Toughbooks used to be the thing on boats, in battles and on construction sites. I don't know if they are anymore, as the computing power required for programs like OpenCPN
is actually quite modest, as is the storage
required for charts
. I would suggest either checking out netbooks (which are $200-$700 but are versatile enough, particularly in the "removable tablet half" form factor, that I would suggest that you could do back ups to thumb drives you keep in a baggie with dessicant, and you could buy more than one, ghost its contents, or have a USB back up drive aboard. It depends on your storage
space and whether you want to take the netbook on deck
(I wouldn't except in dry, light weather
; I would have a small flatscreen on an armature so I could bungie a display in the companionway
on a 29 footer and thus have an active view of my progress as needed).
There are many techniques to making any laptop
more corrosion- and water-proof, along with common sense tactics, including perhaps making a SSD pico-ITX unit (you may need Google
here!) and burying it in a cool cabinet, with only gold-plated connectors visible.
Now, if you are getting a Toughbook for peanuts, sure, but they command a premium for ruggedness that, with a bit of planning, is not necessarily required for a nav PC.