The National Marine Electronics Association
(NMEA) introduced a stanrdized methodology clarifying and outlining the appropriate standards for installing marine electronics equipment, the NMEA Installation Standards.
The Standards have been designed primarily for after-market installation that traditionally occurs at either boat dealers or marine electronics specialty shops. Over the last 20 years, the marine electronics market
has exploded with new safety devices
and other equipment. However, different from than some years ago, many retail outlets lack the expertise and manpower to install such equipment properly, which is why the NMEA developed these installation standards.
The primary focus for these standards is electronics for boats ranging in size from 25 to 150 ft. In an effort to focus only on the area where standards were lacking, NMEA considered standards included in the existing document set forth by the American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC). The NMEA Standard therefore based on these already existing standards and complements the ABYC effort, rather than duplicating it.
The Standards also cover an increasing trend toward network integration of various navigation safety and communication devices systems. Until the Standards were published, there were no standards for emerging technologies.