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NMEA Boater Blog

NMEA OneNet--a giant leap ahead

By now most boaters have heard the term NMEA 2000, particularly if you’re buying new electronics. Essentially, NMEA 2000 is an industry standard which allows marine electronics to communicate with each other over a cable called a backbone. What’s especially useful about the standard is that it permits different brands of electronics to be connected on the common network.

Late last year, a group of electronics experts representing a broad spectrum of companies completed a new standard—NMEA OneNet. You’ll be hearing a lot more about OneNet in the months and years to come because of what it can do. In a nutshell, it is much faster and has a far greater capacity to carry information. OneNet, unlike NMEA 2000, can carry video signals such as sonar and radar.

We posed several questions to Nate Karstens, the chairman of the NMEA committee that developed OneNet, for an article that ran in a recent issue of Marine Electronics Journal. Below are excerpts from that interview that will give you an idea of what to expect.

How would you describe NMEA OneNet in 25 words or less?

NMEA OneNet is a networking technology based on Ethernet IPv6, and other internet protocols for distributing marine data on the vessel.

What is the current relationship between OneNet and NMEA 2000 in terms of how they will work together or independently to fulfill onboard functions? Do you foresee a time when OneNet will replace NMEA 2000?

Compatibility with NMEA 2000 was a requirement for OneNet from the very beginning. The OneNet standard contains a specification for a gateway between the two networks. The gateway is designed to make all NMEA 2000 devices appear as if they were really OneNet devices, and all OneNet devices appear as if they were really NMEA 2000 devices. This provides backwards compatibility with existing NMEA 2000 devices, which were developed without any knowledge of OneNet. Similarly, it allowed the OneNet standard to be developed without being constrained by the decisions made for NMEA 2000.

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Yacht Sentinel & Fountaine Pajot announce ground-breaking partnership to equip boats with connected boat technologies

London – Yacht Sentinel Ltd, a European company specialised in connected boat technologies since 2008, is pleased to announce that it will equip all new boats built by leading catamaran manufacturer Fountaine Pajot from February 2021 onwards. Sentinel Domotics is a revolutionary solution enabling Fountaine Pajot and its customers to remotely receive any data available on the NMEA network including engine & battery parameters, fluid levels, temperature, humidity & wind data, water depth, speed, GPS coordinates and much more. A smart switch is also available to turn on the NMEA system remotely for a short period when the NMEA system is switched off.

Volvo Penta Launches Industry’s First Fully Integrated Assisted Docking System at CES

Gothenburg, Sweden, 11 January 2021 -- Volvo Penta today announced the commercial availability of the industry’s first fully integrated Assisted Docking system against the backdrop of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). The Assisted Docking system gives the captain better control when docking a boat by automating his or her intentions, compensating for some dynamic variables, such as wind and current, and helping the vessel stay on its intended course. The technology will be on display at Volvo Penta’s virtual booth at CES from 11-14 January 2021.


Today we announce new features for existing and new Cortex owners with the upcoming release of an automatic software update – version 1.5

Designed to be future-proof, Cortex is built on a feature-rich and extremely powerful platform that will grow with new capabilities. Software updates are installed via the Cortex Onboard app and the latest version includes Directional Voice Alerts, Boat Network, Auto Orientation and an easy-to-use Setup Walkthrough.

"When we created Cortex, we didn’t hold back,” said Brady Cox, CEO, Vesper Marine. "It was designed and built with the future in mind. We not only made Cortex as advanced as possible; we also ensured it could learn and has the hardware required for new features. Cortex is years ahead of other marine VHF’s and will only get more clever.”