Need help/advice please - marine use case - is this possible?

I just bought a RPi 4 model B, DAC+ Pro ADC and the steel v2 case. 

My plan is to install HiFiBerry OS and utilize the RPi as a streaming receiver in my boat with a 12V to 5V DC buck converter. The goal here is to improve overall wireless sound quality (better than Bluetooth) with WiFi streaming (AirPlay) from my mobile device (cellular data) to the RPi and then on to a Fusion NSX-RA70NSX head unit via RCA aux in. 

So here are my questions:

First off, is this possible without an Internet connection on the boat? 

Is there a way to set up the Pi so that it acts as an access point (creates a WLAN that my phone connect to and leverage Airplay) and the mobile device can connect to it to stream over WiFi? 

Alternatively, is there a way to have the Pi connect to my iPhone's mobile hotspot so that I can leverage Spotify Connect as well as Airplay? 

Will HiFiBerry OS support all of this? I realize there may be other code that must be installed.  

Am I crazy and is the juice worth the squeeze here? I realize the fiddle-factor here is real, but I've recently invested a significant amount of money on updating my boat's audio system and have to believe that lossless audio over WiFi has to sound better than Bluetooth--even on a boat. 

Thank you and please advise. 


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