Float Your Boat is the warm-up boat party for two of Space Ibiza’s most famous nights: Carl Cox and We Love. The biggest boat party on the island, it takes guests on a stunning three-hour cruise with music from world-famous DJs. It needed a club-quality sound system that could be quickly and easily installed in port before each event. There were a number of challenges, ranging from corrosive sea air to power supply issues, and the team commissioned Pioneer Pro Audio and The Shop – Ibiza to design and install a system that would rise to the occasion.
“It's a phenomenal, beautiful sound that reaches every corner of the boat. It has a deep, warm bass and incredible power – you can’t get better than this.”
Kelly Muntinga - Co-owner(Ibiza Boat Parties)
Float Your Boat is the official warm-up boat party for two of Space Ibiza’s most famous nights: Carl Cox’s Music Is Revolution on Tuesdays and We Love on Sundays. Run by fleet owner Ibiza Boat Parties, in collaboration with Space and Safehouse Management, it is the biggest party boat on the White Isle. Float Your Boat takes 260 guests on a three-hour cruise along the stunning Ibiza coastline – with music from international DJs including Carl Cox and James Zabiela.
Eelco Muntinga, who co-owns Ibiza Boat Parties with his brother Kelly, explains: “Our boat parties were already magical, but we wanted to take Float Your Boat to the next level, with a bigger boat and the best professional sound system. Our vision was to fill the boat with a tight, punchy bass and clear top ends; something that really does the DJs justice and gets the party started.”
With just one hour to set the boat up before each party, the team needed a system that was quick and easy to install. The new speakers therefore had to be lightweight and compact without compromising on sound pressure level or audio quality. And the speakers had to be built to withstand frequent handling and the corrosive sea air.
The nautical nature of Float Your Boat led to some unique challenges. For example, as Kelly Muntinga describes: “The music can’t be too loud in the captain’s cabin, so the system has to produce a club sound on deck without too much spillage. Plus we only have the boat’s engine for power, so the electricity can fluctuate and you need good amplifiers to balance it out.”
Ibiza Boat Parties asked its installation partner, The Shop – Ibiza, to recommend a sound system. The Shop’s owner Simon Friend had worked with Pioneer Pro Audio on a number of installations, and identified the versatile XY Series as the ideal match for the boat’s requirements.
Friend worked closely with Pioneer Pro Audio manager Alex Barrand to explore all the configuration options. They specified two XY-215S-W quasi-bandpass subwoofers and four XY-122-W 12-inch two-way full range speakers for the top-deck dancefloor, and two XY-81-W 8-inch two-way full range speakers as monitors. The system is driven by three, energy-efficient Powersoft amplifiers: two K3s for the dancefloor and a K2 for the monitors with built-in DSP and Pioneer pre-sets.
“Because the subwoofers and amplifiers are compact and discreet, they can be left in position on the boat all week – making installation much faster every time,” says Friend.
The compact XY-122-W full-range speakers are easy to store and – weighing just 23 kg each, with a handle and multiple rigging points – are very quick and easy to install. Plus, the rotatable horns and trapezoid shape of the speakers meant they could be coupled, two on each side of the boat, for optimum sound dispersion.
“The speakers have 90-degree horizontal and 60-degree vertical dispersion, so when you’re coupling them you want to avoid any crossover in the horizontal plane. The rotatable horns allow us to change this to 60-degree horizontal dispersion – giving 120-degree coverage and maximum power without the cancellation in the middle,” says Barrand.
Ibiza Boat Parties opted for white speakers to complement the open-air environment and blue skies. The white Warnex paint was treated with a UV chemical to stop the sun turning the paint yellow. Plus the XY Series features water resistant drivers to protect against corrosion.
The Float Your Boat parties now have a speaker system that produces an even, powerful sound across the entire boat. The XY-215S-W subwoofers create an intense bass on the dancefloor, but shorter sound waves for partygoers at the back of the boat to prevent fatigue during the threehour cruise.
“The sound quality is amazing; it’s warm and deep,“ says Kelly. “It is exactly like being in a club, but you’re in the open air, dancing in the sun. Wherever you are on the boat, it sounds like it's one meter away, but it doesn’t hurt your ears and you can still talk to each other.”
The XY-122-Ws deliver clear mid to high frequencies to balance the bass, and deliver a powerful sound that does not spill into the captain’s cabin. And DJs are delighted with the compact XY-81-W speakers, which cut through to provide accurate monitoring. In addition, the Powersoft amplifiers overcome the power issues, delivering a high output with low energy consumption, to ensure a constant, consistent volume.
“The first time we switched it on, you could see it in people’s faces. All the hands went up in the air, people couldn’t sit down, it was just phenomenal,” concludes Eelco. “It gives you goosebumps; you can’t get better than that.”
FLOAT YOUR BOAT installation at a glance: