Marine amplifiers are durable weather resistant units designed to power electronic audio devices through the harshest outdoor conditions such as rain and heat.
Marine amplifier considerations:
Marine amplifiers need to be more durable than those found in your car, and they need to be sealed against the elements effectively. Despite the enclosures this part of your audio system is generally encased in, there is a vital need for additional protection due to the environments these amplifiers are regularly exposed to.
Because of being on the water, marine amplifiers need to be protected against the shorting out effects of that water. Your amplifiers will be encased in a covering that is rated to be waterproof, which means that they can be submerged without being damaged. This is distinct from being called "water resistant," which means that splashes will not cause damage while submersion will. Further, many marine amplifiers also have circuitry that is coated in specialized plastics or other films that keep water from shorting out the electrical connections.
Particulate matter such as dirt and sand can rapidly corrode electrical components. Because of this, marine amplifiers are generally treated with a sort of armor over the delicate components that keeps away particles. Further, this protects the components from physical damage caused by particles that are moving at high speed, since by definition boats are designed to move and can disturb sediments at high speed.
UV or ultraviolet radiation is not as large a problem for marine amplifiers as it is for more exposed types of audio components, but it is still an issue. This is particularly the case because on board a boat, the level of UV is amplified by the reflected sunlight coming off of the water. This can cause components to become brittle, even breaking electrical connections. UV treatments can involve specialized coatings, thicker than average connections and more insulation than would be necessary in a less exposed area.
Boats move, often at high speeds, and are often subjected to additional movement caused by waves and heavy winds. Shocks of this nature can cause electrical components to break their loop due to losing a connection between parts. An unreliable connection can also be the cause of a fire that can be difficult to put out, or can even result in electrical shocks that can cause personal injury to people. Because of this, additional anchoring for marine amplifiers is necessary. As well, there need to be sturdier connections within the marine amplifiers than would be necessary within a land vehicle.
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