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The modern integrated monitoring system of ships plays an important role in the ship safety, reliability, and energy consumption level. This review article depicts in detail the characteristics of the monitoring systems of four ships in different sizes and types. These four ships are a small-sized unmanned surface vehicle, a medium-sized floating crane, a medium-sized geotextiles-laying vessel and a large-sized patrol ship. The joint features of these four monitoring systems are all showing a network topology of double layer structure, where the bottom layer consists of a field bus network, and the top layer is an Ethernet network. The bottom layer is usually responsible for real time ship data acquisition, and the top layer is mainly used for ship control and management. This double layer structure has good real time performance, high reliability, strong compatibility, and easy expansibility. A wide application of this structure will be expected in the future.