NMEA & Boat Electrical “How To”

We’re here to help…

Many people who fish for fun also own a boat. For starters, they have an outboard, maybe a fishfinder and maybe a trolling motor.

There are hundreds of electrical connections in your boat. A failure of any one of them can ruin your day. Networking can improve your fishing success on the water, as well as simplify the operation and improve the safety of your vessel, for a very low cost. But this enhancement is rarely discussed during the sale of a new boat.

Your Boat has “Hidden Features”…

Enabling these features cost almost nothing in comparison to what you paid for your boat or your fishfinder. Yet almost no dealers talk about this, and most importantly, these features are easily added through the installation of some basic cabling in your boat. These cabling systems are simple enough that most people can just install it themselves when given a quick lesson.

We’re here to help you with video reviews and D.I.Y. lessons on battery charging / monitoring, engine networking, fishfinder communications, and trolling motor set up.

Basic NMEA 2000 Installation

We have a bit of a “thorn under our saddle” about something called an “NMEA 2000 Starter Kit”. We have one on our website so people can find us when they are looking for one, but we have never actually sold one.

The reason is simple. An NMEA 2000 starter kit is pretty much useless without additional cables. At a minimum, you need one for your outboard, and there is about a 50/50 chance you might need special ones for your fish finder.

We also thought a video showing how to install one of our Complete NMEA 2000 Bundles would be very helpful for those customers who are doing this for the first time.

What you need to know before doing your first NMEA 2000 installation


Why would you add an NMEA Network to your new fish finder, or outboard in your boat?

NMEA is a relatively low cost upgrade to your boat, and it can offer a number of benefits. In this video, we explain what an NMEA network can offer you for features, convenience, safety, and improved economy.

Our short video on how NMEA can help you.

How to Choose the Best Trolling Motor Plug – Battery Tender vs Marinco

In this video, we explain the advantages and disadvantages of both the Battery Tender and the Marinco 12VCPS3 kits.

One of the raging debates on the internet is about which is the best trolling motor plug. Many boat owners will have to replace the trolling motor plug and receptacle that came with their boat, since many boat manufacturers use the least expensive, original design that is actually an adaptation of a high current AC plug. In this video, we explain the advantages and disadvantages of both the Battery Tender and the Marinco 12VCPS3 kits.

How to Install an NMEA Cable in a Yamaha Outboard Engine

How to install an NMEA Cable in a Yamaha Outboard Engine

If you have never worked on your Yamaha Engine, some basic instructions are provided in this video as to how to locate the connection you need for your Yamaha NMEA cable, and some tips on how to install it on your own.

How to install a House Battery in a Yamaha Outboard

How to install a House Battery Cable in a Yamaha Outboard

Most people who own a Yamaha Outboard are surprised to find out that many of these engines already have an isolator charging circuit for a secondary house battery.

This second connection to your Yamaha charging system is ideal for any kind of house battery type of set up, including charging your trolling motor batteries.

Have a look at this video to get instructions on how to connect the isolated house battery lead to your Yamaha Outboard.

Yamaha Outboard Extra Cable Installation/Rigging Tips

Yamaha Outboard Extra Cable Instalation/Rigging Tips

Before you add any additional cabling to your outboard, it’s good to review this video for some tips on how to most effectively run the extra cabling through the main cable bundle running from the engine, and how to avoid some common mistakes when removing the mounting hardware for this cable bundle.

Electric Trolling Motor Wiring / Power Loss Calculator

We’ve done a great deal of research for you, so that you can understand where the power goes on your trolling motor setup, from the batteries to the motor that is underwater. There is lots of things going on here no one (except maybe the engineers at the trolling motor manufacturers) are thinking about. And, to be honest, most people fall into one of two categories with their wiring choices. They either go to small, which creates the potential for fire, or they go to big, and essentially waste their money on a great deal of copper that isn’t buying them anything.

We’re here to help. Check out our Trolling Motor Power Loss Calculator, and after you’ve spent a few minutes here, you will know what wiring to buy, and why:

Raymarine Element Fishfinder with NMEA to a Yamaha F150 Outboard

Raymarine Element with Yamaha Outboard NEMA 2000 Networking Review

Although there are usually a few tricks to getting the Raymarine Element talking to your outboard, it is very worthwhile to set this up. Instant fuel economy, as well as most of the engine data can be displayed. This can also be like getting those missing gauges on your boat installed. This is one small upgrade that can pay for itself in fuel economy alone.

There is also a review of the Raymarine element. There is a discussion about what features it has, and the one or two it doesn’t.

12V Versus 24V Trolling Motor – Why you should chose one or the other

12V vs 24V Trolling Motors – 3 Reasons why 24V is More Efficient

One of the most interesting discussion on the internet is about trolling motor voltage. Most people think volts, or amps, and don’t have a background on power transfer. If you want to truly understand the factors you should consider before buying a trolling motor, start here.

Trolling Motor Wiring – What you need to know before you start

Want to know the number one thing most people do wrong with boat wiring? Here’s the answer. Also, two, three and four. And a basic discussion about battery types.

Why Bad Electrical Connections Catch Fire

Here is a simple little circuit that we use to demonstrate the fundamental cause of electrical fires. The resistance in the diagram is a commercially made resistor in the video. In real life, it can be created by any wiring connection or junction that is a bad crimp, corroded connection, oxidization due to copper being exposed to water, battery terminal corrosion, or too small a wire for the current that is being passed through the connection.

Still have questions about how to install your trolling motor, outboard NMEA network, or connect your fish finder?

Contact Us – We’re here to help