Robust, Practical and Inexpensive Installation of Windows 10 Computer on a Boat

I will talk now about the minimalistic Windows 10 installation on my boat. It is not connected to the NMEA network, except the GPS receiver. That is because there is no such network on my boat, and not because there is not such a possibility.

As a monitor, I use an energy efficient car TV 12V, 22" fastened with a secure grip in a dry place. It is connected to the 12V socket with the cable provided by the TV's manufacturer.

As the system unit, I use the Intel Compute Stick BOXSTK1AW32SC. That is a Windows 10 computer with dimensions a bit larger than the pen drive.

Its parameters are:

Processor type: Intel Atom x5-Z8300
RAM memory: 2 GB

eMMC disk: 32 GB
Dimensions: 4.1 "x 1.5" x 0.5 "
Operating System: Windows 10 Home


Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7265
Bluetooth 4.0
1 x Card Reader
1 x HDMI
1 x USB 3.0
1 x USB 2.0
Dimensions 4.45 "x 1.50" x 0.47 "

To increase my computer's memory, I inserted the Sandisk Ultra 64GB memory card in the card reader.
A stick is powered by a micro USB cable connected to the 12V via a 3.1 A car charger (Quick Charge).

I use the wireless keyboard with a trackball.

I have two GPS signals: one of the Holux M-215+ GPS and the other via Bluetooth from my smartphone (Meowsbox app).

I receive an internet signal with my old smartphone.

The whole installation costs (in USD):

TV set 100
Computer 150
Memory Card 12
Quick Charge 12
Keyboard 20
GPS mouse  20
GPS App 2
SUM $316

The power consumption is about 2 amp, but when the TV is turned off, the computer continues to work at about 1 amp.

Main advantages:

Low price
Software such as OpenCPN or QtVlm works excellent.
The installation is safe from flooding.
The risk of mechanical destruction is borne only by an inexpensive keyboard.
The installation is perfect for navigation and Weather Routing, for downloading gribs other weather forecasts and pilot information.
There is a possibility to connect to NMEA 1083 and NMEA 2000 networks. In the port, it is possible to watch internet TV (e.g., Netflix), surfing the net, sending emails.


Power consumption: the whole consumes about 2 amp. It's more than a modern ultrabook but less than a simple laptop.
That will not interest a sailor who often changes a boat and has to appear up with his laptop onboard.
There is a small internal memory. The system takes about 20 Gb, so we have only about 10 Gb available. This forces us to use a micro memory card or to use cloud storage.
The memory is too slow for games or advanced graphics software.

My opinion:

Since the installation of those devices on my boat two years ago, I think I can recommend them to the owners of small, low-budget boats.