Most laptops will need to be kept below or heavily shaded in order to read the display. The only laptops that are daylight readable are usually "ruggedized" models that have a transreflective LCD display, and are designed for use outdoors.
The Cap'n program is pretty good if you want a Windows-based solution, and it can work with the free NOAA ENC charts. MacENC works pretty well if you're using a Mac-based laptop, and also works with the free NOAA charts.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.
—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)
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Still—DON'T READ THAT POST AGAIN.