Codders, I've connected the NASA engine to my Garmin and it works without a problem. Be aware that AIS data is transmitted at 38,400 baud so your Raymarine unit will need to be able to receive at that speed. However, the port you set to that speed will then not be able to receive normal NMEA data. The NASA AIS engine gives a partial fix for this in that it will accept incoming normal NMEA data on a separate cable and it will pass this on along with the AIS output at high speed.
The AIS engine is not, in anyway, water resistant so you'll need to mount it somewhere safe or put it into a box using gland nuts for the cables.
I've used a separate antenna, just a cheap short one. My boat is at home and the antenna is layed flat. Today I was receiving AIS info from vessels over 14 miles away, so the input sensitivity appears to be very good.
Hope that helps.