Originally Posted by Alecadi
I've made a search on the forum to see what will be the best computer configuration for an optimal use of OpenCpn
Do you intend to take 1 or 2 hour daysails?
Do you intend to sail 8 hours or longer continuously?
If the former, any laptop
will do. If you are going long distances, then your power options are critical. Laptops can be very lean while on battery
, but many won't go longer than 2 hours. Most importantly, you don't want to have even a back up plotter run out of battery
power on a long trip.
Inverters to your laptop
can pose problems. While there are power options available in Windows, many laptops think that when they are plugged in, it's full power, not a boats battery. So the laptop runs very bright, and all cores run at high speed, much more CPU power than OpenCPN
So the "optimal" solution in my opinion is a computer that can run directly on 12V, actually with flexibility up to 14V. There are "carputers" and some dedicated desktops that may be able to accept this, though I haven't tested it myself.
As others have stated, OpenCPN doesn't need much processing speed or ram. You might consider booting from an alternative hard drive, because the motion of a boat could cause a drive crash. SSD drives, or even USB thumb drives can boot laptops and would be able to store all your maps and even some other apps. Quiter, less power draw, and no drive heads crashing into the platters as your bow crashes through a wave. Then again, these devices, and the computer itself, are still susceptible to voltage spikes.