SEVERNA PARK, MD-For marine electronics dealers and technicians who are looking for the best technical training opportunities this year, the NMEA International Marine Electronics Conference & Expo is the place to be.
Beginning its three-day run on Sept. 29, 2015, at the Sheraton Inner Harbor Hotel in Baltimore, MD, the event will also offer on-the-water demonstrations of the latest electronics products and valuable face-to-face time for dealers and manufacturers at the equipment and services Expo, which will be spread over two afternoons. All information is posted on the NMEA Conference website www.expo.nmea.org.
Training and technical sessions will include both manufacturer-specific sessions and special topics, including: NMEA 2000 Engine Interfacing, US Coast Guard Electronics Update, ABYC Electrical Standards Update, Bathymetric Generation, Advances in CHIRP Technology, Internet of Things/Signal K, NOAA Charting, and NMEA Standards Update, including OneNet® and NMEA 2000®.
The American Boat & Yacht Council (ABYC) will hold an all-day Electrical Fast Trac training on Monday, Sept. 28, 2015, the day prior to the conference. NMEA invites all interested students to reach out to ABYC for sign-up information.
Students can also take advantage of the all-day NMEA trainings at a 50% discounted price. The Basic Marine Electronics Installer course will be held Tuesday, Sept. 29. The NMEA 2000 Network course will be Wednesday, Sept. 30, and the Advanced Marine Electronics Installer course will be Thursday, Oct. 1. Additionally, NMEA technical committees for both OneNet and NMEA 2000 will be meeting throughout the week.
The GMDSS (Global Maritime Distress and Safety System) Task Force will meet Wednesday morning, Sept. 30 at 9:30 AM. The GMDSS Task Force is a group dedicated to monitoring the success and shortcomings of the GMDSS. The Task Force is also active in current efforts to modernize the GMDSS and monitors related developments in maritime radio and electronic navigation. The Task Force makes recommendations to government authorities to improve safety at sea.
“Most importantly, your NMEA has listened to member feedback from last year’s conference and adjusted the schedule to a mid-week format (Tuesday through Thursday),” says Mark Reedenauer, NMEA President & Executive Director. “We have added new training sessions (listed above) so both exhibitors and attendees get the most out of their investment in the NMEA. This will definitely be the place to be for networking and technical training on all aspects of marine electronics.”
Again this year, a panel of CEOs from major marine electronics companies will respond to questions about a variety of issues impacting the industry and market. The discussion will take center stage on day one following the training sessions and immediately before exhibits open on the Expo floor.
On Tuesday and Wednesday mornings, attendees can schedule demo boat rides with specific manufacturers to see their latest and greatest products in action. The marina is just a short walk from the Sheraton Hotel.
On Wednesday evening, attendees will have a chance to see the Baltimore Orioles play at nearby Camden Yards. Tickets are $30 and include a $15 voucher for food and beverages.
On Thursday afternoon, all attendees are invited to a reception and tour aboard the Impossible Dream, a 60 foot sailing catamaran designed by and for disabled sailors. Several NMEA members are donating their expertise and products to install a NMEA 2000 network on the boat, which will be cruising the East Coast with the goal of spurring innovation and accessibility.
Thursday evening is the re-vamped product awards banquet with magician Peter Wood providing strolling magic entertainment at 6 PM.
“I’m very excited to have the conference in the Mid-Atlantic this year-I don’t think there has ever been one in this area,” says NMEA Chairman Johnny Lindstrom. “We are anticipating seeing many of the dealers from the region that haven’t had the opportunity to attend previous events at other venues. Again, we have been able to expand the training offerings and have partnered with ABYC for even more opportunities for YOU, our members. Remember, this is YOUR NMEA, and can only be as beneficial as YOU, the members, make it. Get involved, that’s what makes it work.”
A preliminary schedule of events is posted on www.expo.nmea.org. For more information, contact the main office at 401-975-9425.
Founded in 1957, the NMEA has led the way in establishing technical standards for data exchange in marine electronics, with the widely accepted NMEA 0183 data protocol, NMEA 2000® and certification standards for marine electronics technicians. NMEA standards and programs focus on ensuring that the boating consumer is provided with reliable products and professional service. For more information, visit the NMEA website at www.NMEA.org or call (410) 975-9425.