GPS & Computer
Forget the laptop.... I just purchased a GPS Navman sleeve for my handheld pocket PC. Years ago I purchased a 3635 IPAQ by Compaq. It is basically is a PALM hand held computer but it has a Microsoft operating system called windows CE. I syncs with my desktop and it can download files. I originally paid $300, today the units are much more expensive but you cab get Wireless 802.10 internet, bluetooth & GPS built in.
The beauty of the handheld is that you can download charts right from your computer, the same charts that you buy at the marina boat store. For only $19.95 you can go to MAPTECH.com and download their OUTDOOR NAVIGATOR Hand heldPC software and you can have access to all the digitized NOAA CHARTS, simply click and download them to your desktop and then transfer to the handheld. The charts are usually no more than 40K in size and most hand held PC''s will accomodate a Compact Flash expanded memory card to store the maps if they are too large for the hard drive. In fact GARMIN makes a handheld computer with built in GPS for about $500. I personally would get one of the new IPAQ with built in GPS. You can also go to EBAY and get a used IPAQ 3800 for $100 then buy a $50 GPS compact flash from Pharoh or the GPS sleeve with Compact Flash expansion slot to store your charts, that I bought from NAVMAN for $150. Really for $250 you can have GPS, access to all your charts, and a built in chart plotter!
I love my Hand Held IPAQ and I recently used it on a trip from Savannah to Florida! I didn''t even look at a paper chart!
Here are some websites to check out;
http://www.pdasmart.com (these guys shipped me a new battery overnight 2 days before xams... they were great!!!!)
Ebay cruuently has no used IPAQ HH PC''s.
I hope this helps! It made sense for me since I had an old IPAQ lying around!