So you are saying that I dont need to mess with the vhf at all ?Don't do #2.
What problem are you having, or what are you trying to do? If your VHF is currently connected to the Lowrance NMEA0183, it can stay connected. You just connect the AIS to the Lowrance's NMEA2000. Well, technically you create a NMEA2000 network and connect the AIS and Lowrance to that.
That AIS also has an NMEA0183 port if you need it to send/receive 0183 data to/from something.
Alternately, I think the Lowrance can internally convert and output 2000-0183 (and maybe 0183-2000).
I connect the Lowrance to the Ais via nmea2k 'drop in cable' and all is good ?
That would be amazing.