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NMEA 0400 Installation Standard for Marine Electronics Equipment on Vessels
The NMEA 0400 Installation Standard is a voluntary standard that clarifies and defines competent installation best practices applicable to vessels from 20' to 150' and up to 300 gross tons. These standards are published to aid electronics installers, technicians, electricians, surveyors, vessel owners and/or others who may service or modify the installation of electronics, electrical systems or other associated peripherals. The NMEA 0400 Installation Standard is the basis for all NMEA day long installer training classes.
As of July 2021, NMEA has released an extensively updated and expanded version of the NMEA 0400 Installation Standard. This standard is the basis for the popular day-long NMEA Marine Electronics Installer training certification courses that are taught virtually and in person.

"Version 5.0, Edition 2021 is a major revision to the world’s most extensive Installation Standard for marine electronics,” said Mark Reedenauer, NMEA President & Executive Director. "The new 336-page document includes 30 sections, 13 appendices, 117 figures and 52 tables. The unique design of the Installation Standard allows it to either stand on its own or complement—but not replace—manufacturer-specific installation manuals on various pieces of marine electronics, ranging from VHF to radar to autopilots.”

Sections have been added for installation best practices of Wi-Fi, AIS Class B+, NMEA 2000 Testing, NMEA OneNet Cabling, Cell Phone Boosters and EPIRBs. An additional section of "General Installation Best Practices” was also created to ensure the installer is familiar with manufacturer’s installation and operation documentation, applicable national and international regulations, and other standards and references. Best practices also encompass the work environment of the boatyard or marina where work will be done.  Also added are procedures to prevent theft of electronics and improve vessel security. Extensive vessel commissioning checklists have been expanded for many sections. Installers can use these to both complete their installations and present to the customer for future reference if the need arises for service of equipment after the installation.

The new Display security section recommends the use of specialty through-bolts and nuts along with other best practice guidelines that make removal of a display from the vessel more difficult. The Security section details the proper installation of vessel security systems, which adds an additional level of protection to the vessel in the event of vandalism, burglary or theft attempt. The section describes installation of motion sensors, alarm buzzers and tracking antennas, which can help deter theft even before it begins—the alarms can be triggered when someone steps on a vessel.

Much of the new security focus resulted from a February 2020 meeting of dealers, installers, manufacturers, theft prevention activists and media during the Miami Boat Show, at which NMEA encouraged industry participants to take additional steps to prevent electronics thefts. At least two major MFD manufacturers responded by introducing pin codes that could be triggered on by boat owners to render their onboard electronics inoperative if stolen.

NMEA 0400 Version 5.0, Edition 2021 includes these sections:
AC and DC Wiring, Grounding, Battery, Charging System, Power Inverter, Coaxial Cable, Data Interfacing—NMEA 0183, NMEA 2000®, NMEA OneNet Cabling, Ethernet Network, Wi-Fi Extender, Antenna, Display, Black Box, Transducer, Compass, Radar, Autopilot, Electromagnetic Interference, VHF & SSB Radio, Computer System, Automatic Identification System (AIS), AIS Class B+, Satellite TV (TVRO), Satellite Communications System, Security, Tracking & Video/Camera, Maritime Camera, NMEA 2000 Testing, Cell Phone Booster, EPIRB, and Test Criteria.

People can purchase the new version of the 0400 Installation Standard for $99 (NMEA Member price) or $300 (non-member price). Students who sign up for the basic NMEA Marine Electronics Installer (MEI) class will receive a copy of the 0400 Installation Standard included with registration fee.

The intended application of the NMEA 0400 Installation Standard is for vessels that will use large and sophisticated systems of marine electronics for communication and navigation purposes. Highly qualified and experienced installation experts from the marine industry and NMEA, have reviewed emerging trends for the use of more sophisticated equipment and systems on vessels. Many times, equipment utilizing these latest technological advances require different and new methodologies for reliable and safe installations. These latest trends have increased the capabilities of communication, navigation, and related systems but also have necessitated a higher degree of network integration . Frequently, these devices involve additional backup or provision for emergency power sources. NMEA addresses these changing conditions in this Standard and prepares for future requirements as well.

The 0400 Installation Standard Committee consists of subject matter experts Steve Wallace, Lunde Marine Electronics; Jim Murphy, Voyager Marine Electronics; Rich Beattie, Radio Holland USA; Johnny Lindstrom, Westport Yachts; Kevin Boughton, Midcoast Marine Electronics; Mike Spyros, Electronics Unlimited; John Arrison, Shearwater Yacht Systems; and John Barry, Technical Marine Support. NMEA sincerely thanks these volunteers and the members who submitted comments during the public comment period to improve the standard for the benefit of the marine industry.

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