Mercury & Navico: new VesselView Link, VesselView 702/502 displays and MFD engine interface

18 Responses

  1. Jerry says:

    “Hello, is this Mercury or…..?”
    “No sir, you’ve reached Navico Customer Care phone support”.
    “Well, I need somebody to come to my boat and fix the Gauges from my Mercury, The Mercury dealer told me to call you guys because I guess there is some kind of UPDATE… because it keeps telling me I have no outboards on the back of my boat……I cannot see any of my gauges and I have a big trip tomorrow”
    I honestly can see this happening.
    My point is integration is great, but some integration is best left un integrated.

  2. Butch Davis says:

    Excellent article and very timely as I’ve been considering upgrading my Garmin 740S.
    Will this new gateway support older SmartCraft products. I have a single Verado engine with DTS and SmartCraft gauges with a build date of 2008. It would be nice to move to a Simrad MFD and the new gateway if my older system and the new products are fully compatible.

  3. Quitsa says:

    The other lonely orphan out there is the Cummins version of Smartcraft displays, which date from the short-lived romance between Mercury and Cummins. Trying to set up a NMEA 2000 interface for Cummins QSB Diesels back in 2012, I played ping-pong between Mercury and Cummins until finally I just decided to buy the prior Mercury multiengine NMEA2000 interface and try it, which fortunately did work to everyone’s surprise. I was able to see all of the engine and gear PGNs on my Furuno MFDs.
    The new Garmin 8600 series has a J1939 port which in theory should allow a direct connection to the engines without an interface. I have not heard of anyone actually using this yet or what data makes it across.

  4. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Thanks, Quitsa. Plus “we learned in Miami that this J1939 port will soon be included on new Garmin 7400/7600 MFDs (as a rolling change that will not effect prices but will get new part numbers)…
    I recall that a Garmin guy said they were trying to work with all the engine manufacturers who use J1939 to display as much information as possible, but I don’t know what that means in practice.

  5. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Butch – from Walter at Mercury:
    Yes, this new VesselView Link will support ALL SmartCraft capable engines circa 2007 and newer (diesel, OB, MerCruiser, Zeus and Racing); obviously has to be paired with a compatible display. We know it will work all the way back to 2004 SmartCraft engines but some functionality may not work correctly (as all the current features were not available that far back).

  6. Quitsa says:

    I will be able to get a first hand test in another month or so when my new boat is completed as I will have a pair of Garmin 8617 displays and Cummins engines. The engine displays are a third party J1939 display, not Smartcraft, and they have a built in NMEA 2000 output. However, it should be easy to plug the J1939 cable into one of the Garmin MFDs and see what comes up.
    Speaking of which, let me know when the time comes if you want me to venture into journalism again once I have a chance to use the 8617s in the field. I may have a Fantom 6 radar but then again I am leaning to the 25kW magnetron unit given my suspicion that the Fantom won’t be as good at spotting birds at long range, more like a 6kW magnetron unit performance.

  7. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Thanks, Quitsa, it would be great if you wrote again for Panbo and I’ll email you direct.

  8. HenryD says:

    Ben…thank you for another great posting.
    With each update from Navico, I am seeing the real capabilities of the technology come out. Three years ago, I ran the boat with a separate PC with showing Maretron’s N2Kview. The last year, I have configured most of the NMEA2000 data to be displayed in the data bars on the NSO Evo2 screens. The limitations I am seeing now is the limited PGNs coming from the Maretron EM100. I would like to see Simrad create some additional graphical presentations of the data bar data – for example the Wind Speed / Direction graphs and direction compass rose instead of just numbers. Having a red arrow pointing and swinging is much easier to understand than numeric display.

  9. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Jerry, John Scott from Navico responded to your comment (and it’s useful info for anyone using the new SmartCraft integration):
    “If it has a Mercury logo on the front of the display Mercury should be called. If it has a Lowrance or Simrad logo on it, Navico should be called. The code is the same so if there is an issue it will appear the same regardless.
    I would like to highlight that one of the biggest steps forward recently in Navico is the ability to get diagnostics & live updates to address exactly this issue. Connecting your VesselView 502 or 702 to the internet will automatically check for software updates, notify the user one is available, and then give the option to download it. Check out
    The most likely fault would be a communication error, which would be shown as “No comms” on the display and which indicates no communication to the engine from the VesselView Link. The most likely cause of this would be install error or lack of SmartCraft network termination.
    On a Navico MFD, if the Mercury user interface does not show up, it indicates the MFD can’t see the VesselView Link gateway on the network, this indicates a problem on the NMEA2000 bus.
    If all this fails you can send Navico a fault report directly from Simrad & Lowrance units

  10. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Quitsa, Navico’s John Scott also replied to your lament:
    “VesselView Link will work with Cummins SmartCraft engines. Cummins engines output either J1939 or SmartCraft. They are not to be confused; J1939 is different from SmartCraft. All SmartCraft engine owners old & new benefit from the advanced integration. The new user interface looks the same but is tailored to the diesel limits and functionality of Cummins engines.”

  11. Quitsa says:

    Strictly speaking, I am pretty certain that only those Cummins engines that were configured for use with Smartcraft displays and have a Smartcraft interface box that outputs data in the priprietary Smartcraft format.
    The Cummins engines for my new boat were ordered as pure J1939 and have a lot less cabling and one less interface box than the engines with Smartcraft displays in my old boat. They will be used with a J1939 display from another supplier.
    So Mr. Scott’s comment is correct for a Cummins engine that was delivered set up for Smartcraft displays. However, by removing the extra interface box and some reconfiguring of the cables, that same engine can be used as standard J1939, which is its “native language.”

  12. kavarnatv says:

    I have got connected with HDS gen3 Mecury four stroke 115 with mercury NMEA 2000 gateway. All data is visible, except engine trim.
    Can I get advice why this is so.
    And , can I manage RPM / trolling / only with NMEA 2000 gateway.

  13. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Not sure on the engine trim question. The N2K gateway won’t control the engine or give you the full Smartcraft feature set, for that you will need the new Vesselview Link and a software update for your Gen3 when they are available in June.

  14. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    We missed the March 4 announcement that Mercury Marine will offer a Bluetooth module and apps that can put VesselView on your Android or iOS smartphone or tablet…
    …but can anyone find the apps that were supposed to be available in May?

  15. JEROME CLARIA says:

    Hard to find clear information here in EMEA:(.. Mercury is saying that we can plug sonar and structure scan on the VV702 because this is a Simard NSS 7 evo2 and it includes sonar broadland… but in the documentation it seems this is wrong.
    Any confirmation you could give me would be appreciate

  16. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Exactly which documentation are you referencing, Jerome, because I think that Mercury is correct? Please provide a link if possible.


    Good morning I had the lowrance hds7 gen3 with gateway nmea2000 and I had several elements.I bought it hds gen3 carbon and does not appear at all in vesselview !! Although I have data From the engine In the parameter instruments of lowrance ! ι must to do something ?

  18. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Right. VesselView uses NMEA 2000 but it’s a higher level of integration and requires a different gateway. So you are seeing basic N2K engine info on your Carbon, as before, but the Carbon manual says this is what it takes to get VesselView
    “SmartCraft data can be displayed and interaction are enabled through the unit when a Mercury VesselView® 4, 7, 403, 502, 702, 703, or Link is present on the network.”

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