You have a lot of options and to start out I would try OpenCPN
. It is free and not too hard to use for a beginner. It is also pretty popular so if you need help you will either find a tutorial somewhere or can ask. Someone will have the answer.
I recommend buying
a used laptop
with build in cellular modem
. Those have GPS
chipsets build in. I got an older Dell Latitude e6400 series with an internal cell modem
. I just needed to find the serial
port for the device and my stand alone chart plotter was ready. You can buy those cards also for 10-15 on ebay but not all cards spool out NMEA
Data without being initialized first. But many do so, research
With a free software plugin
you can process GRIB files for wind
Good option to add is an AIS
receiver that plugs in to the USB port like dAISy.
So you can start for free if you got the laptop and after only spending a few bucks end up with a pretty fancy stand alone system that includes tracking, wind
overlay and AIS
display of vessels around you.