Moving on a sailboat - bookshelf speakers?

I've decided to spend a year on a sailboat. I'm loath to give up my home system as it's about as good as you can get before spending silly money. (LX521s, ATI/Parasound, maxed-out Linn LP12 with Blackbird arm and VdH Frog) All of it is going in storage except for my Ayre QB-9 Twenty powered by my M1 Mac Mini. 

I am interested in opinions on great bookshelf speakers that actually need to live in a bookshelf. (No room for stand-mounted speakers in a 40' monohull sailboat.) I also need a good integrated amp to power the speakers. (I'm leaning towards the Audio by Van Alstine Vision SET 120 Control Amplifier.) 

I think I've got about 18" tall by 12" deep as limitations. Maybe less. (I'll update when I know for sure.) 

What speakers should I be looking at? Various reviews like the KEF but declare that it needs stands. Others declare the sub-$1000 B&W anniversary speakers and don't mention stands. I wish I could fit a pair of LX Minis, but the associated mid/bass tube knocks it out of the running. 


After reading about all of the speakers recommended here, and then considering the size and placement. I think I’m going to put the Genelec G Three with the 7040A sub at the top of my list. You can put them anywhere and they sell wall and ceiling mounts which opens up a few other places I could place them without major surgery on the boat. I’ll probably hold off on the sub, but eventually, there is room in the storage space directly behind the listening position. 

I also have an open inquiry in to Magnepan for the Mini Maggie System, but I think the Genelec system will probably be more appropriate.

Thanks for all of the great input! 

@james633 , thanks for the recommendation! 

I suppose if I were going to live on a sailboat, perhaps driven by battery/solar power/engine, I would want a low power consumption amp and easy to drive speakers, sealed box or designed to work close to a wall like perhaps Dali Oberon 1, etc.  Wouldn't spend a great deal as the salt air would advance corrosion.  Also, the risk of sinking due to weather, accident, etc.  Invest in a nice raft and flotation devices.

It would seem fitting that whatever speakers you settle on, have,........wait for it.....Seas Drivers.

Congratulations on the sailboat getaway.

Preferably go for a sealed box design which will be much easier to accommodate. It is, on a boat, quite acceptable to lay the speaker over on its side and not concern yourself with imaging or soundstage. Even with a speaker on its side it will still be difficult to find one no more than 145mm wide. With a sub helping out you get an immersive sound.

A sealed box will provide less bass but have a low frequency roll-off response that will work in your favour. Remember there will be significant room gain providing a bass lift. It is for this reason sealed is better.

Seriously consider a sub from the get go, it makes a huge differece and you mention you have space for one.

You also mention the auto side which I recommend for amplification. 3-channel car sound amps will do the job very nicely. A number of posts express concern with a marine environment which you can handily ignore. 

Wondering about this advice? : Well I lived on my 40ft steel Peter Strong for 32 years and at times during change of watch had waves over the poop and into the main saloon of my center cockpit layout. The speakers, a pair of Boston car units mounted up high and an Xtant amp mounted in a locker never failed and had no problem with rust. The chassis of the amp was well connected to the steel hull to inhibit electrolysis. I assume you have a fibreglass hull which means you should run a cable to your nearest sacrificial anode from the amp even though you said you will be sailing in fresh water.

I can describe how to join or connect the power cables etc. that can survive being permanently submerged in salt water as in bilge pumps. Won't go into details here but you can PM me for info. Happy to help.

The performance I got from mine was some of the best I have heard. Just a lot of fun. Running the genny or using an inverter is complicating things, so I suggest hooking up directly to 12V battery. Run from the common terminal on your battery change-over switch.