Ahh, welcome fellow sailor and message board attendee.
I too have OPENCPN
installed on my Compaq laptop(s) and attach my GPS
receiver to the USB port where it interfaces easily with the program. Configure the port if it doesn't automatically detect it and go from there. They've made some updates to the program so download the latest version to be current
It's incredible what the team has done... and all without the help of microsoft... LoL
most of the team is on here as well and can help much more than I can.