I just got the boat. It came with a binnacle mounted compass, a handheld bearing compass and Garmin handheld GPS worth about $150.
I bought an IBM thinkpad on ebay for $300. They're cheap and the manuals
are available online. I've had a few so I have lots of spare parts
I bought 3 CD's of chart software
on ebay. Total cost $45 for 2 disks of rastor charts, 1 of vector. They came with some free software
. Downloaded some nav software demo versions and hacked versions off isohunt.
Put it all together and I have 3 functional software nav systems that run on the laptop
and work with the GPS.
I've also got a sprint modem
access via Sprint's cell network. It has a built in GPS so it functions as a backup GPS on the laptop
I plan to buy paper charts as I need them as well as a sextant.
The laptop works good but its kind of a pain to run below to check it (display too dim in sun).
Might spring for a chart plotter but I'm holding off for now. I love the buttons and colored lights but the sensible part of me says I'm better off spending the $ on paper charts or the kitty.