Further reading

Garmin Networking Guide

This pdf will give you a detailed introduction to setting up any NMEA 2000 network.

RayMarine Networking

A web page that gives a quick introduction to RayMarine. It discusses the iTC-5 black box which is needed for many RayMarine installs. 

NMEA 0183 Networking Guide

This pdf is a brief primer on networking with this obsolete standard. The wires carrying NMEA 0183 data are supposed to be color coded, but this is not always done correctly. 

Simrad Networking Guide

This pdf has details on how to use the obsolete (but still common) SimNet standard. In many ways this was the best marine networking standard ever devised: it is almost impossible to install it incorrectly and it had the smallest cable connectors for easy routing. 

Furuno Networking Guide

A pdf that shows how complicated things can get when you start adding PC networking to a boat. 

Furuno CAN bus Guide

A pdf that shows technical details of the Furuno NMEA 2000 implementation. 

Maretron makes a vast array of products that use the boats N2K system to monitor such things as fuel tanks and batteries. This can lead to a more elegant setup as you might not need a dedicated display, you can just use the Multi-Function Display. 

Panbo--The Marine Electronics Hub

A highly technical web site geared more towards the professional marine electronics installer, rather than the DIY boater. 

Free Nautical Charts

Navionics has put the their charts online for the entire globe. Not designed to be used under way, but very useful for route planning. 

Free Currents and Tides Chart

Extremely easy to read interface. Very useful for planing passages. Available as an app on Windows Phone only. However it will work in web browser of any mobile phone. 

Free Wind and Weather Forecast

Also available in in smartphone apps under the names Sail Flow and Wind Alert. 

Free Offshore Wind Forecast

Very easy to read unlike more technical weather reports. 

AIS means Automatic Identification System. Most large ships broadcast their location and speed. AIS has become so cheap and ubiquitous that in my opinion all boats big enough to have a fixed mount VHF should receive AIS. VHF radios that receive and display the location of other vessels are only $300. Any vessel that goes offshore should also broadcast AIS. This is an investment of  closer to $1,000. 

Noonsite-Passage Making Information

Ever had someone say "What about pirates!" when tell them you plan on sailing around the world? Well pirates, and other unpleasantness, can be avoided by sharing information with fellow sailors. There is also a wealth of information on such things as foreign marinas. Noonsite is the Facebook of the high seas.