NMEA 2000 gathers steam

The NMEA 2000 networking standard, which was not universally embraced by marine electronics companies, is finally catching on with both electronics companies and now Lloyd’s marine certification.

From the press release:  Lloyd’s Register EMEA has accepted the NMEA 2000 Standard as an acceptable National Standard for compliance with their Rules.  In addition Lloyd’s Register EMEA has accepted the NMEA 2000 physical cable and connector system.  NMEA 2000 has also been accepted by the International ElectroTechnical Commission (IEC) in the IEC standard 61162-3.

“The acceptance of NMEA 2000 is very important to international customers and to boat and ship owners,” said Steve Spitzer, Technical Director of the National Maine Electronics Association (NMEA).  “Lloyd’s acceptance has international and domestic implications for use of the NMEA 2000 standard.  Among other things, it means that NMEA 2000 cables and connectors meet the Lloyd’s smoke and fire requirements for ships.”

With regard to the construction of the cable, Lloyd’s Register EMEA advised that the FT4 Flame rating of NMEA 2000 cables would be considered an acceptable demonstration of flame retardance of cables.

With regard to the construction of the cable, Lloyd’s Register EMEA also noted that IEC 61162-3 is essentially the same standard as NMEA 2000.  On that basis (NMEA 2000) would be considered an acceptable standard of cables for ships, a spokesman from Lloyd’s Register EMEA noted.

With regard to connectors, the NMEA 2000 connectors, being manufactured to a National  Standard would therefore be considered acceptable as complying with the LR Rules. While the LR Rules do not preclude the use of other connectors, where particular connectors are specified by the system standard being followed as with NMEA 2000, LR would expect this to be complied with.

The NMEA 2000 Standard and its physical components have become increasing adapted by the maritime community, both in recreational boating and in the commercial marine sector, Spitzer said. “Every day we are having more and more manufacturers either inquiring, or developing NMEA 2000 certified products.”

The NMEA 2000 Standard offers a safe, high-quality means for marine electronics devices to interface and communicate with each other.  Benefits for the boat and ship operators include the following:

•Marine electronics devices from different manufacturers can communicate with each other and operate efficiently and safely.  Equipment built by manufacturers to the NMEA 2000 Standard can share data and commands on the boat’s network.

•The NMEA 2000 Standard, built by and maintained by industry leaders, includes message priority and collision avoidance. 

•The NMEA 2000 Standard provides boat and ship operators with choices for their product needs.  The NMEA 2000 is an extremely robust system that maximizes the ability for end users to make the choices of products that they want on one network.

•NMEA 2000 products must be certified by NMEA.  This assures that the products developed meet the NMEA 2000 standards providing a high level of confidence that the NMEA 2000 products will appropriately communicate on the network

Founded in 1957, the NMEA has led the way in establishing technical standards for data exchange in marine electronics, with the widely accepted NMEA 0183 data protocol, NMEA 2000 and certification standards for marine electronics technicians. NMEA standards and programs focus on insuring that the boating consumer is provided reliable products and professional service. For more information, visit the NMEA Web site at www.nmea.org or call (410) 975-9425.

By Ocean Navigator