NMEA2000: What is it and Why Do You Need It?

Do you use an autopilot or fish finder? If so, then you have probably heard about NMEA2000 and its benefits. But what is it exactly? And why should you care if your current equipment isn't compatible with this new technology?

NMEA2000 is a digital language sanctioned by the National Marine Electronics Association(NMEA). It allows marine electronics to talk together. Electronics have the ability of sending data and communicating amongst themselves through this standard.

Common examples of marine instrumentation compatible in the NMEA 2000 network include GPS receivers, auto pilots, wind instruments, depth sounders, navigation instruments and nautical chart plotters. The inter-connectivity among devices allows systems to use data from another device on the network as input for actions or displays. For example, signal information from a GPS receiver is used to correct course with an autopilot; engine RPMs and fuel injection rates calculate how much fuel you have left.

The Backbone of NMEA2000

One of the best features about NMEA 2000 is that all your instruments can be connected through one cable. This eliminates the need for a lot of wires which makes all installations easier by getting rid of bundles of cables underfoot or running up into the cabin.

Imagine it like a high-tech game of telephone. One instrument starts talking to another, that one passes on the message and so forth until all devices can communicate with each other in order for you to get real time info from any device at your fingertips without waiting long periods of time while data is updated or synced.

Why do I need NMEA2000?

NMEA2000 is an important feature that makes integrating and installing electronics much easier. This is a no brainer for any boat that has electronics on board!

What to do next?

If you haven’t done so already register your boat by using this map.

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