce noise and improve sound quality regardless of the boat’s motor type.
You may also need to soundproof other boat parts to dampen sounds like water lapping against the boat, making sleeping difficult on overnight boat trips. This might include the hull, which is the body of the boat, and the cabins.
How to Soundproof the Boat Engine and Products to Use
The best way to tackle boat noise is to focus on soundproofing the engine compartment. When soundproofing an inboard motor compartment, install a quality foam barrier to lose more than 30 dB of noise.
Also, you’ll want to seal panel joints with a soundproofing sealant or tape to keep sound from leaking and ensure panels fit tightly together. Also, close up gaps around any pipes or cables penetrating the soundproofing material and make sure hatches and doors close tightly. Lastly, avoid sealing up vents to ensure your engine gets proper ventilation. Here are a few installation tips to keep in mind:
- Thoroughly read all instructions provided with soundproofing materials and adhesives before getting started.
- Make templates to make sure you cut the right-sized soundproofing panels.
- Be sure to leave adequate ventilation.
- Avoid placing sound insulation materials in any wet areas unless the material is waterproof.
- Keep a minimum of six inches clear between soundproofing and exhaust manifolds.
- Use sharp tools when cutting soundproofing materials for a clean cut.
- Seal all edges, joints and corners with seam tape to keep water out.
We recommend one of our Quiet Barrier™ Specialty Composite products to soundproof your boat. This four-layer composite effectively reduces airborne and vibration noise transfer from high noise-producing entities like cars, heavy construction machinery and boats. The top film layer resists heat and high-frequency sound and is easy to clean. The next layer is a thick sound-absorbing foam that soaks up all frequencies. The third layer is our superior sound-blocking Quiet Barrier™ MD Soundproofing Material. Finally, the fourth foam layer isolates the barrier layer from vibrating surfaces to enhance its power.
The Quiet Barrier™ Specialty Composite has multiple barriers and foam levels for maximum strength. You can choose an easy peel-and-stick backing to place it easily and stay in place, giving you reliable and consistent noise protection on your boat. You’ll only need a few basic tools, such as a utility knife and a tape measure, to install Quiet Barrier™ Specialty Composite. Adding this soundproofing barrier around your boat engine makes it easier for you and your boat passengers to relax and enjoy the ride, free of the most troubling noises boat riders usually experience.
You can also use Quiet Barrier™ to line the hull or cabin walls or as a cabin carpet underlayment. Our Quiet Barrier™ Speciality Composite includes:
- Quiet Barrier™ HD Soundproofing Composite: Our Quiet Barrier™ HD Soundproofing Composite is a thicker composite that includes a 1/4-inch industrial-grade soundproofing barrier. This powerful barrier is also available with a peel-and-stick backing.
- Quiet Barrier™ MD Soundproofing Composite: Our Quiet Barrier™ MD Soundproofing Composite features a medium thickness with a 1/8-inch barrier and is also available with a peel-and-stick backing.
- Quiet Barrier™ LD Soundproofing Composite: Our Quiet Barrier™ LD Soundproofing Composite is our thinnest Quiet Barrier composite with a 1/16-inch barrier layer. This barrier is easy to fit anywhere. Choose Quiet Barrier™ LD with peel-and-stick backing for simple installation.
You can also use the following noise-blocking barriers to soundproof your boat:
- Fiberglass composites: Fiberglass composites are designed to go wherever you put regular insulating materials. Our Quiet Barrier™ Fiberglass Composite is perfect for silencing noisy pipes or applying to the ceiling. These barriers are extremely flexible, so they can fit just about anywhere you need noise control.
- Mass-loaded vinyl barriers: Mass-loaded vinyl (MLV) is as tough as it sounds. MLV barriers are made of salt, small metal particles and sand. They add mass to block sound waves and keep them from penetrating walls and ceilings. You might use easy-to-install Quiet Barrier™ MD Soundproofing Material to line cabin walls and avoid boat engine noise.
- Temporary barriers: Our Quiet Barrier™ Acoustic Quilts offer a quick and simple soundproofing solution for various situations. These fiberglass quilts feature a vinyl cover and are designed to absorb sound. You can lay them on the floor, line hulls, cover hatches or line engine compartments, and watch your family get restful sleep.
If you have an outboard motor, you may have an engine cover called the cowling. Typically, a cowling does very little to reduce motor noise. Consider lining the cowling with acoustic foam panels with aluminum facing. These panels are designed to handle high-heat areas and are available with peel-and-stick backing for easy installation. The aluminum surface helps protect the foam from heat, grease and fuel. You can cut panels to the size you need and place them inside the cowling to eliminate unwanted sounds. You’ll want to cover the inside of the cowling as much as possible without blocking air vents or touching moving parts.
Other Soundproof Cow Products to Reduce Boat Noise
Tired of waves slapping against the hull all night? Do you wish you didn’t have to wear earplugs while resting in your cabin? Here are some other soundproofing materials to fit your needs so you can watch your worries sail away:
- Silent Running SR-500: Silent Running SR-500 is a high-performance coating that reduces annoying noise and vibrations. It absorbs sound and converts it into low-grade heat, which then dissipates. Silent Running is water-based and non-toxic, so you don’t have to worry about harsh smells filling up the cabin. It’s also waterproof, lightweight and resists corrosion, making it perfect for coating hulls, hatch covers and engine compartments. Silent Running SR-500 is available in one or five gallons.
- Vibra Block®: Do you need a soundproofing material you can apply to a steel hatch cover, compartment or boat pump enclosure? That’s what we have Vibra Block® for. Vibra Block® is an industrial-grade sound-deadening material you can install on steel panels. It was designed to reduce structural vibrations and is perfect for boats with loud motors. Vibra Block® is easy to install and doesn’t require adhesives. It’s also lightweight and barely noticeable to keep your boat looking sharp. You can buy Vibra Block® in sheets, strips or pads.
- Quiet Board™ Acoustic Panels: You might need a waterproof material to block boat noise. That’s where our Quiet Board™ Acoustic Panels come in handy. Quiet Board™ is a unique moisture-resistant panel designed to absorb and deflect sound. This acoustic foam panel can be washed, installed as a wall or ceiling panel or used as a hanging baffle. Free of fibers, Quiet Board™ is an excellent soundproofing material for marine applications. For smaller projects, consider our 1-inch panels.
- Echo Absorber Acoustic Panels: Our Echo Absorber Acoustic Panels are made of 80% recycled cotton and offer a popular and economical solution to soundproofing needs. You can mount Echo Absorber panels on any flat surface to absorb noise and improve comfort.
Enjoy Smooth Sailing With Soundproof Cow
Seagulls, gentle conversation and laughter are music to your ears when you’re aboard your ship. A roaring engine, on the other hand, does not make for pleasant background music.
We understand if you prefer to sleep at night or hear others talk. Let us help you prepare for a peaceful voyage. At Soundproofcow.com, we’ll gladly suggest the best marine soundproofing materials for your unique situation. We’re all about finding soundproofing solutions and ensuring our customers enjoy a noise-free sail. Don’t let boat noise stop the moosic – shop Soundproofcow.com today!
I have emailed a lot of different manufactures and I have to say your customer service is head and shoulders above all of them. I emailed your company at about 9pm my time and when I woke up the next morning you had already answered my question and then the follow up was a few hours later. I am impressed. Thanks a lot for the quick turn around!- E. Gustafson