Onboard PC, what’s the ideal?
Over at rec.boats.electronics there’s a great thread underway about the ‘perfect’ built-in onboard computer. I’m particularly interested as I’ll likely go that route if and when I ever manage to finagle a larger cruising boat. In the meantime, last week I put some miles on the rather funky rig above (bigger here), and it actually performed pretty darn well, even gunkholing around the hairy unmarked ledges in Penobscot Bay’s outer waters (it was calm and clear). I used the old soft case (and sometimes a towel) to keep the laptop from sliding around. Valuable accessories are the Hoodman screen hood (really cuts glare, though I notice they don’t seem to sell this model anymore), a tiny Atek optical USB mouse, and an old Deluo USB GPS (no WAAS and weak signals in my cabin, but still consistently accurate). Here I’m using Coastal Explorer 1.1 (now shipping), which is giving me that “the more I use it, the more I like it” feeling. It happens that the designer of CE has an interesting description of his own onboard PC system here.