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$319.44
Quiet Barrier™ HD Soundproofing Composite (w/PSA)$388.65
Quiet Barrier™ LD Soundproofing Composite$154.40
Quiet Barrier™ LD Soundproofing Composite (w/PSA)$223.61
Quiet Barrier™ MD Soundproofing Composite$239.58
Quiet Barrier™ MD Soundproofing Composite (w/PSA)$314.12
Quiet Barrier™ Specialty Composite$120.99
Quiet Barrier™ Specialty Composite w/PSA
Silent Running (1 gallon)$108.90
Silent Running (5 gallons)$496.10
Boat Sound Absorption Products
Echo Absorber Acoustic Panel (Natural Blend – 1″x2’x4′)$24.99 – $324.87
Echo Absorber Acoustic Panel (Natural Blend – 1″x4’x4′)$39.99 – $239.94
Echo Absorber Acoustic Panel (Natural Blend – 2″x2’x4′)$34.99 – $209.94
Echo Absorber Acoustic Panel 1″ (Case of 14)$839.86
Echo Absorber Acoustic Panel 1″ (Case of 6)$359.94
Echo Absorber Acoustic Panel 2″ (Case of 3)$209.97
Echo Absorber Acoustic Panel 2″ (Case of 8)$559.92
Quiet Board™ Acoustic Panel 1″ (Case of 13)$1,143.86
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. A common complaint boat owners have is noise from the engine room disturbing people in the cabin or upper deck. Having to shout to be heard is not the ideal picture they had in mind when they were buying the boat.
Even when the boat is still, the generator or air conditioning system can cause annoying noises. At night, the sounds of lapping water can be a bother for those trying to sleep. With Soundproof Cow marine soundproofing products, you can truly take advantage of all the peace and relaxation your boat has to offer.
Reasons to Consider Marine Soundproofing
There are many different types of boats, from luxurious houseboats to cozy yachts. Although you might not be concerned about soundproofing an inflatable dinghy, soundproofing can make a big difference in your sailing experience on an engine-powered vessel.
Motorboats are loud. Boaters face noisy engines, wind sounds and water hitting the hull all at once. Any noise reduction can significantly improve your experience. The top reasons to soundproof your boat include:
- 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 the full benefits of boating. Being on or near water is great for the body and mind. According to research, being on a boat brings a sense of peace, calm, unity and happiness. It releases feel-good chemicals in the brain like dopamine and serotonin and reduces stress levels. For example, 72 percent 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 soundproofing. By soundproofing your boat, you’ll enjoy the following benefits:
- Increased hearing safety: According to Boating Magazine, 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 long or repeated exposure. The higher the dB, the less amount of time it takes for hearing damage to occur. How do you know if your boat is dangerously loud? If you have to raise your voice to be heard, or can’t understand a person standing three feet away from you, it’s time to consider noise reduction.
- Better operational safety: Noise is distracting, and it 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 which defeats 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 make a negative impact on 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.
- Quieter water for sea life: A quieter ship makes everyone happier — including sea life. By soundproofing your boat, you can cruise along without disturbing marine life as much as before. Consider a study published in the Marine Pollution Bulletin which investigated 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.
- Compliant sailing: 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 other boaters happy.
What Parts of the Boat Need Soundproofing?
If you’re ready for a nice quiet ride, it’s easiest to ask an acoustics expert for help. 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 basic tools.
Before you begin, it helps to know a few things 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. We’ll help you get started.
Boat Engine Soundproofing
If you’ve ever spent any time on a boat, you know the sound of the engine can be extremely loud and is likely the greatest source of sound in your boat. 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 noticeably reduce noise and improve sound quality throughout the boat regardless of the motor type.
You may also need to soundproof other parts of your boat to dampen sounds like water lapping against the boat, which can make 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. If you need to soundproof an inboard motor compartment, you can install a high-quality soundproofing foam barrier to lose up to 35 dB of noise.
Also, you’ll want to seal panel joints with a soundproofing sealant or tape to keep sound from leaking through and to make sure 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
To soundproof your boat, we recommend one of our Quiet Barrier™ Specialty Composite products. This four-layer composite is designed to effectively reduce both airborne and vibration noise transfer from high noise-producing entities like cars, heavy construction machinery andboats. 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, so you can place it easily and it can 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 use it 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 of 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 would put regular insulating materials. Our Quiet Barrier™ Fiberglass Composite is perfect to silence noisy pipes or to apply 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 keep out engine noise.
- Temporary barriers: Our Quiet Barrier™ Acoustic Quilts offer a quick and simple soundproofing solution for a variety of 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 on its own. 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 designed to reduce annoying noise and vibrations. It absorbs sound and converts 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 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 just wanted to let you know that in the end, sealing the air spaces on this door worked just fine and took care of the problem.
I really appreciate you taking so much time to share your expertise with me, and in particular recommending I try the simpler solution before investing in more expensive noise barriers. That is a big credit to you and your business.- Mike