Sirens! Dorky Or Cool?

s-l1600We need an official Woody Boater ruling on the topic of sirens. Yes, they are cool, and add a certain zippity doo dah to the look of your boat. But what happens when you use it? Do people pull over? Are you issuing tickets or running to a fire. A 2500 RPM? Is it a little to much “look at me” stuff? At $495 on ebay this is not a spontanious purchase, and if you add to that getting it re-chromed. You will be over $1,000. It is 6 volt though, and maybe a fun blast sets the tone for some woody fun. So what’s the call?


It is cool? Right?

25 replies
  1. Dan T
    Dan T says:

    That is a COOL piece of hardware. I’d buy it now if my boat was 6 volt. Be that guy with the old wooden boat with the siren.

    • Bilge Rat
      Bilge Rat says:

      It cool in a dorky way. You’ve got to be confident in your “dorkiness” to use it too.

  2. Jack Schneiberg
    Jack Schneiberg says:

    My ’46 Century Utility was originally a combination Patrol and Mail delivery boat in Northern Wisconsin. It came to me with a twin to this featured siren on the front deck. It worked. I was cautioned against using it out on the water. I still did occasionally. One 4th of July I wasn’t able to be on the water so we pulled the boat in the 4th of July parade. Told the grandsons to ride in the front seat and run the siren to their hearts content. Alas, we wound up placed in front of a contemporary fire truck. “WONK_WONK” from that kinda dwarfed my shiny chrome siren.

  3. Kelly Wittenauer
    Kelly Wittenauer says:

    There was a Porsche 914 done up in German Polizei livery complete with siren at a vintage race we ran a couple years ago. They would blow the siren as they drove through the paddock to the grid. Was cute the first time – got old real quick!

  4. John Rothert
    John Rothert says:

    hell this thing is perfect. A boat part that you hope IS broken…to go with those that ARE broken…

    John in Va.

  5. Sunday Funday
    Sunday Funday says:

    Cool to own.
    Sort of Cool to install on your boat
    Sort of dorky to use once per day/week
    Very Dorky to use more than once per day/week.

    Also agree with John R!

  6. Dick Dow
    Dick Dow says:

    Makes the person taking the picture look bigger than they are… 🙂 Heck, maybe I should chrome the red one I have and put it on e-bay – or not!

  7. Herb Hall
    Herb Hall says:

    I asked the local sheriff marine patrol for an opinion on the use of sirens on Lake Tahoe. They are legal for use only in an emergency. I’ve been told that back in the day, before cell phones and VHF radios, sirens were added to many of the boats sold on Tahoe as an emergency signaling device. The sound carried much farther than a horn did and would get the attention of a passing boat.

  8. Reddog
    Reddog says:

    I think it’s pretty senseless, unless your boat is a police or fire dept. boat. What would be the use of a siren on a boat otherwise. Can you use it coming out of a harbor or river entering onto a larger lake? In place of a horn. …. Sorry if I offended anyone that has one already mounted on their boat.

  9. Garry
    Garry says:

    Wouldn’t want to make more holes in my deck. Definitely annoying!
    As a kid my families had several of the old sirens around. My uncle & father got a kick out of them but after a few times doing them the sherrif got pretty worked up plus the rest of the town was pissed.

  10. floyd r turbo
    floyd r turbo says:

    Definitely go for it, get the 6 volt model and put a 12 volt battery on it and it will part the water like Charlton Heston in the 10 Commandments.

  11. Dick Hansen
    Dick Hansen says:

    It’ll definitely turn heads, but there should be sumthin cool to see when they do, otherwise it’s dorky

  12. Bruce
    Bruce says:

    I envision a frequent show boat utilizing a classic siren like this as a housing for an outdoor speaker. Might be fun to have some appropriate tunes going dockside. Ok, maybe that’s even dorkier than an actual siren. Nevermind.

  13. Kentucky Wonder
    Kentucky Wonder says:

    I have seen several vintage photos of Muskoka-made boats with these installed on the front deck. Will check for horn installations and usage at next week’s show in Gravenhurst, and report back.

  14. Paul Thibault
    Paul Thibault says:

    These are big in Europe, and especially with Riva Boats. You hear/see them on the Rivas in Lake Tahoe ~ where many of them are in the US.

  15. Steve Snider
    Steve Snider says:

    I’m a little late to comment on this as I have been out of town for the last 10 days using the boat. I have a fairly large siren on my boat and questioned installing it but it has turned out the be a very good decision for multiple reasons. I try to use it sparingly since it is so loud but for the most part seems to be a huge crowd pleaser. People I see on the water that know i have it always give me the signal to sound it off. Kids love pushing the button to hear it. Great for signaling other boats. Here in Seattle we have long canals that are no wake zones and a maximum speed of 7 knots. Boats constantly break this rule but a quick blip of the siren and they instantly slow down. 4th of July after fireworks all the boats honk their horns but very few have a siren. I constantly have people asking me where it got it and they want to get one as well. Long story short my siren has turned out to be very cool. As to whether it is legal or not I never sound it if there are police around so haven’t had any issues with that. Also a big hit at our Opening Day Parade.

  16. Bob Cutlip
    Bob Cutlip says:

    As an offered l option my 1947 Higgins Sudan Cruiser. She sported a siren until it was removed during a re-power back in the 60’s. I just recently found a correct looking replacement, I can’t wait to install it. I hope to enjoy it sparingly. Thanks for all the comments.

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