Open Waters - The Open Source Boat Wiki

Computing System[]

Raspberry Pi

The computing system should be based on a 5v open platform, which for the purpose of prototyping will be a raspberry pi, to save any need for designing g specialised boards at this stage. It is Likley, especialy at prototype stage, that multiple networked boards should be used. GPS satalite navigation to be intergrated possibly using opencpn.

Marine Electronics[]

Marine electronics refers to electronics devices designed and classed for use in the marine environment where even small drops of salt water will destroy electronic devices. Therefore the majority of these types of devices are either water resistant or waterproof.

The term marine electronics is used for areas such as

  • Ship
  • Yacht

Marine electronics devices are

  • Chartplotter
  • Marine VHF radio
  • Autopilot/Self-steering gear
  • Sonar
  • Radar
  • GPS
  • Electronic compass
  • Satellite television
  • Marine fuel management


The electronics devices communicate by using a protocol defined by NMEA. NMEA has two standards available

  • NMEA 0183
  • NMEA 2000
  • Lightweight Ethernet (LWE)

NMEA 0183 is based on a serial communication network. NMEA 2000 is a Controller-area network based technology.

In recent years, the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) has created a new standards suite for "Digital interfaces for navigational equipment within a ship". This is known as IEC 61162 and included NMEA 0183, NMEA 2000 and LWE.

Also different suppliers of marine electronics have their own communications protocol

  • Simrad has SimNet
  • B&G has FastNet
  • Raymarine has SeaTalk
  • Furuno has NavNet
  • Stowe has Dataline
  • Nexus has FDX
  • Sea~Data has SDML (XML markup language)


The international companies selling marine electronics for ships and yachts alphabetically are

Companies developing marine electronics products are